Zazu Restaurant, Quito’s top restaurant with local and Peruvian influences, is a hidden culinary gem that will satisfy even the most jaded taste buds. Sitting in Quito’s modern heart, not in the historic district, the restaurant welcomes you with a simple design – rich woods, stone and glass. I was escorted to my table in the corner which had views over the other diners and the beautiful bar a few steps away. But, the food was the focus of my attention.
I opted for the ten course tasting menu. And, my God was that a good choice. Plates of ahi tuna, seafood risotto, gnocchi with yellow potato and truffles, ossobuco and more made it to my table in perfect procession. Chef Rafael Perez, hailing from Peru himself, delivered many of the dishes personally to explain the subtle nuances and flavor profiles. Each small plate was a work of art – almost too perfect to touch. But, I got over that rather quickly.
Featuring a spiral wine cellar with Ecuadorian, Chilean, Argentinian, French and California varieties – each course was paired with the perfect vintage. I stuck to red as my dinner was fairly red meat heavy. For dessert, Ecuadorian chocolate was the star with chocolate mousse and cake with homemade ice creams. This meal was well thought out and perfectly executed – with not a single beat missed. Dinner for two (aside from the tasting menus) will cost about $60 – money well spent.