Peruvian meals of plenty at Hotel Sol y Luna and Wayra
We’re warmed outside and in by the fireplace adjacent to our table and our bottle of cabernet sauvignon from Peruvian winery, Viña Ocucaje.
We start off with the still warm bread and the chef’s amuse bouche of chicharrón de pollo with olive tapenade.
The starters are amazing. The soup of the day is chupe de zapallo macre, a creamy soup made from a pumpkin-like squash, the light sweetness tempered by a hint of spice. The salad is practically a meal by itself, a huge bowl of the best roasted beets we’ve ever had, grilled sweet onions, aged local goat cheese, pecans, and wild spinach.
Entrees are protein packed, perfect if you’ve been hiking around Machu Picchu and the rest of the Sacred Valley. The lomo a la parrilla, is rare-as-ordered grilled beef tenderloin. The steaks rest on corn polenta that is a creative bridge of a plentiful local ingredient and a familiar technique. The oven-roasted trout, a regional specialty, is paired with a puree of camote (sweet potato) and cilantro.
Though we’re almost out of room, we can’t help but finish our desserts. The picarones, a street food specialty, are as freshly fried and indulgent as the ones we bought from a street vendor in Lima, but we don’t have to fight bees for them. And the chocolate mousse is given a Peruvian touch with a garnish of tiny aguaymanto fruit.
Breakfast buffet at Hotel Sol y Luna
It’s essential to have a strategy before hitting a buffet. Mine is to take a small piece of everything but bread and pastries. Though she was speaking about a steak-eating contest, a wise woman once advised, “Don’t fill up on bread!”
When traveling, I will take advantage of the healthy options usually included in buffets. At Hotel Sol y Luna’s breakfast buffet, that means making a glass of tea with local herbs, and a bowl of yogurt topped with granola, nuts, and gooseberry jam.
I prefer savory breakfasts so, once I’ve grabbed those healthy items, it’s time for meat and cheese. This buffet has at least three types of local cheese. A fresh, soft goat subbing in for mozzarella in one-bite caprese salads; a tangy, grassy paria variety; and a dense yellow cheese, simply labeled “andino,” which has a slight fermented flavor, like fresh chicha. I retreat to the carb section and succumb to a tiny croissant and a mini corn tamale to eat with the cheese.
There’s also crepes, bacon, sausage, and potatoes for those seeking the more familiar. Once you’ve made it through the buffet, the restaurant staff will bring over eggs made to order.
Can’t talk. Eating.
Our meals were sponsored by Hotel Sol y Luna. That said, the opinions and experiences are all ours.