After reading the Trip Advisor reviews about Café Soleil, my husband and I were very excited to try it. We both have traveled extensively throughout France and love French food. We arrived to a warm welcome from the owner and were promptly seated. The restaurant was clean and pleasant but lacked the décor that I would have expected of a restaurant rated so highly. On the owner’s suggestion, we ordered two glasses of champagne and settled in to read the menu. While I rarely turn down a tasting menu, Café Soleil’s lacked variety. The 5 course tasting menu offered escargot, 2 duck courses and 2 desserts. Uninspired, we opted for the a la carte, ordering the escargot, steak tartar (although the menu said it was unavailable), the duck a l’orange and the grilled trout. Before receiving our first courses, we were granted a degustacion of pumpkin ginger soup which was very well received. Creamy and comforting with just a subtle air of ginger to create a gentle heat. The escargot were plump and covered in butter and garlic, just as they should be, and the steak tartar was a good (although not great) rendition. Trout, which is the fish of the region, was very nice and the duck a l’orange was cooked perfectly. The chef, who we were told was a Michelin star trained chef, successfully rendered all the fat so the leg was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. At 79 sol, the duck was the most expensive item on the menu but still well priced by US standards. We were less successful with the wine list. Although the wine list was exhaustive, fewer than 10% of the wines were actually available for purchase. We opted for a Chateau Neuf Du Pape at a price of approximately 350 sol (150 USD) which was quite nice. However, we took issue with how the wines were served. In both the instance of the champagne and the bottle, the owner showed us the unopened bottles at our table and then took them away to open and pour out of eye sight, leaving us to wonder if we actually received what we had ordered. Overall, the dinner was a nice experience but we have found other restaurants in Cusco that are more deserving of the #1 rating. And, we were a bit surprised when we received our bill and learned that each glass of champagne was the same price as the duck entrée (roughly 70 sol each).
Oh, and be forewarned. Le Soleil only accepts Visa so, if you use any other credit cards or your Visa is finicky when traveling as mine often is, come prepared to pay cash.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.