La Belle Epoque restaurant at Hotel Plaza Grande is something every traveler visiting Quito should experience. Set on a high floor of the hotel with views of the beautiful and historic Plaza Grande, the restaurant evokes something magical. Entering, it feels like you’ve somehow stumbled into the dining room of a French castle with sconces, candelabras, heavy woods and fine silver dotting the space. The waiter and all the staff who will be involved in the dining experience are in tuxedo-like formalwear and showed me right to my table.
The food here is very well done with the focus being on seasonal ingredients and the beauty in presentation. I would call the cuisine “international”, with flavors spanning from Ecuadorian to Japanese. Rare tuna in egg rolls, grilled fish, pastas – the choices are endless. And, because I ordered a tasting menu, I can confirm they were all done virtually without flaw. Throughout the meal, the service was impeccable as the waiter made himself available but not intrusive.
My favorite part of the experience was the unexpected opera performance. When I fist saw the performers I thought, “Oh damn…I just want to eat in peace.” But, to my surprise, they were charming and very talented. Both were trained in Argentina and returned to Ecuador to perform in various venues. They did pieces from some of the greatest operas in history including The Marriage of Figaro.
By the time dessert came, the woman singer was doing a rendition of I Will Always Love You, which I have to give her a gold star for attempting (no one can touch Whitney, I mean…). I tasted the bananas flambe and also a melange of other desserts including an artful metallic-hughed apple with apple sorbet inside – what a nice touch. Thoroughly impressed, I rolled myself out of there, down the street and into bed. Don’t miss it. It’s a highlight for sure.