This is a mostly Mediterranean restaurant with creative dishes made with high quality local ingredients.
I started with tiradito, which is like ceviche but with fish or seafood cut sashimi style instead of in cubes. That day it was scallops. The slices are spread out and soaked in a lime and amarillo yellow chili pepper sauce and served with boiled sweet potato and chocolo (fat corn). There's also a traditional appetizer plate with sole ceviche, cilantro tiradito and fried calamari.
Then I had the "chita" rockfish with cherry tomatoes, capers, pickled onions, fresh artichokes, and green beans on a bed of spinach. The chef is really good with balancing fresh flavours with bitter greens and fresh herbs. In Lima you don't get a lot of green. Ever. So things like watercress and mustard greens were so welcome. Another diner had the lobster ravioli. It looked beautiful. The chef is also very good at plating. Oh, and he did a fois gras circle and pressed, gel-ed pineapple circle on a rock plate as an amuse-bouche. It was gorgeous.
I also tried a little of the whole cabrilla fish stuffed with cheese and served with a balsamic reduction. It was a very generous serving. Actually both fish were very generous.
There was also a main with baby calf (it was a huge portion!), with watercress, gnocchi, and cherry tomatoes and I think a port reduction. I didn't get to try it, but I heard it was really good. The flavours in everything seemed really simple (a lot of cherry tomatoes, balsamic olive oil, salt and pepper, but the ingredients were top notch so the food all tasted amazing, and the fish wasn't overcooked).
Dessert for me was a trio of sorbets - lemon, watermelon and passionfruit (plus liquid nitrogen smoking rose petals...), so a good balance of acid and sweet. But the layered apple tart that looked like a piece of baklava looked beautiful with a dulce de leche ice cream and an apple gel.
And if you order coffee or tea (or just come for coffee or tea in the afternoon) you get a complimentary platter of cookies and truffles. Afternoon coffee is a great tradition in Lima...almost as good as the siesta you'll need after most meals. But La Locanda's food isn't that heavy. It's healthy and filling, but not full of preservatives like the cheap meals you get on every corner at lunch. And not just pure carbs like a lot of Italian places. This is refined Mediterranean food, and the price isn't bad for what you get. About 37 soles for apps and 56 soles for mains. So about $40 with service and tax included, I think. There's also a more expensive tasting menu, around 150 soles, I think. So just under $70?
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