I remember places by songs. I was drinking a pisco sour at a place called Mayta in Lima — careful there, Mayta’s got a terrible Web site with Flash AND sound — and a remix of a Shirley Horn song, Come Dance with Me, came on. Head bobbing, I was good for the walk home along 28 de Julio, where the taxis just won’t stop honking. Time passed so quickly in Lima and we did so many different things, that this is the song I hear now.
I stayed at the Hilton Miraflores and I LOVED IT. The bed was awesome, the gym was awesome, the service was awesome. Free wifi everywhere! I really can’t say enough nice things. This is a great chain hotel.
Lima is on the Pacific. The Pacific in this part of the world is an angry, dark ocean. We saw a lot of surfers.
And we ate all the ceviche, all of it. First at El Mercado, which I really really enjoyed (even though their Web site is complete and total and utter FLASH-SHITE), and then at Aromas Peruanas, which was good but not for me. (I am not a buffet person.)
I also ate ALL of the Amazonian snails at Amaz, conveniently located next door to the Hilton. I loved Amaz and would list it as the #1 highlight of my time in Lima, better than Central. That’s the funny thing about World’s Best Lists…
Central. We at at Central. It’s #50 on the World’s Best List. This is a photo of Chef’s desk. I liked the idea of Central. I liked the rooftop garden and the chocolate cabinet and the open kitchen. But the restaurant was a mess…uncleared tables, dirty tablecloths, weird service. In my limited experience with the bottom half of the list, Viajante, #59, is better and more beautiful (and frankly, the loos are nicer). St. John, #71, is MUCH better. Quite odd, this list that.
Better? Manifiesto, where the young chef, Giocomo Bocchio, displayed talent, ambition, thoughtfulness, and what I can only describe as a pureness and openness of spirit. His mother is the restaurant manager. Above, his Taj Mahal dessert, a curry pudding that was one of the nicest things I’ve had this year. (And you know how much I’m not a fan of dessert.)
El Pan de Chola! Chef Jonathan Day used to work at Monmouth in Borough Market in London and I CAN TELL. I loved it here. I loved his bread. I loved Jonathan. I loved his queso fresco. I loved everything. I would happily stay here forever.
Ah, and I also bought ALL OF THE ALPACA. I bought a lot of baby Alpaca blankets. And a suitcase to bring everything home in.
Now that’s a good trip.
Lima…you should go.