Bienvenida, señora. Welcome to Astrid & Gastón, the flagship restaurant of Lima’s most famous chef, Gastón Acurio, and one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. We’ve recently moved to this hacienda in the wealthy San Isidro district, and we now offer cooking classes, a room for the tasting menu, a bar area for a la carte dining, and even a vegetable garden that children can access to learn about food and the environment. Right this way.
Here are some starters of bread and olive oil, as well as nuts encrusted in cumin and other spices. We’re sure you’ll like–oh, you’ve eaten them all. You did like them. Now our sommelier will help you choose a wine. You’re embarrassed to say that you want to eat fish but you prefer a red wine? That’s fine, how about this crisp red wine from Argentina.
Now, for your first course, may we recommend a cold dish. Try our deconstructed causa, which is a mashed local potato dish with egg, a chili called aji amarillo, and lime juice; we’ve also added raw fish and onions, which makes it like a combined ceviche and causa dish. Ah, you find it absolutely delicious, all the textures and flavors coming together in just the right way, and now you want to try ceviche all along the coast, excellent.
Here’s your second course, a warm dish. Just to mention that it’s a little spicy–uh oh, what’s that look on your face? It’s too spicy? Your mouth is about to explode and you can’t possibly finish this expensive dish? Oh dear, I’m so sorry I didn’t warn you when you ordered, that’s fine, we’ll take this away. Here’s my manager, who wants to be sure you’re taken care of. Can we interest you in something else? May I recommend a black quinoa dish (quinoa is a major crop here and in neighboring Bolivia; we are at the forefront of the superfood movement in the Andes)? This particular mix of quinoa and tubers is a house invention. I can see you’re politely not telling me that it’s a little flavorless for you, and a little too much like eating something healthy, but I’ll pretend I didn’t notice. Oh, Americans.
Can I interest you in a dessert? No? Well, then, here’s your bill, when you’re ready. Yes, it’s 150 soles, including a service fee. That’s about $50 in US money. We hope the food and experience have been worth the indulgence. What’s that? With the airy room that somehow didn’t have the echo-y acoustic problems many modern restaurants have, the attentive but not pushy service, the simple and elegant aesthetic, and of course the delicious food, it was worth every penny? We’re pleased to hear it, gracias. Enjoy the rest of your time in Lima, one of the gastronomic capitals of the world.