Located in the busy Miraflores district, the restaurant known as La Parada Gourmet, offers a gourmet get-away perfect for couples or small groups. Pick between indoor or outdoor seating, and healthy or cheat-day meals at this small bistro with a cozy café aesthetic.
When we arrived, the owner, Sebastian, who sports long hair and a gold chain, lit up a cigar and relaxed as the chef took his time explaining each dish as it was brought out to us. His demeanor parallels the atmosphere of La Parada; it truly is the stop. Here, diners can take a break from the fast-paced life and enjoy fine wine and fine dining.
Chef Giulio steps outside to chat in the entrance seating of La Parada (Photo: Living in Peru/Manuel Maggot)
To start off the meal, the main chef at La Parada, Giulio, prepared multiple types of tapas, including bruschetta, pasta cooked al dente with pesto (basil, olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts) and a simple, pure-flavored Peruvian-style ham, which I recommend ordering. In almost every dish, the cuisine exuded both Italian with Peruvian influences. There are 6 to 7 varying tapas available on the menu at all times, because Giulio uses whatever is fresh on his shelf.
We also tried a classic plate of meats and cheeses, including gouda, blue cheese, sausage, and once again most notably, the Peruvian ham. Next, we tasted a savory, crisp, thin-crust pizza topped with olives, prosciutto, and artichoke hearts. If you like olives, you are in luck here, because there is no shortage of olives available in their dishes. We also sampled an empañada, made elsewhere by a Swiss baker, filled with olives and goat cheese— a fun combination for those who crave the traditional empañada but also want to try a gourmet creation. Traditional empañadas, such as aji de gallina and chicken, are also sold at La Parada.
Thin crust pizza with artichoke hearts (Photo: Living in Peru/Manuel Maggot)
Given La Parada is a fairly new establishment, the cuisine was excellent. However, Sebastian started in the business of brownies. Currently, over 80 places distribute these homemade brownies, baked by his mother’s friend Patricia. Patricia has perfected 5 different flavors of brownies: classic chocolate, double chocolate, nut, cheesecake, and even the less-commercial coca leaf. The crowd favorite seemed to be the cheesecake flavor, which I found sweet, creamy and fruity. Sebastian hopes to design more packaging for these brownies that match the La Parada brand and allow them to distribute these tasty treats to more vendors. He calls his brownie biz Provarti, meaning to try, or to taste, in Italian.
Homemade brownies of various flavors (Photo: Living in Peru/Manuel Maggot)
“I mostly sell at schools, universities and offices, but I still sell in some places like offices and a few gas stations. It’s a really, really, really good brownie,” he insists.
You can take these brownies home, along with other goods. La Parada is dine-in and dine-out, conveniently doubling as a grocery store, so you can use their products to create your own products. Selections of cheeses, marmalades and other ingredients are available if you prefer to take some of your gourmet finds home and cook up a meal yourself, or even host a dinner party. Behind the glass counter, you will find gourmet items beyond your typical grocery store finds.
Sebastian explained that the majority of people, both tourists and locals, visit La Parada at night, consuming beer, pizza and lively conversation with their friends. He claims he didn’t market to tourists explicitly, but they have started coming more often because they appreciate the concept and the quiet. Most of the cuisine served is more typical of dinner, but the pastries are starting to attract more customers during the day.
La Parada Gourmet
Calle Enrique Palacios 1062, Miraflores