Looking out the second level windows of Cusco’s Plaza de Armas and all of its magic waits below. People scramble in all directions across the stone sidewalks. The sun peaks in and out of tall clouds the size of cities.
Back on level two we find lunch well underway. Limo ironically sits almost directly above McDonald’s, though there is nothing of the McSort here. The menu ventures into strange ground at times. For example, sushi takes up quite a bit of space. There are your standard Ceviches, Tiraditos, Causas, Entradas, and Main Courses, but some more unusual Andean fare pops in a few places too. There’s the Acevichado, a increasingly popular sushi roll that is slathered in leche de tigre sauce. Chicharron de Panceta con mote came with a salsa criolla spiked with hierba buena. The King Kong – a beloved ginormous Chiclayana sweet of cookies sandwiching layers of manjar blanco and marmalades (usually pineapple) – is served deconstructed with grilled pineapples, touches of manjar blanco, and cookies stacked in a vaguely familiar King Kong form.
The cocktail list here is Cusco’s best (outside of maybe Hans Hilburg’s El Pisquerito) and is extremely Pisco centric. There are 14 Sours, 8 Chilcanos, 15 types of Pisco, and a dozen or so specialty drinks. The Aji Seco, a spicy passionfruit and mandarin concotion, was a nice pairing with the salty chicharron.
Ten years ago there were no good restaurants in Cusco, Peru. About five years ago came along Cicciolina, Map Café, and Inka Grill. Two years ago came Rafael Osterling’s Bistrot 370 and Gaston Acurio’s Chi Cha. Now it’s Coque Ossio’s Limo, which I consider on par with Bistrot 370 as the best restaurant in Cusco.
Coque Ossio is a CIA graduate who studied under Eric Ripert and Jean-Georges Vongerichten and has owned/set up several restaurants in Lima and Cusco (like Map Café). His mother is one of Peru’s best-known caterers and he considered one of the most recognizable names in Peruvian cuisine.
Before leaving the waiter encourages visitors at tables beside mine to write a review on Tripadvisor (plus their business cards also mention Tripadvisor). It’s no surprise that the restaurant is number one on the website. Perhaps they should, and likely could, earn the ranking on their own.
Limo Cocina Peruana & Pisco Bar
Portal de Carnes 236, Second Floor