The future home of Latin America’s # 1 restaurant: Astrid Y Gastón Casa Moreyra in Lima, Peru.
Astrid y Gastón came in at #1 and D.O.M. at #2 at the initial edition of the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant List, even though D.O.M. ranked considerably higher on the World’s Best list a few months ago. Comparing those restaurants is difficult. Pujol was at #3 and Central at #4. In my opinion any of those four restaurants could be #1 on any given day. With the top ten there was little argument – some might say one restaurant should up or down a spot or two – but the rest of the list was where there were some oddities.
From Liguria to Callao, 100 years of flavor. El Viaje, or The Journey, is the title of the latest tasting menu at Lima restaurant Astrid & Gastón. Last year, the menu, La Naturaleza, was groundbreaking. The 17-courses were pleasantly poetic, moving seamlessly through the evolution of Peru’s culinary history, from… Read More →
Now that he has more than thirty some restaurants set in a dozen countries, many of which are fusion concepts like Chinese-Peruvian or Italian-Peruvian, I sometimes forget just how revolutionary Gastón Acurio’s original restaurant, Astrid y Gastón in Lima, was and continues to be. I don’t think I will make that mistake again.
As most of my work as of late involves eating and restaurants in Lima, Peru, I am often asked where to go. What is the cevicheria of the moment? Who is the hottest chef of the moment? Where should I go for a taste of the Amazon? Who has the best anticuchos? Which of Gaston Acurio’s restaurants should I go to? I could literally go on for days describing where to eat in Lima. While I’m usually scouting out huariques and market stalls in obscure districts, though for the passing writer or foodie that wants to know what is in right now, here is my Lima IT list.
Last year after eating at Alex Atala’s D.O.M. in São Paulo I predicted that the restaurant, then #18 on San Pellegrino’s World’s Best List, would make the Top 5 in 2011. I was close. It jumped up 11 spots to #7. Thus far, no other restaurant in South America has come close to the level of D.O.M. Atala is sourcing many rare ingredients direct from farmers and artisanal vendors throughout Brazil, including the Amazon, and presenting them in a modern form. Atala isn’t focusing on foraging like at Noma or molecular gastronomy like at El Bulli. Rather he is showcasing some of the most vibrant, exciting, and unknown ingredients in a new way. Two other Brazilian restaurants, Mani (#74) and Fasano (#59), both which focus on Brazilian ingredients, also made the list.