Destination: Peru: Lima
Long considered one of the best restaurants in Lima, La Gloria is a favorite of the city’s elite, drawing both businessmen and the society crowd. The atmosphere is as urbane as that of a stylish restaurant in New York or London, but the international menu has a Peruvian twist. It’s a great choice if you want the comfort and reliability of a sophisticated restaurant that offers no surprises but excellent food and service.
This stylish seafood restaurant in Miraflores attracts Lima’s business class, ladies who lunch and well-heeled families. What you will rarely see is tourists. It’s a true locals’ canteen and, despite being in the center of the city, feels like a day in the country. Canopies of stick thatching let in plenty of sunlight, and rustic touches like polished concrete floors, rough-hewn wood tables and worn leather chairs create an estancia aesthetic. The menu emphasizes fresh fish perfectly grilled. Start with calamari and zucchini or the tequeños, which are wonton pockets stuffed with vegetables, crayfish, egg and chilies. The seviche menu features variations named after great statesmen, like the Cebiche Gandhi, which comes with a curry and mango chutney, and the Cebiche Mandela, tuna and shellfish in citrus juice. While the soups and paellas are favorites, I suggest ordering a fresh fish from the grill with just a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. Reservations recommended. Open daily for lunch from 12:30 to 5 p.m. and dinner every night except Sunday.
Tip: Visit the small boutique by the bar, which sells inexpensive jewelry.
Like so many of Peru’s modern chefs, Rafael Osterling fell in love with cooking and eating in his native country but went abroad to apprentice. He hired on at London’s Bibendum then studied at the Cordon Bleu, in Paris, before working at Le Grand Véfour, in Paris, and the River Café in London. When he returned to Peru, he started with a tapas joint before opening Rafael. He has dubbed his style “author cuisine,” so creative and personal are his preparations. The hunky chef, who now has other restaurants as well as a design line that features his trademark camouflage-print aprons, has an enormous following among foodies and proud Peruvians.
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