Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Globetrotting Gourmands: Audre & Dimitri's Top Picks In Lima

Audre and Dimitri at Hotel Puerto Inka, southern Peru.

Audre Engleman and Dimitri Moursellas lead the life we all wish we had. Since 1993, the couple have been traveling worldwide, first while working abroad, and then after early retirement.

As they put it, 'it's long story... but it all started in 1993 when Audre got a contract for a World Bank project in Indonesia - that was the beginning of our Odyssey or worldwide travelling or vagabond globetrotting... call it what you will.' Soon, they figured out how to live well and travel the world on their investments, and 'the rest is history' jokes Dimitri.

They were recently in Lima and Audre sent me an e-mail. One of the many passions this couple shares is their love of good food, and they want as many people as possible to benefit from their wealth of experience.

While in Peru, they were featured in the daily El Comercio in an article entitled Love Travels The World, which tells the romantic story about how Dimitri and Audre met and began their global traveling and eating adventure.

In terms of food, Lima did not disappoint. They call themselves, 'devotées of T'anta'.

I am posting the list of their top picks in Lima in ranked order; if these globetrotting gourmands gave restaurants the same score, I list them alphabetically.

Audre & Dimitri's Top Picks In Lima
by Audre Engleman and Dimitri Moursellas

Astrid y Gastón
Our rating: 9.5/10

It is difficult for a much-acclaimed restaurant to live up to expectations but A y G did. A y G has traditional ingredients (pejerrey, for instance) that are difficult to find and prepared in innovative and delicious ways. We shared the pejerrey as an entrée, a sublime seafood soup, and a three-month old roasted baby pig. All excellent. We wanted to taste the picarones and were brought a one-third portion (and only charged for one-third). The prices are high for Perú but not for a world-class restaurant. We wish A y G served amuse bouche. (We did appreciate the mignardise served with coffee.

Cantuarias 175 Miraflores
444-1496, 242-5387
Astrid & Gaston

Our rating: 9/10

We had a great meal with wonderful service. The room is crowded, like a French bistro, but not objectionable. There were ashtrays on the tables and, when we asked for a non-smoking area, the waiters simply removed all of the ashtrays. We shared the fois gras asado (S/.48), the mero rostizado en jugo de tinta (S/.48), ravioles de mango (S/.23), and la chocolaterie (S/.24). The food we ordered was delicious; the amuse bouche was innovative, too. The second time we went to this restaurant the service was not as good as it had been. The food was really good, however.

San Martín 300, Miraflores

Our rating: 9/10

This may well be our favorite restaurant in Lima. The room is modern and lovely in black and white. The service was excellent and the food was exceptionally good and creative. The amuse-bouche was a fabulous assortment of six flavors. We shared a lobster carpaccio (S/.36), a mero bouillabaisse (S/.49), a bottle of Navarro Correa Sauvignon Blanc (Argentina) (S/.85) and for dessert, a bizcocho de almendras (S/.22). Rodrigo came to our table to greet us; something we like very much. The second time we went, we had another great meal but not as good as the first time.

Francisco de Paula Camino 231, Miraflores
446-0985, 446-4011, 445-1790

El Ancla
Our rating: 8.5/10

The room is decorated like a ship and is well done. The service is excellent although we were the only customers until we left at 9:30 p.m. when 2 more couples arrived. It is a new seafood restaurant and very unusual because it’s open for dinner. (Cubierto, S/.12) We shared an excellent tiradito de pejerrey (S/.20), pulpito brasas (S/.26), chupe de langostino (S/.30),a Casa Silva Carmenere (Chile) (S/.65) and for dessert, crocantes (S/.14). The food total was S/.138.76 + IGA S/.26.36 + Servicio 10% S/.13.88 = S/.179.

Avenida La Mar 1292, Miraflores

Brujas de Cachiche
Our rating: 8/10

We had a very good meal in the delightful setting. We were kind of put off by the waiter "angling" for a tip in addition to the cover and service charge that the restaurant imposes.

Website: Brujas de Cachiche

Huaca Pucllana
Our rating: 8/10

We read all of the reviews and were careful ordering. We had a great meal with excellent service. The dramatic setting, the music, and dancing, and the design and décor of the building created a perfect stage set for the meal. We shared anticuchos de cordero (S/.24), canilla de cordero (S.49), a 2005 Mont Gras Colchagua Valley Carmenere (Chile) (S/.90), and a rice pudding (S/.22). Our bill was S/.217 and definitely worth it.

General Borgoño, cuadra 8 (block 8), Miraflores

Las Brasas
Our rating: 8/10

This restaurant was opened around the end of 2006. It is owned by the same people who own El Ancla and the restaurants are connected. This meat restaurant is excellent and so is the service.

Avenida La Mar 1292-1296, Miraflores
421-1660, 421-1618

Makoto Sushi Bar
Our rating: 8/10

We had a great lunch of traditional Japanese chawan mushi and fish head soup at Larcomar and it wasn't expensive.

LarcoMar, Miraflores
Las Begonias 522, San Isidro

Our rating: 8/10

We enjoyed the food at this restaurant very much. They serve a lovely amuse bouche. We had 2 mains of perfectly prepared fish. It cost S/.136.83 (US $44.56) for two with a glass of wine and tea. The non-smoking room was too cold and one waiter kept turning the a/c back on. We finally moved to a table away from the draft and were happy.

Avenida Conquistadores 999, San Isidro

Punta Sal
Our rating: 8/10

We’ve been to two locations of this restaurant and have eaten well each time we’ve been there. There is old-fashioned great service too. It would be great if it were open for dinner too.

Website: Punta Sal

Siam Thai Cuisine
Our rating: 8/10.

We were delighted with the authentic enough tastes and the variety. A difficult to find dish, mee grob (crispy fried noodles), was delicious. Our total was S/.131 for a soup, a fish curry, rice, mee grob, a dessert and tea.

Avenida Caminos del Inca 467, Chacarilla
372-0680, 372-5925
Website: Siam Thai Cuisine

Toshiro's Sushi Bar
Our rating: 8/10

This is more than just a sushi/sashimi restaurant. For a restaurant to call itself Japanese, it must have udon soups and chawan mushi. Toshiro's makes one of the best chawan mushis we have ever tasted in the world! Rating: 8/10

Avenida Conquistadores 450, San Isidro


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TAGS: Peru, Peruvian, food, cooking, cuisine, cocina, comida, gastronomía, peruana


Dimitri said...

Alejandro, Thanks a lot for your very nice write-up for our traveling adventures!! Audre & Dimitri
PS: here is a late entry to our restaurants list:
Fusión (de Rafael Piqueras), Choquehuanca 714, San Isidro, fono: (51-1) 422-7600,, e-mail: fusion@speedy.com.pe Our rating: 9/10. We were very impressed both times we ate at Fusión. The clean lines of the rooms, the separate no smoking room, the excellent service and the fabulous food were a delight to experience. Rafael Piqueras is charming when he makes his frequent visits to the tables. (Cubierto x 2 = 24, Errazuriz Estate Reserva Carmenere S/.79, We shared conitos crocantes marinos as a starter S/.26 and pechuga de pata caramelizata for a main S/.48, 2 agua S/.10, 2 expresso S/.14, 1 merengado de chirimoya S/.19, 1 tartita caliente rellena de chocolata S/.19 = 239 + tip. Our newest favorite!

::Alejandro:: said...

Thanks Dimitri for your last minute addition...

rone said...

Thanks for the comment. Although i can easily find Colombian food and Peruvian food close to home, no luck wiht Ecuadorian food. *sigh*