Lima, Peru, is a culinary capital on par with many cities in Europe that are more often thought of as such—Paris, Rome, Barcelona. With notable restaurants like Astrid & Gastón, Central, and Maido perpetually on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the sprawling city is a draw for food lovers hailing from across the planet.
Lima de Veras, a new restaurant in Sterling named for a song by Peru’s Chabuca Granda, isn’t likely to make the international list anytime soon, but that’s not for lack of effort. Owner Karen Anazgo has recruited chef and Peruvian TV personality Israel Laura, a family friend, to consult on the project that took over the former O’Faolain’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. Besides creating the menu, Laura also helped recruit Joao Portilla and Juan Pablo La Torre, the pair of chefs who cook at the restaurant day to day; both have had long international careers.
What Lima de Veras does extraordinarily well is unite homey dishes like seco piurana, an herbaceous stewed lamb shank, with the kind of fine gastronomy that has won plaudits in the homeland. The tiradito, a dish inspired by Peru’s longstanding Nikkei, or Japanese immigrant community, is a stunner. Sushi-grade tuna is presented in a wreath shape surrounding a cup of herb-speckled ponzu sauce. Creamy, smoky charred avocado provides a foil to cancha, or crunchy corn kernels. There’s also choclo, a variety of corn with extra-fat kernels. Finally, a few bonito flakes bring the tangy treat back to the sea.
It’s a fine-dining dish, but guests should end their meal with a street food. The picarones, freshly fried doughnuts made with squash, pumpkin, and fennel, are enough to inspire a trip to Peru. But until those tickets are booked, Lima de Veras is the real deal.
20921 Davenport Dr., Ste. 134, Sterling