We arrived at this small place as they were just opening and still in staff meeting so I had an opportunity to explore all the interesting items and art that decorated the walls. The waiters were all very nice but Joao was particularly helpful in selecting our menu and offered to divide the items and bring out each as a separate course. It made a more relaxed pace and an opportunity to savor each of the tasty offerings. This place is amazing! Definitely check it out if you have the opportunity.
We started with an order of their ceviche of sole, octopus and scallops. Very nicely seasoned, it was a good mixture of textures and tastes.
Next were the gnocchi tostatos, which were a favorite of Joao, and they were delicious. It was a mixture of shrimp, squid, scallops and clams and slightly crisped gnocchi. There was a very subtle addition of pesto on the scallops that was a perfect amount to accent their sweet flavor. The sauce on the dish was filled with garlic and hints of spice – excellent.
It just kept getting better with the duck and rice, which soared off the flavor scale. Amazing! The duck was tender and tasty with the exterior perfectly crisped to bring out the flavor and this rice was a well seasoned and a perfect amount to accompany the duck. It came with a couple sauces that I hated to mix with it as this was one extraordinarily savory dish on its own.
It was hard for stir fried beef to match the previous course but it did well. The slight Asian influence was due to the soy sauce, ginger and garlic seasonings. The beef was tender and nicely rare and served with corn (choclo) and rice. The corn are huge tasty kernels and full of flavor and were good on their own but also nice when mixed with the beef and its sauce. Everything blended together very well and the accompanying potatoes were fried to a perfect blistered crisp to bring a wonderful crunch to the dish. It was another plate licker!
For dessert I tried the traditional donuts with were a crisp donut lovers delight, coated with a honey sauce. They were served with a really tasty coconut macaroon-like side that was crunchy and chewy at the same time. It also came with a side pudding that was very sweet and creamy and accented with a couple stiff meringue dots.
The mango ravioli with thin slices of mango filled with a mango custard and topped with mango foam. It was really tasty and better than the donuts!