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Central Restaurante

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Flower Power Lima  Peru
Fine Dining at Central Lima  Peru
Central Restaurante Lima  Peru
Scenic Lima Church Walk Lima  Peru
Central: Lima's Best Dining Experience Lima  Peru
Central  Lima  Peru
Flower Power Lima  Peru
Fine Dining at Central Lima  Peru
Central Restaurante Lima  Peru
Scenic Lima Church Walk Lima  Peru
Central: Lima's Best Dining Experience Lima  Peru
Central  Lima  Peru
Flower Power
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 gelée 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.

Fine Dining at Central
In recent years, Lima has been called the gastronomic mecca of South America. If you are keen to spend a bit of money to try some of the finest dining in town, then you should absolutely check out Central Restaurante, which is one of the three restaurants in Lima ranked in the top 50 worldwide. Central is located in the heart of the Miraflores neighborhood. It's a simple but classy affair: a small, sophisticated place that serves great food. The restaurant's stated mission is to "celebrate Peru's biodiversity," and you will indeed find a variety of unique ingredients from all over the country.

Central Restaurante

The talk of gastronauts the world over, Peru's undisputed top meal is chef Virgilio Martinez's tasting menu at Central. Fiercely dedicated to native ingredients from all corners of Peru, Martinez captivates foodies on his culinary journey from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to the top of the Andes and all points in between.


Scenic Lima Church Walk
Starting at the Plaza de Armas, walk northwest on Conde de Superunda to Camaná. The Iglesia de Santo Domingo lies on the corner. Don’t let the pretty pastel décor fool you: this Lima church houses (and displays) the skulls of San Martín and Santa Rosa. Walk southwest on Camaná two blocks to the Iglesia de San Agustín at Ucayali. This Lima church — flanked on both sides by red concrete — is fairly foreboding from the outside but the interior is soothing. Exit the Iglesia de San Agustín and head one block further on Camaná, turn left onto Miró Quesada and arrive another block later at the Iglesia de Merced. You will be rewarded with at least two dozen ornate and magnificent baroque and renaissance-style altars. And the crazy thing is, there are no other tourists in this place to wander into your frame and spoil your photo! After exiting the Iglesia de Merced, keep going down Miró Quesada for three blocks, then take a left onto Azángaro and go another three blocks to the popular (too popular?) Monasterio de San Francisco, the final stop on this Lima church walk.

Central: Lima's Best Dining Experience
If Lima is known for one thing, it's gastronomy. The city has become the culinary capital of South America and the streets are dotted with incredible dining options from hole-in-the-wall cevicherias to high-end cuisine. We did our best to choose wisely with dinner experiences and had some incredible meals during our four days in Lima. The stand out? Central. Central offers a range of smaller plates along with entrees. We opted to split six small plates to share (plus dessert, of course). Everything was fantastic. Incredibly so. The tuna confit and scallop lines were standouts, but everything blew me away. Taste, presentation and innovation were all in play. Plus, service was over-the-top fab. To top it off, Central has a bar downstairs that was THE best bar we experienced in Lima. (Plain ol' bars are rather hard to come by.) The bartenders were whipping up cool renditions of a typical pisco sour with varieties like Szechuan and Passionfruit-Cardamom with impressive attention to detail. Hearing that we were on our honeymoon, the general manager came by to share his well wishes and to offer us a tour of the place. We headed into their lab (where new menu items are thought up), to their bottling area for water that's bottled in house, plus a garden where herbs are grown and picked on the regular. In a city filled with incredible dining options, this is a must for your list. Five stars all the way.

Central
If you have time for just one gourmet blowout in Lima, chef Virgilio Martinez’s Central is among the very top choices. Named number one on Pellegrino’s list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants (and a whopping number five on their global ranking!), Central is more than a restaurant, it’s an artistic culinary tour of the country via its diverse ingredients and range of elevations. Rather than ordering à la carte, you choose between an 11- or 17-course tasting menu and let yourself go. Presentation is as much an experience as the food itself. Reservations required months in advance.

Lima, Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco 15063, Peru
+51 1 2428515
Mon - Sat 12:45pm - 1:30pm, 7:45pm - 8:30pm