Looking for Italian-Peruvian fusion? Danica, a staple among many expats and locals alike, is known for its nice ambiance and top-notch staff. But what did our critic think of the food?
Years ago when I arrived to live in Lima I had my first dining experience at the Dánica location on Emilio Cavenecia in San Isidro. It was very popular in the expat community that I socialized with and we would dine there often. I had not eaten at Dánica at all in the past five years and was not sure what to expect.
I visited the Armendariz location in Miraflores on this visit.
Dánica has been at this location for six years and it is simple and cozy in a modest setting. Dánica is known for their Italian style food with a touch of Peruvian flavor. They offer a wide variety of dishes in a medium price range. The menu is the same at all of their locales (currently 4 total).
We began with the Ronda de Bruschettas (S/. 20) which included five different selections (Camembert, Salmon Ahumado, Tomate, Milanesa de Res, and Arrosto Tonnato). The toppings were delicious, but we found the bread texture to be overly toasted, which took away from the overall flavor and quality of the bruschetta.
The Langostinos al Ajo (S/. 32) were a satisfying combination of shrimp sautéed with olive oil, baby potatoes, white onions, parsley and a liberal amount of garlic served in a soup crock.
From the main dishes, we shared the Pescado Parmesano (S/. 44), a generous portion of Charela (white fish) which was served on a bed of pesto risotto and accented with candied carrot threads. The fish was cooked proficiently and the risotto was a good accompaniment.
The Lasagna de Berenjena (S/. 29) was a bit on the mediocre side. This lasagna consisted of eggplant, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, Pomodoro sauce and basil and accompanied by a green salad. I felt this lasagna had too much tomato sauce which covered up the taste of the eggplant and was on the bland side. It could have used a bit more seasoning and cheese as well.
We shared the Rustica Pizzeta (S/. 36), a crunchy and thin-textured type of pizza with prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. This is an ideal starter to share with two or three people.
The Spaghetti “Lago di Garda” (S/. 37), was the favorite of our table, probably because of the simplicity of the ingredients (spaghetti with sautéed fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and topped off with thinly sliced prosciutto). Make sure you request fresh grated Parmesan when you order this dish.
The Tiramisu (S/. 19) was a surprisingly excellent version. I am finicky when it comes to tiramisu and Danica’s version was creamy, authentic, and very satisfying.
The Trio de Cheesecakes (S/. 25) is a good option if you are looking for a dessert to share. Three decent-sized slices of cheesecake (raspberry, Nutella, and cinnamon) are served. My personal favorite of the three cheesecakes was the raspberry.
The last dessert we sampled was the Tentacion de Platano (S/. 19). The base was a blondie made with banana and accompanied by a praline and butterscotch ice cream. If you are a fan of bananas you may enjoy this dessert.
I was curious about the Italian cocktail section on the menu so we decided to try their Julepe de Cynar (S/. 24)….a combination of Cynar (a bitter Italian liqueur made from 13 herbs and plants; the predominant ingredient being artichokes), a splash of mandarin juice, hierbabuena (spearmint) and sparkling water. This cocktail was a spritz, but I felt it could have used more effervescence. The flavors were decent though. We also sampled their house pisco sour which was quite delicious and prepared with Cuatro Gallos pisco. The ratios were perfect.
Dánica has several excellent promotions. One of these is their “plato del día”. It is an excellent value for 19 soles. This promotion is available Monday through Friday for lunch. Dánica was very busy the day of our visit, with the majority of diners from nearby offices ordering this promotional ”plate of the day” dish.
Dánica has a loyal following and good reputation. But I thought to myself, “would I personally go out of my way to return to Dánica? Somewhat doubtful”. I found the food good, but average at best. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but It appears to me that Dánica is not what it once used to be as I remembered it. It lacked the “wow” factor for me.
Av. Armendariz 524, Miraflores
Hours: open every day
Monday-Sunday: 12:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Friday/Saturday: 12:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.
Starters: S/. 20-49
Bruschettas: S/. 4
Soups: S/. 20-25
Panini: S/. 17-23
Salads: S/. 23-29
Beef/Chicken/Fish main dishes: S/. 29-52
Risottos: S/. 33-41
Lasagna: S/. 29-38
Pizzetas: S/. 27-38
Pastas: S/. 28-45
Kids Menu: S/. 29 (beverage+pasta+ice cream)
Desserts: S/. 4-25
Milkshakes: S/. 14-20
Non-alcoholic beverages: S/. 6-20
Coffee/Tea/Infusions: S/. 6-10
Wine by Glass: S/. 16-20
Corkage fee: S/. 30
Beer: S/. 11-17
Cocktails: S/. 19-30
Coffee with Liquor: S/. 18-20
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