While bistros sadly shutter their doors across Paris, bistro-like establishments are popping up all over Lima. Epicerie Dasso is one such Lima bistro and delicatessen that is in no danger of closing its doors.
During our visit, we were greeted by one of the three owners, Daniela Espinel, a young Peruvian woman who opted to change her three-seater counter where sandwiches and coffee were served to a larger establishment a few doors away.
From the outset, she has aimed at offering her customers the best possible appetizers, food, and drinks. For this to happen, every product used in her kitchen or displayed on the open shelves for sale goes through a rigorous scrutiny in terms of quality.
As you walk around the establishment you will see a fine selection of European and Peruvian products, like olive oil, truffle-based products, different types of cheese, cold cuts, homemade beers, wine, and champagne. They also have homemade pastas and lasagnas, selected meat, hamburgers and sausages, sandwiches, cakes, stoofvlees (Belgian waffles), and anything you can think of for a nice picnic, to offer as a present (wrapped in their elegant boxes), or simply to take away and enjoy at home.
Every time I have passed by this establishment, it has been impossible to get in. With its seven tables, including those that are on the sidewalk, it is difficult to find a seat. People come here to have a chat with a friend, have something to eat, or perhaps grab a coffee or a drink, and move on.
We noticed it was a very friendly environment, as it was clear that many of the customers are regulars. We were about to discover what it is about this place that makes it so successful.
The Drinks and Starters
We were a bit thirsty so we ordered a Lemongrass Lemonade (S/ 14) and an Orange Juice (S/ 10). Both beverages were super fresh and nice. We then switched to a glass of Astobiza Txacolí DOC 2017 (S/ 24), a very light and refreshing wine from the Basque Region that we enjoyed at every sip.
Along with the wine, we ordered a Cheese and Cold Cut Platter (S/ 65). What I liked is that the customer gets to choose what comes in the platter, so we chose a Peruvian Manchego, the Mimolette, an orange French cheese harsh in flavor, the Capo Oveja from Spain (we enjoyed this one), blue cheese, salami, and ham. The platter is rather big in size so it can be easily shared. In the middle comes a small pot with wonderful honey in case you want to have it together with your cheese and I loved it. You can also order some homemade pita chips that were super crunchy and super tasty, perhaps the best I’ve had in Lima.
We then tried one of their salads: the Pear and Gorgonzola Salad (S/ 32). The salad was freshly made with plenty of green and purple lettuce, some arugula, slices of caramelized pears, gorgonzola and Parmiggiano cheese, nuts and honey. Boy, it was nice and refreshing. Along with it comes a yogurt-based aioli that was nice too, but I prefer to season my own salad with good olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
A Croque Madame (S/ 30) followed. It was a fairly good-sized sandwich with ham, cheese, mustard and a fried egg on top. This sandwich was exceptionally good and I believe what made the difference is the soft and delicious brioche bread they used, plus the béchamel and the melted gruyere cheese. Note that this order is only available in the mornings until 1 p.m.
To our surprise, the Epicerie Dasso also serves a few warm dishes. They have meat, vegetarian and gluten-free options as well as pasta and pizzas (the latter are only available after 7 p.m.).
I was intrigued by several of their pasta dishes which sounded very appealing; more so, once I learned that an Italian lady is responsible for them. We had the Ravioli Zappallo Loche y Amaretti (S/). The ravioli were filled with mouthwatering creamy Loche squash, cooked al dente, and bathed in a delicate butter and sage sauce. The result was amazing and this alone is reason enough to come back.
We tried a second pasta, this time the Tagliolini alla Burrata (S/ 38). This was a good portion of thin noodles with lots of chopped tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, and burrata cheese. The dish was simple, unpretentious, and light. I am not a fan of thin noodles myself but my colleague enjoyed it all the way through.
Another surprise was to find a variety of cakes, not the elaborate ones with all kinds of creams and decorations, but rather the simple ones, those that you can have for breakfast or with an afternoon tea or coffee.
We tried the gluten-free Caprese Cake (S/ 15) that is basically a chocolate cake, but it differs from most cakes you find in Peru as this one was not overly sweet, and one could taste the bitterness and richness of the chocolate used. It was fabulous and we loved it.
Then came the Nutella Cake (S/ 22). I feared it would be overly sweet and rich, but to my surprise, it was light, moist and very tasty; mainly due to the almond flour used in its creation. In addition, the thin layers of nutella mousse made this cake a delicate dessert and a customer favorite. And, if you still want more of that decadent nutella, I strongly suggest you go for the Nutella Brownie (S/ 12) that was totally delicious and stronger in flavor. I suggest you order it with their homemade ice-cream (S/ 20) and you will not be able to put the spoon down.
And if the previous desserts were amazing, their Banana, Crumble and Butterscotch Cake (S/ 12) was superb. The cake was soft and one could feel the rich flavors of the bananas. The top layer of crumble and butterscotch sauce made it crunchy at every spoonful and truly enhanced the flavors of this amazing creation.
The last cake we sampled was the Lime Cake with Olive Oil (S/ 12). As unusual as it may sound to some of you, this cake was delicious too. It was light and one could feel the lime at every bite; perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. My colleagues had an Espresso (S/ 7) and I ordered a Cappuccino (S/ 9) with Almond Milk (S/ 15) that I enjoyed very much.
We were all pleasantly surprised by our visit, as who would have thought this small corner of San Isidro had so much to offer and especially at such top quality. I loved this place and could go back anytime, one or a hundred times. I even found out they are pet-friendly and have a bike stand next to their door; I cannot ask for more. And remember, whatever you eat, you can buy and take home with you.
Miguel Dasso 102, San Isidro
Tel. 496 65 99
Monday to Friday 8 to 12
Saturday and Sunday 9 to 12
Juices, Smoothies – S/ 10 – 16
Appetizers – S/ 12 – 45
Sandwiches – S/ 18 – 39
Salads – S/18 – 39
Pastas – S/ 29 – 44
Pizzas – S/
Desserts – S/ 15 – 22
Cocktails – S/ 25 – 45
Wines by the Glass – S/ 22 – 28
Hot Beverages – S/ 7 – 14