La Gloria has been a landmark on Lima’s dining scene for years. Run by chef Luis Alberto Sacilotto and owner Óscar Velarde, the restaurant has been training for many of the most important Peruvian chefs of the past decade. Is it the best restaurant in Lima? It’s definitely one of the best. I’ve only been there once though and I don’t toss around that ranking lightly, so can’t confirm. It lacks the creativity that a place like Malabar or Rafael has, but as far as execution goes La Gloria is as good as any restaurant in South America. If Michelin came to Peru (I’ve heard their putting out a guide in Brazil in 2010), La Gloria could easily earn a star.
The restaurant has slowly been incorporating more and more Peruvian recipes and ingredients into their otherwise Mediterranean menu, which in my humble opinion is a fine idea. The menu is massive. There are ceviches and tiraditos, risottos, pasta, beef, black raviolis stuffed with prosciutto de Parma, and a few dishes from the Amazon such as juanes.
Each dish comes out of the kitchen with that extra little touch that sets La Gloria apart from most restaurants in Lima. Their ceviche with heart of palm and aguaymanto comes out looking like a pasta dish, though it’s as refreshing as it sounds. Arroz con pato, duck with rice, a traditional Northern Peruvian coastal dish, was the best preparation I had ever had. Really, it was flawless and it is one of my favorite dishes. It was flavored with beer and culantro, pink all around but cooked just enough, and the portion size was ideal.
A mish mash of paintings on the walls and one main intimate dining room and a lounge area don’t exactly make La Gloria the trendiest restaurant in town, though the décor is perfectly fine. It’s the food that stands out. In addition to their Lima restaurant, La Gloria has opened a weekend’s only country style lunch retreat called La Gloria del Campo in the village of Pachacamac south of Lima.
Calle Atahualpa 201
Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.