Restaurant Review: Arlotia

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Several years ago dear friends of mine that lived in Barranco raved about Restaurante Arlotia. Fast forward a couple years and I finally had the opportunity to experience Arlotia for myself. This cozy restaurant, located inside of an old colonial building, became an addition to the Barranco food scene back in October 2012 and has enjoyed popularity due to the terrific, value-driven Basque-Peruvian fusion cuisine.

The owners of Arlotia are Pamela Rodriguez (Peruvian) and Bastien Garat (French/Basque). This charming husband/wife team are the driving forces behind this wonderful unpretentious gem. Pamela is the chef and handles all aspects of the kitchen and Bastien is the host/server/manager. The couple met several years ago in Biarritz (the French side of the Basque Country), where Pamela was studying cuisine and Bastien was a student majoring in communications. After her studies, Pamela gained work experience at a couple 2-star Michelin restaurants: La Chèvre d’Or in Eze Village and at Les Freres Ibarboure in Toulouse as well as several other bistros. The name, Arlotia, is in honor of Bastien’s family home.

drink
_Pacharan, a traditional Spanish liqueur (Photo: Living in Peru)_

We launched our experience at Arlotia with a traditional Spanish liqueur known as Pacharan. I totally embraced this slightly sweet, smooth and delicious concoction of sloe berries and anis that is macerated for several months. The first sip awakened my senses. This liqueur can be served as an aperitif at the beginning of the meal or as a digestive at the end of the meal. We also enjoyed one of the artisanal beers named Tio Luque IPA. It was rich in flavor and goes well with the food served here. A great beverage for those that desire something nonalcoholic would be the refreshing _limonada de hierba buena_ (spearmint limeade).

A couple of the more popular items on the Arlotia menu are the _croquetas_ and “montaditos”. These are ideal dishes for sharing. The “los montaditos” section offers a total of 15 different selections of crostini toasts with different toppings. We sampled three distinctly different “montaditos”: toasts topped off with mushrooms, cream cheese and crunchy bits of bacon (_champiñón con queso crema y tocino crocante_); toasts topped off with eggplant, homemade tomato sauce and melted cheese topped off with pesto (_berenjenas con salsa de tomate casera y queso derretido_); and minced shrimp mixed with aioli, chilies and avocado slices (_langostinos con alioli al aji y palta_). All three were delicious. With the croquettes you have the option of ordering six croquetas with three different flavors, or all seven flavor options, two of each.

toasts
_A variety of flavors to work up an appetite (Photo: Living in Peru)_

The _piquillos rellenos_ are a typical traditional _tapa_ served in Spain. We thoroughly enjoyed this robust dish. Piquillos are chili peppers that are sweet in taste and have no heat, more like a small red bell pepper. These peppers were peeled and de-seeded and then filled with a generous amount of tollo fish and bathed in a rich, piquant sauce accented with hints of smoky paprika and then roasted. We used every last bit of our bread to soak up this delicious sauce.

rolls
_Sweet, stuffed chili peppers (Photo: Living in Peru)_

Arlotia offers a selection of eight Spanish tortillas. We were served the _tortilla española de chorizo español_. In this case, the tortilla refers to a small “cake-like” omelette which uses cage-free eggs, a large amount of diced potatoes, onions and is fried in olive oil. The texture is typically a good inch and a half thick width in circumference. Our tortilla had bits of Spanish sausage mixed in. All the tortilla españolas are accompanied by tomato bread (_pan con tomate_). This dish was exquisite to me in its simplicity, flavor and execution. I also can appreciate the work that goes into making these. It took me awhile to master the technique of making the ideal tortilla española in my home. This is also an ideal dish for sharing.

The _pescado al pil pil_ is one of nine main dish options offered at Arlotia. This Basque dish was comprised of a generous fish fillet of charela, scallops and shrimp which are prepared with olive oil and garlic and served with rice. The simplicity and flavor of this dish made it popular at our table.

fish
_(Photo: Living in Peru)_

We finished our dining experience at Arlotia with their version of _creme brulee de chirimoya_ and espresso and cafe cortado.

I have returned to Arlotia once since our first visit in June and look forward to returning often to explore more of the delicious menu. Besides their a la carte menu, Arlotia also offers a daily “menu” of the day with a couple options for S/. 16.50, Tuesday through Friday. The efficient, eager-to-please service is a plus as well as the reasonable prices, high-quality ingredients and intimate, relaxing atmosphere. You may want to think about making a reservation at this 8-table restaurant. It fills up quickly.

Restaurante Arlotia
Av. Miguel Grau 340
Barranco
Phone: 256-2269
“Facebook”:https://www.facebook.com/restaurante.arlotia
restaurante.arlotia@gmail.com
Parking available on street and parking garages
Closed Sunday and Monday
Open Tuesday thru Saturday: 12:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Reservations accepted

Los Bocadillos/Sandwiches: S/. 17-21
Salads: S/. 20-24
Tapas/Starters: S/. 13-49.50
Main Dishes: S/. 21-69
Desserts: S/. 11-13
Cocktails: S/. 13-25
Beers: S/. 6-36
Wines (by glass): S/. 10-17, Bottle: S/. 45-100
Corkage fee: S/. 20
Coffee/Tea/Hot Beverages: S/. 4-10
Nonalcoholic beverages: S/. 4-9

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Sheila Christensen Jeanneau

Sheila was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She spent several years in Denver, Colorado at Regis University and lived eleven years in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before moving with her Peruvian husband to live full-time in Peru in 2007. An epicurean at heart, Sheila first became inspired about food and cooking through the fantastic cooks in her Danish family. In her free time, Sheila is a volunteer at an orphanage, is involved in sports, including tennis and spinning, and loves exploring Peru’s incredible cuisine.