Upon entering Café et Chocolat one gets the impression of being in a different place. Its linear design, white walls and decoration of catalogs, along with the refreshing air conditioning, gives sobriety to a light yet satisfying breakfast, or an afternoon of work in a simple, elegant and comfortable environment.
Far from the common image of sacks of coffee beans and rustic tables, designer Maricarmen Segalá has created an environment with a concept that shines through from the details in the utensils to the bar where homemade desserts (cookies, brownies, cakes and pies) from small producers have been selected by her.
Glass display cases reveal fine, selected chocolates, artisanal beers and other delicacies to combine with its main feature: high quality coffee. Coming from Cochapampa, Cusco, more than 1,780 m.a.s.l., one sip of the coffee reveals an intense and slight acidity that lingers in your mouth.
(Photos: Ana Gamero/Living in Peru)
Though they opened about five months ago, everything remains sparkling because Maricarmen is a perfectionist who has had no qualms about offering exclusive products in every line of the menu, from smoothies (blueberry, red fruits, or chocolate with peanut butter and banana) to the piqueos (a table of cheese and ham serrano, S/ 44) and quiches (chicken with leek, porcón mushrooms, or artichoke with mushrooms and gruyere cheese).
The juice menu is short (orange and mandarin) but is balanced with teas (almond, chocolate or red fruits). As for coffee drinks, the baristas are trained to prepare espressos with 13 grams of coffee, and use 23 grams for drinks like cappuccinos. A surprise for the taste buds is the chocolate, served hot or as a blended frappe.
A simple breakfast done right. Avocado toast, berry smoothie, and coffee (Photo: Ana Gamero/Living in Peru)
For breakfast you can choose between something so simple yet well presented such as toast smeared with avocado and topped with mozzarella cheese (S/ 12), or something as original as the mixed croissant (S/ 14), with smoked ham, cream cheese, Cuartirolo cheese and apricot jam.
Among the salads, one of the most attractive is the Bleu (S/ 22), a mix of lettuce and arugula with blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, pecans and ham serrano, served with toast and a dressing that consists of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, honey and almonds. The price is well worth every one of its ingredients.
Bleu salad, a gourmet choice for light and fresh lunch or dinner (Photo: Ana Gamero/Living in Peru)
Three sandwiches give way to a fierce choice between the standouts like ciabatta with Spanish chorizo and the baguetino with ham serrano, both with Manchego cheese. They would do well to extend this section, since the modern building above them is also home to several offices, full of potential and recurring customers.
For them precisely there is the optimistic sign that reads “Smile, there’s wine.” Café et chocolat offers Belle Parti Extra Dry Italia sparkling wine (S/ 75 the bottle) as well as a variety of wines by the bottle or glass from Portugal, France, Italy and Peru. Nothing seems to escape at a lunch in Café et Chocolat, although it would be worth coming alone for their desserts.
Chocolate cake offers some sweetness with bitter ingredients (Photo: Ana Gamero/Living in Peru)
We chose three desserts so as not to be overwhelmed, even though none of them were overdone or “too much.” The chocolate cake, moist and covered with organic bitter chocolate, the gluten-free pecan or the lemon cake are enough to get you talking, not to mention the rare macarons that can be found within this sweet offer in Lima.
Café et chocolat
Grimaldo del Solar 164, Miraflores
Tel. 624 5373
Monday-Saturday: 7:00 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Coffees: S/ 6-10
Breakfasts: S/ 10-14
Salads: S/ 22
Sandwiches: S/ 20-22
Wine (by the cup): S/ 18-25