Wednesday, January 21, 2015


You will find Cicciolina on the second floor of an old colonial house in Cuzco, Peru. A restaurant with distinct ambience, Cicciolina is perfect for a glass of wine and tapas in the bar area, or for more formal dining in the comfort of the intimate restaurant.

For our only dinner in Cuzco, I researched and found that Cicciolina was the most popular fine dining spot in the town.  So, I made reservations well in advance to secure a table.  It was a little tricky to find, as the entrance is tucked in the courtyard of some other buildings, but after a few extra turns we found it and were seated at a round table by the front windows.

The menu seemed to have Italian influences more than the Peruvian tapas that I was expecting.  As an appetizer, we shared a special featuring Andean mushrooms topped with cheese.  There was sweet balsamic drizzle and berries on top that turned Keith off, but I did not mind it as much.  The mushrooms were grilled to bring out their woodsy flavor.

For my main course, I ordered Squid Ink Taglioni with Local Prawns in a coconut-ginger-lemongrass sauce.  I loved this dish.  It was a weird Italian-Thai combination of flavors that was hypnotizing and addictive.  I devoured the whole bowl of pasta.

Keith ordered Roasted Duck with Rocoto Risotto.  The duck was cooked well, but again, drizzled in the sweet balsamic glaze that he was not fond of.  It was also served with a mango chutney that added to the cloying sweetness.  He expected the risotto to have more spice, since it was made with the local hot pepper, however it was pretty tame.

Sensing that Keith was a bit dissatisfied with his meal, I suggested we order dessert.  The Chocolate Mousse with Sea Salt and Sweet Creme caught our eye.  The chocolate and salt combination was spot on, and surprisingly paired well with the local cream mousse.  It almost gave a chocolate-peanut butter cup taste when eaten together.

Overall, while the plating and options are a bit dated at Cicciolina, some dishes are more comforting than others.  Cicciolina is another good spot for tourists to go if you are looking for a break from Peruvian cuisine, and want a more relaxed fine dining restaurant to linger with a bottle of wine. 

Total Rating: 3.65
Food: 3.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4.5

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