La Mar by Gaston Acurio
Few places in Miami manage to combine stellar cuisine with sensational views out over the Biscayne Bay and the city skyline quite like La Mar by Gaston Acurio. Add to that the fact that said cuisine is Peruvian from none other than Chef Gaston Acurio (hence the name) and you begin to understand its appeal. Found in the luxurious surrounds of the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar by Gaston Acurio is the restaurant of choice for all manner of meals, whether a family brunch or a power work dinner.
Seafood is prominent on the menu, from rich stews flavoured with aji panca and peanuts to to fresh, zingy ceviches. The latter are all made to order with the freshest seafood and dressed with a leche de tigre citrus-based marinade of lime and ají peppers. There are salads and pastas aplenty elsewhere on the menu, and an impressive selection of traditional Peruvian dishes prepared on the grill. The “Corazon” (veal heart served with confit potatoes, choclo, tari sauce and chalaca) and the “Octopus” (served with a potato cream, Peruvian botija olive aioli, crispy capers, garlic, and piquillo peppers) are both unmissable options.
Peruvian classics, like Pisco Sours, are a solid choice when it comes to choosing from the comprehensive cocktail menu. But the specialty cocktails pack a punch, both in terms of flavour and potency. The MO 15th is a whirl of 15-year-old single malt whiskey, Campari, agave nectar, grapefruit, lemon and a hint rosemary. But for a drink with more of a botanical bent, try the aptly-named “Botanico”; a concoction of Mosto Verde pisco, Acholado pisco, egg white, Champagne vinegar, house-made herbal tomato marmalade and a citrusy jolt of lemon. But there’s always the selection of spirits and beer to work your way through, if cocktails aren’t your beverage of choice.