Tuesday, August 14, 2007

peScados capitales

It's been said that every city has one restaurant that's the "must go to" place for tourists and locals alike. In a place like Lima it's awfully difficult to choose that one place as the variety of cuisine options is overwhelming. Narrowing it down to seafood places, it hardly gets easier, this being a coastal city. Further narrowing it to just cebicherias, we're still left with over 2000 to choose from.

Maybe selecting one place is an impossible task, but one restaurant that is on everyone's short list is Pescados Capitales, and on the day before we left Lima we finally made an oft-postponed lunch trip there.

The name of the restaurant is a play on words on the Seven Deadly Sins. In Spanish pecado means 'sin', while pescado means 'fish'. The pecados capitales are the 'mortal sins' (in the order portrayed on the logo above the gate): envy, pride, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed, and sloth.

The semantic fun is carried on in the menu, and it is hard to place an order because one simply wants to keep reading the menu, focusing on the humor instead of the selections.

The ambience combines the classic elements of cebicheria decor -natural light, airiness, and cane- with upscale touches such as heating ducts and ceramic reproductions of pre-Inca statuettes. It is relaxed and casual despite the crisp service and all the suits at the tables.

In a city where a whole meal can be had for under s/. 10, Pescados Capitales' dishes are not cheap, but when the food arrives you understand immediately why the restaurant is full every day. When you taste it you understand that the buzz about the place is not mere hyperbole. The food is outstanding.

Here is what we had that day (I can't remember the cute names from the menu, sorry):

Arroz con mariscos
Seasoned rice with shellfish

Muchame de pulpo
Cooked, sliced octopus in an olive oil sauce, served with crackers

Cebiche Capital
The house's signature cebiche, it contains 3 kinds of peppers,
3 kinds of fish, and 3 kinds of onion

Lenguado en salsa de mariscos
Sole in a seafood sauce

Pais en ascendencia
Pieces of sole (lenguado) wrapped around causa and deep-fried with a panko crust
This was a new dish that debuted that week. Each week each of the restaurant's four chefs is responsible for producing a new, never-before-seen dish.

Tiradito a dos tiempos de lenguado y pulpo
A tiradito of sole and octopus with two sauces: rocoto and garlic

Filete de Corvina al limon
Grilled sea bass with a lemon sauce

Pescados Capitales
La Mar 1337
Miraflores, Lima
Tel.: 421-8808

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