Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Astrid y Gaston Lima, Peru

Lima's finest eatery is Astrid y Gaston in the Miraflores district.  This is a shopping, eating, partying area of Lima.  This marvelous place has recently been listed as one of the top 15 restaurants in the world - not in Peru, not in South America - the world!!  And rightly so.

The building is actually rather nondescript from the outside - it is next door to three guitar shops.  But once inside - the walls are covered in terrific contemporary paintings, unfortunately none for sale.  And at the back is the open kitchen framed in a high gloss fiery red.  I didn't go back and test it but it almost looks like glass.

We ordered a very interesting Peruvian wine (yes, they make excellent wine here) from the Ica area called Tacama.  There are some areas of inland Peru which are higher in elevation, thus cooler, and well-suited from vineyards.  This blanc to blanc wine is a blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and viognier.  It's a young wine with layers of mineral notes.  Really quite good.

Okay, normally one doesn't make reference to the bread that is brought to one's table but here it's worth it.  It was fantastic!  Five different kinds, all made in-house.  A brioche with chili peppers, a very dark pumpernickel, a multi-grain, an olive bread and a cheese that was almost as dense as cake.  For good measure, they threw in a chili breadstick as well.

I started my meal with a smoked, grilled octopus.  For those of you who remember my blog on Rio - this was as tender as the one in Rio without the mafia.  It was covered in a chorizo sauces and plated with purple foam and a coated potato.  Peru is known for its immense variety of potatoes.  My husband started with tres cebiches - one was a traditional preparation and the two others progressed to something more contemporary - the second was done with coconut milk and chilis and the third was done with substantially more heat.  

For mains, we both had a fish dish.  I had a deep sea fish, sautéed, on a bed of green asparagus risotto and wonderfully fried baby artichokes.  This was one of the best fish I've ever had - perfectly cooked and tender and beautifully spiced.  My Husband had an Amazon fish (there's a first), sautéed as well, served with swiss chard and saffron risotto.  

We'd eaten so much bread that we had to share dessert.  Oh my!  It was a chocolate ball with crunchies and marshmallow cream and raspberry compote inside.  Then warm chocolate sauce was poured over the ball so that the whole thing began to melt.  Now, for someone who doesn't care much for chocolate, I must admit that this was a little scoop of heaven - smooth and creamy.

What a fantastic meal - wine and bread and wonderful food creations.  My husband swears that it's the best meal he's ever had.

courtesy of www.tripadvisor.com

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