Astrid y Gaston – Ranked #33 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

As I had mentioned in my previous entries, we’ve treated ourselves by dining in the best restaurants in the world during our visit to Peru

Image courtesy of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Three of the Top 50 Best Restaurants in the World (2017) were all located in Lima, Peru. How convenient that they were all just minutes from each other:

a. Central Restaurante – ranked #5 – we dined there on the eve of Nancy’s birthday, before we left for Cusco (to go to Machu Picchu)

b. Maido by Mitsuharu – ranked # 8 – we dined there on Monday, April 30, the day we arrived from Cusco

c. Astrid y Gaston – ranked #17 – we dined there on our last night in Lima

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Image courtesy of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Ask and you shall receive

Many thanks to American Express‘ Concierge service. Just five days prior to our visit, Amex booked us these hard-to-get seats. I called Amex, asked them for the impossible. Why? I was having a hard time booking these top-notch restaurants for myself. As luck would have it, Amex informed me the next day that they were able to get us dinner reservations at Central and Astrid y Gaston. Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 5.43.50 PM

Amex tried to get me reservations at Maido, but they required more information, and I just didn’t get around to it anymore. But, I was able to score a late dinner reservation at Maido for Monday night.

Do not make this delicious mistake

Our dinner at Astrid y Gaston was set for 8pm. Nancy and I spent the day shopping around in Lima, exploring the local scene. We knew we’d be having a big dinner so we didn’t try to eat as much. Around 4pm though, we went to La Lucha Sangucheria Criollo, a very popular sandwich shop near our hotel.

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I would do anything to eat a sandwich here – located on Jose Larco

We decided to split a sandwich, yes, just one Chicharron sandwich so we wouldn’t be as full before our dinner. We paired our sandwich with a mango smoothie….bad mistake. It was so delicious, and even half of that sandwich truly filled us up!!! Uggggghhhhh!!! We felt really guilty because we didn’t realize how full we’d be with just eating half a sandwich. But man, those onions, those sweet, sweet, juicy, fresh onions!

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Chicharron Sandwich

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For the next 3 1/2 hours, we just hung out inside our hotel room, and prepared for the evening. Unlike Maido and Central (both were about 10-15 mins walk away from our hotel), Astrid y Gaston required for us to grab a car service. It was only 3 miles away but we had to go through many side streets and residential, beautiful residential neighborhoods. The ride to Astrid y Gaston took about 15-20 minutes, and set us back 20 soles (just over $6).

Astrid y Gaston, the restaurant

Unlike Central and Maido, Astrid y Gaston’s location boasted in space. It had it’s own gate where the car service dropped us off. The building looked palatial from the outside. It was gorgeous.

Once you enter, you’ll be greeted by a hotel-style receptionist area.

We checked in right at 8pm and were escorted to our round table, a roomy round table for two. In our “wing”, there were probably 5 other parties who dined with us. Right outside of our dining room was a bar downstairs, and other private rooms.

 

It was something else. It was a far cry from the simplicity and minimalist approach as seen in Central and Maido. The restroom was designed in blue with ropes on the wall. The restroom that I used was in semi-circular door, a bit odd, odd in a good way.

The restroom
The bar downstairs

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The 15-course Lima Love Tasting Menu

I had grown a bit of an appetite by the time we got seated. I wasn’t extremely hungry, but looked forward to the showcase, the presentation of the 15-course meal. Click here for the Lima Love Tasting Menu astrid.pdf.

Just like Central, I will not even attempt to describe every single one of the items. Instead, I will include the description as taken from the menu.

The indecent bed, the forbidden love – Fishermen empanada, stuffed blue potato with lamb, sea urchin toast
From the freezing waters of the Pacific Bay – Scallop and apple
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From the city that carries cebiche on its heart – Cebiche (with a B) of all bloods
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From this Lima that falls in love with everyone – Tiradito Lima – sichuan (dish of raw fish, sashimi-style)
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From our Cantonese heritage, the chifa – Cuy pekin (guinea pig, Peking style)

Here’s what was funny. Lord knows that we needed more room in order to get through our 15-course meal. After serving the first three to four items, out came a basket filled with delicious freshly baked breads and spread. We gave them a try, so tempted to eat them, but we had to behave because we knew a storm of more good eats were coming

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From Peru embracing Venezuela Libre – Arepa, suckling pig, winter fruit and ocopa
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From our Okinawan heritage, the nikkei cuisine – Sancochao dumpling and pepian
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From the home kitchen of the mama limeña – The shy egg, hidden in yellow chupe
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From the infinite possibility of our biodiversity – Scallops and lúcuma
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About a united Latin America, without frontiers, sharing – Deep sea fish, parihuela juice with mole season, green tortillas; to make fish tacos
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From this Lima with no walls that welcomes all with affection – Rabbit in Lima curry, quinua jasmine
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From that Lima cuisine of all bloods, all corners, all flavors – Roast short rib stew and his faithful companion: chaufa rice
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Chaufa rice
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Masato from the jungle – coconut, plantain, sacha-cilantro, bacon, ají charapita chili and casava masato sorbet
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From our Trujillana granny – Chocolate corn humita
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Peace farming – Carrot crispy biscuit roll, Tumbes chocolate

How much was our dinner?

The cost of our tasting menu was around 419 soles or $130 per person. We ordered three different drinks during our dinner. It was money well-spent. I can’t say that I have an opportunity to eat  at the world’s best restaurant on a daily basis. This trip gave us that chance.

Capping off our dinner tour of The World’s Best Restaurants

Dining at Astrid y Gaston was all about the entire experience from the time that you set foot on their lot, to the time that you leave. We knew were in a for a superb treat. There was nothing miniscule at this restaurant. It was all about grandiosity. The flavor, the freshness, and the service – bar none! The ambiance alone was a work of art. We didn’t get to explore the entire building, there was just no time. We sat in our dining room the entire time, not because we were stuck in the room, but we had simply enjoyed being in our little corner. Our server, Carlos, took care of us from start to finish. He made sure that we had enough drinks to get through our meal, refilled our glasses without being asked. We weren’t rushed by any means. We had the the entire evening to enjoy our last night in Peru. Gracias, Carlos. Gracias, Astrid y Gaston.

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