Friday, May 25, 2007

orenji on the road: lima, peru (part 2)

We continued our culinary tour of Lima, Peru with a quiet dinner at what may be the best restaurant in Peru-- even South America. According to Gourmet magazine, Lima is one of the up-and-coming culinary cities in the world, with Astrid y Gaston being the restaurant at the forefront of the culinary movement. When we read that assertion prior to our trip, we knew we couldn't go to Lima without experiencing this restaurant!

While the external facade of the building is unassuming, the cuisine, service, and atmosphere we found inside were anything but...
Dark walls heavy with art, a well-polished bar, white tablecloth-shrouded tables, and a modern kitchen behind glass (complete with a visibly fresh herb garden) greet the diner upon leaving the busy streets of Lima.

Dinner started with a basket of freshly prepared breads (already mostly demolished in the picture below) with a deliciously fresh fruit and yellow tomato relish.

(Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen technical difficulties, we were unable to take pictures of all the delicious foods we consumed.) However, some of the highlights included locally harvested tiger shrimp prepared three ways, served as an appetizer.

Our Entree highlights included a deliciously tender 3 week old suckling pig, braised and then crisped, and served with pureed legumes and local greens.

Another favorite was a deliciously tender lamb shank, braised, and served with a wine reduction, mash of local root vegetables, corn crisp, and potato-chili pepper fritter.

Desserts were spectacular, loaded with homemade ice creams and local fruits (like cherimoya). To finish the meal, the table was provided with homemade chocolate truffles and candied maricuya (a berry which grows in the Peruvian rain forest). The tartness of the fruit was nicely complimented by the sweet caramelized sugar.

It was an incredible meal-- the culinary fine dining highlight of a 16 day trip through Peru and Bolivia. Keep checking back for other culinary experiences on our Peruvian adventure!

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