Casa Gangotena
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A Haute Cuisine Take on Llama
I am usually an adventurous eater, but I must confess I felt a bit squeamish when Andrés Dávila, the chef at Casa Gangotena, told me he would be serving llama as part of the evening's tasting menu. I figured if I was ever going to eat llama, then it might as well be prepared by a talented chef. Dávila's menu features both traditional Ecuadorean dishes, such as fritada (fried pork with potato patties, hominy, fried corn, and avocado cream) and more innovative twists on Ecuadorian dishes such as our llama spring rolls that were actually quite delicious. The llama tasted like lamb and the fried spring roll was stuffed with fresh herbs. Ecuador is known for its soups and Dávila's versions are not to be missed, particularly his locro Quiteño, which is a traditional potato soup. Dávila has started to take guests to the local market to help familiarize them with Ecuador's native ingredients. Trips can be arranged with the front desk ahead of time.
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Best view of Plaza San Francisco
Stay at the hotel Casa Gangotena in Old Quito overlooking the famous Plaza San Francisco. The hotel was a historic private home owned by the Gangotena sisters until 2 years ago. Beautiful architecture, elegant rooms & top notch service make it every bit deserving of the no 1 ranking! Here's a secret - enjoy the view of Quito from the top floor patio. If you tell the bar, they will bring drinks up to the roof. Even if you don't stay at the hotel, go there for a delicious lunch or high tea.
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