H and I just returned from a week in Lima, Peru (which was supposed to be eight days, and thanks, JetBlue, ya bastahds). I had a list, and we followed the list, and the list served us very well.
Our first meal on our first day was lunch at Merito, which gets a lot of acclaim, and rightly so. It’s a small, very popular place in the fashionable Barranco neighborhood, and their thing is interesting new uses for traditional Peruvian ingredients. Mucho kudos to them for actually paying attention to the note I put in the reservation about what H can and cannot eat; we were very well taken care of.
Possibly you’ve heard the term “the fajita effect” bandied about, which refers to a dish that makes its way across the dining room, inspiring everyone to order it. As we are followers, our first course was just that – a grilled ear of corn with a chili cheese sauce. The corn in Lima is not like the corn at the USQ Greenmarket. It is not sweet corn. It is workhorse corn. It is very good corn.
This was followed by an amaranthus chip topped with fish tartar (I’m not gonna bother with the Spanish names unless they’re absolutely necessary, because why should you have to look anything up?), scallops with sanki and jalapeño, fish with (more) corn, and flan. I also had an alcoholic drink before 5pm, which is not like me, but I was on vacation, so there. It was called a sachatomate, and to be honest, I wasn’t that crazy about it. I kinda thought it would be like a bloody mary – a good pre-5pm drink! – but it wasn’t.