Wednesday, June 27, 2012

La Botica

In Spanish, botica means drug store, and such is the name of a small bar/restaurant that my namesake cousin Juancho took me to last night.

It was new to us both -Juancho had read about it the newspaper- and we were both very pleasantly surprised.

La Botica is located in the site of a longtime drug store and pharmacy, Farmacia Maggiolo, on Ave. Petit Thouars in San Isidro district.   The owners visited other classic Lima bars and taverns and it is evident that they learned well.  La Botica has been open since October but it feels like it's been around forever.  It has that feel of old times that one gets in venerable places like the Taberna Queirolo or the Bar Cordano.

The drinks menu is pretty slim and standard -pisco sours, chilcanos, cosmopolitan, martini, and so on- but well-prepared.  The food and appetizer menu is also smaller than at some other establishments, but it is well-thought out and well-prepared as well.

We started with pisco sours made with different brands of pisco, and a papa rellena.  Papa rellena consists of a meat stuffing rolled inside a ball of mashed potato, which is then fried to give it a crisp exterior.  La Botica's was good, not great, but no one would be ashamed to serve it to guests.  The second round of food, however, was exceptional.

The dish, Mollejitas de mi suegra (My mother-in-law's gizzards), consisted of chicken gizzards served bathed in the cilantro-laced sauce typical of the stews served in the north coast.  I don't know what they did to them, but the gizzards were fork-tender and buttery.  It was surprising and delicious.  The decision to pair the gizzards cooked that way with the norteño gravy was inspired.

The staff was friendly and efficient.  We chatted with the owner for a bit, and he later sent out a comped dish of olives for us.

La Botica definitely merits a visit.  I predict that it will become one of Lima's favorite bars as word of it spreads.

La Botica
3910 Ave. Petit Thouars
San Isidro, Lima

No comments: