Open for only a few months, Carnal is the new hot spot to eat in Lima. Styled after the classic North American steakhouse, Carnal embodies everything one would expect from this type of concept. The menu is straightforward, with not a “fusion” dish in sight. The décor is a delicious combination of plush gentlemen’s club and hip art.
The bar serves all of the stiff favorites, with a nice selection of piscos, and you can even get absinthe. We particularly enjoyed the Maracuya Chilcano with a sprig of cilantro for garnish. This combination was really unique. Also unique is a very provocative self-portrait in the bar that is a must see.
Angus beef imported from the U. S. is the star of the menu, but there is plenty to select from on the menu for non-meat eaters as well. A Raw Bar with choices both raw and cooked, plentiful salads and varied selection of hot side dishes easily meet all appetites.
But we came for the meat! Chef Diego Ruiz De Somocurcio explained to us that the restaurant uses the same infrared high-heat broiler used in the most famous steakhouses in North American. This type of reflective cooking ensures the integrity of the flavor of the meat that Angus-produced beef is all about. A standard charcoal grill is used to cook fish and burgers.
The sliders are three mini hamburgers made from the chef’s own combination of cuts, and ground in-house. These tasty little burgers are served with a choice of toppings and with a variety of house made condiments. One of our favorite condiments was the barbeque sauce. It had a nice punch but didn’t over power the flavor of the meat.
Both Carsten and I are big fans of steak tartar, and this dish at Carnal is a new favorite for me. The raw ground beef filet is perfectly seasoned and served with twice fried yellow potatoes. I had to fight Carsten over the last bite.
The chef served us three different steaks – bone in rib eye, which has been the most popular request, filet and skirt steak. All of these were tender and delicious. The steaks are served with complimenting sauces on the side to be enjoyed at will. Flavored butters, included one mixed with truffle oil, are also offered. Our side selections were a generous crock of creamed spinach, yellow potato fries seasoned with truffle oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and some of the best onion rings I have enjoyed anywhere.
For those seeking a few more fresh veggies in their diet, the Carnal chopped salad is a great choice. It’s big and full of fresh greens and vegetables.
Be sure to save room for dessert. I loved the French toast with cinnamon ice cream and fresh strawberries. The New York-style cheesecake was the perfect texture and just sweet enough. I can’t wait to try the warm chocolate chip cookies, served with a glass of vanilla ice cream.
Carnal also has a private dining room available upstairs, with a lovely view of Huaca Pucllana, for parties up to ten.
Carnal Prime Steakhouse
Elias Aguirre 698, Miraflores