Peru: Deluxe Dining on a Dime

City Travel, Peru, Restaurant Reviews — By on August 10, 2009 at 7:00 am
by Molly Fergus
Astrid y Gastn Peruvian CuisinePeru isn’t all guinea pig and alpaca. At least, according to Bon Appétit, Lima is the world’s “next great food city.” On a June trip to Peru and Ecuador, my friend Sarah and I bought into the hype and shoved a 36-hour visit to the Peruvian capital into our hectic two weeks. We aimed high – to eat at four of the country’s top spots in 36 hours – and fell short by two. Luckily, we never left hungry.
Astrid y Gastón Owned by Peruvian celeb-chef Acurio Gastón, this modern, upscale spot allegedly serves some of the country’s best dishes. For a grand total of about $25 per person, we dined on rich barbecued scallops, light tiraditos (a Japenese-inspired version of ceviche), and complex fusions. Our only complaint:  It didn’t open until 12:30 p.m. for lunch, so we rushed through our entrees to catch an overnight bus to the northern coast.
La Rosa Peru
La Rosa Naútica Go to this old-timey Limeño spot for its stilted pier, floodlit waves and prime surfer views and you won’t be disappointed.  Head to the restaurant for complex, creative dishes and you’ll leave sort of…bored. At least we did.  The standard white tablecloth fare (fresh bread, ahi tuna steaks) was good, but we would have been just as content to watch surfers while sipping on Pisco Sours at the bar.
Wish we had made it:
Matseui Owned by Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu fame, the chef opened this sushi joint after training in Peru.  We can’t afford Nobu in the states; would have loved to try it in Peru.
La Mar Cebicheria Another Acurio creation, this cevicheria is rumored to be one of the top Limeño spots for the Peruvian dish of raw fish “cooked” in lime juice.
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