Lima is South America’s food city of the moment, but Quito has started to catch up. Its restaurants benefit from local produce and meats sourced in the surrounding highlands, as well as seafood from the nearby coast. On this visit, I discovered two restaurants worthy of note (outside of those in the hotels I recommend).
French-trained Ecuadorian chef David Picco helms this stylish establishment, which features a light gray interior that’s accented with bouquets of red roses. Those who make the effort to take a taxi here will be rewarded with sophisticated and beautifully presented interpretations of classic recipes. We opted for the $70 per-person eight-course tasting menu (a five-course menu and à la carte options are also available). My favorite dishes included a sweet tangerine-marinated stone crab claw accompanied by a crab-filled roll of avocado and cucumber topped with caviar; savory suckling pig served atop a crunchy spiced-corn cracker and a purée of tomate de árbol (tamarillo); and tender herb-crusted lamb chops with quinoa tabbouleh. The wine pairings, while ample and well-priced, did not always hit the mark (prawns in peanut sauce overwhelmed a Chilean Pinot Noir, for example). The English-speaking staff were highly accommodating and professional.
Mariano Aguilera 331. Tel. (593) 2-254-3559