Hidden discreetly behind a nonchalant facade (though one of an antique colonial house), on a busy side street leading to Parque Central, is this warm and chic modern colonial dining room and cozy bar. It continues to be my favorite restaurant in Peru. Gastón Acurio is the celebrity chef of the moment, with a burgeoning empire of fine-dining restaurants not only in Lima but also a handful of other cities on the continent (one opened in San Francisco in spring 2008) and a cooking show on TV. His signature restaurant in the capital is warm and elegant, with high white peaked ceilings and orange walls decorated with colorful modern art. In back is an open kitchen, where Gastón can be seen cooking with his staff, and a secluded wine-salon dining room. The place is sophisticated and hip but low-key, a description that could fit most of its clients, who all seem to be regulars. The menu might be called criollo-Mediterranean: Peruvian with a light touch. Try spicy roasted kid or the excellent fish called noble robado, served in miso sauce with crunchy oysters. The list of desserts -- the work of Astrid, the other half of the husband-wife team -- is nearly as long as the main course menu, and they are spectacular.
- © Frommer's 2013