A few years back, when Lima's Central Restaurante was closed because of zoning issues, Peru's celebrity chef, Gastón Acurio, was one of many who petitioned for it to be reopened. I knew that meant the young chef at Central, Virgilio Martinez, must be doing something truly special. Virgilio's restaurant is located in Lima's hip Barranco neighborhood. I stopped in solo one afternoon for lunch and was dazzled by the dishes his servers put in front of me: charred purple corn with scented octopus, lentils, yuzu and bok choy; "mask of the suckling pig" (or pig face) with tart green apple, baby tomatoes, and galangal; and suckling goat with chickpeas, goat cheese, and lemon verbena. Each course was plated like a work of art and was a beautiful riddle on the palette.
My enthusiasm for my food earned me a tour of the open kitchen and the rooftop garden, where servers pluck flowers or clip herbs for dishes like the citrus gelee with edible flowers pictured above. Chef also gave me a tour of his incredible chocolate cellar, where he shows off his favorite chocolate bars from around the world.
- Phone:+51 1 2428515
- Hours:Mon - Fri 1pm - 3:30pmMon - Thur 7:30pm - 11:30pmFri, Sat 7:30pm - 12am