Saturday, August 11, 2007

Our Last Night in Cusco: Dinner at the MAP Cafe

For our last night in Cusco, we ditched the kids with my aunt Betty, who volunteered to stay with them, and went out for a grown-up dinner.

The locale of choice was the MAP Cafe, a white-table cloth Novo-Andino restaurant located in a glass box within the grounds of the Museo de Arte Pre-Colombino.

MAP Cafe is justly regarded as one of the best restaurants in Cusco, and one of the few upscale dining experiences in a city rife with pizza joints. The basic menu is a (US) $35 prix fixe selection of an entree, a main dish, a dessert, and glass of wine. A bargain, if you ask me, given the quality of the food and the service.

Naturally, we started with pisco sours, while we made our dinner selections.

I chose to start with the trout tartare.

The trout was bathed in a lime dressing and perched atop a layer of buttery avocado. It was delicious.

Ceci opted for an humita with smoked trout filling, with a salsa criolla with capers. An humita is akin to a tamal, except that it does not contain spices and, in Peru, comes wrapped in a corn husk rather than banana or achira leaves.

In this instance, the dough was light yet quite rich and smooth tasting, and delicately flavoured by the smoked trout. Very nice.

Juancho's selection was the Alpaca Tonnato, which consisted of sliver-thin slices of cooked alpaca smothered in a tuna sauce with capers.

Although I was very happy with my selection, I could have been equally pleased with either of those choices.

Ben chose a selection of causas, while Gina and Peter opted for green salad with goat cheese.

Most of us followed this with alpaca cutlets with a mushroom gravy and a red-wine infused quinnotto, while Gina selected a dish of Andean chicken atop a corn puree with a botija olive sauce. Like the entrees, these were delicious and exquisitely presented, however, after taking our first bite of the starter dishes, we all put down the cameras and focused on simply enjoying the meal.

Ben, Peter, Gina, Juancho, me, Cecilia

MAP Cafe
Museo de Arte Precolombino
Plaza Nazarenas 231

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