Friday, July 3, 2009

La Bonbonniere

Just a block from San Felipe, on the fourth block of Burgos street, there is to be found one of Lima's classic cafes, La Bonbonniere. It has been there as long as I can remember and used to be famed for its pastries and, well, its bon bons. As as kid, I would occasionally be taken there by my parents, who would let me pick out a bon bon. To a child like myself the selection of treats, in its many shapes and colors, was as heady as their taste.

In the 1980s, however, La Bonbonniere -like so many institutions- fell on hard times due to the severe economic crisis and the war. It limped on, and was dealt what well could have been its death knell by the hostage crisis at the nearby Japanese ambassador's residence in 1996, which caused the police and military to cordon off the area. La Bonbonniere's owner, a lady from Belgium, was forced to sell the business.

Fortunately, it was picked up by Marisa Giulfo, one of Lima's most noted restauranteurs and caterers, and La Bonbonniere was revived, although now as a cafe and patisserie. Today the cafe is a bit more upscale than in its previous incarnation, if that can be imagined.

I decided to stop by there yesterday afternoon for a snack, and was well-rewarded with a chicken and mushroom empanada (turnover) and a capuccino.

The price for a prix fixe lunch (s/. 35) at La Bonbonniere is fairly high compared to places not too far away where a 3-course lunch can be obtained for s/. 6 (2 dollars), but the quality of the food is incomparable.

I might suggest that Susana and her friend, Aricia, head over there for the Tea Hour when they'll be here later in the month.

La Bonbonniere
Burgos 415
San Isidro - Lima

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