Friday, July 24, 2009

MAP Cafe, Cuzco, Peru

After coming back from Machu Picchu, we decided to go out for a nice fancy dinner in Cusco, and settled on the MAP Cafe, in the Museo del Arte Pre-Colombino (MAP - the Museum of Colombian Art). Probably the best restaurant in the city, the cafe is built in a modern glass structure in an outdoor courtyard within the museum. With only a handful of tables, it's a lovely intimate setting.

We decided to get the 3-course prix fixe menu - choice of appetizer, main course, and dessert. They started us off with an amuse - a mushroom cap stuffed with quinoa, peppers, and cheese. Then Redneckhunter chose the oyster mushroom with fava bean capchi casserole (pictured above). The pureed fava beans were creamy and wonderful. I chose the river stone cooked crawfish ceviche (right). The brown lump in the middle was actually the stone. I didn't eat that... but I did eat the sliver of red pepper on top. When the waiter brought my dish, he said something about being careful and "muy caliente." After I bit into that pepper, I realized what he was trying to tell me. My mouth was on FIRE - I practically leapt across the table for the bread basket. The Peruvians at table next to ours made fun of me, not realizing I understood them (this is already after having made fun of me for taking pictures of all our food).

I did recover in time to enjoy my main dish, which was a traditional Peruvian chicken dish, with sweet corn puree, and some cheesy potato side (sorry, there was a traditional name for it that I can no longer find.) Redneckhunter got pork belly braised in Pisco and spices, with pickled yacon and sweet potato.

Finally, dessert: I got lightly sauteed strawberries in chicha (purple corn) syrup with fresh corn ice cream and toasted chulpe corn pralines.

Redneckhunter's dessert choice was strawberry tres leches (we can never resist a tres leches cake) with Urumbamba's fruitillada sorbet.

MAP Cafe
Plaza Nazarenas 231
Cusco, Peru

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