El Salto del Fraile, known to expats as the Diving Priest, is located on a rocky promontory that juts into the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant was known for the incredible views of the coast to the south of Chorrillos. Large windows enabled you to watch seabirds dive into the water for their lunch as giant waves pounded the huge granite boulders lining the coast. Men dressed in priestly robes dived from the cliff’s edge into the cold Pacific for tips, a re-enactment of the story the restaurant is famous for. The food was descent with prices that were acceptable considering nature’s show that surrounded you.
Now, there is a new sheriff in town. Michael F. Simon took over management of the restaurant a few months ago. He immediately hired a wonderful chef, Eduardo Hernandez, and set about creating a new atmosphere in the restaurant. New, lively colors of maroon, white, gold and green grace the tables. There are plans to install new floor to ceiling windows to improve the views even more. Michael comes from the Seaborn Luxury Cruise line where he spent the last six years providing five-star service and food to its customers in all four of his ships’ restaurants. He has brought the idea of great food and excellent service to El Salto del Fraile.
My friends and I ordered chicken cordon bleu, the fish fillet, fish Florentine, and lomo saltado. I had ordered the chicken cordon bleu before and the improvement on the dish was remarkable. I commented on it before I knew that there was a new chef in the kitchen.
One of my companions, a very picky Peruvian, ordered the lomo saltado and said it ranked among the best he had eaten in Lima.
Similar comments were shared about the two fish courses. Chef Eduardo has done a superb job in the kitchen. We enjoyed an excellent pisco sour with our meals that was made with a little twist: instead of the touch of bitters added onto the foam of the drink, they placed a touch of cinnamon.
The restaurant has a new menu with a wide range of dishes yet they retained some of the customer favorites. They serve Italian, French and traditional Peruvian cuisine along with an excellent selection of spirits and wines. They do venues, parties and delivery to a limited area. The road from Chorrillos to the beach town of Herradura has been improved with new paving and areas to pull off and enjoy a view of the ocean and the priest diving from the rocks by the restaurant. The drive, the view, the diving priest, the food and the service all make dining in this incredible restaurant a must-do if you live in Lima or are just here for a visit.
Since 2009, Rodney has been living in Peru and writing about travel, archaeology and more. He is a true Lima enthusiast. He chronicles many of his experiences in Lima on his blog. He is also the co-author, with Larry Pitman, of the book Sacrfice: The Prince Charming Murders, which takes place in Peru. Click on the title to take you to Amazon where it can be purchased for your Kindle or Kindle Reader.