Restaurant Review: Hotel B

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When one walks through the doors of Hotel B and into the lobby, you immediately feel transported into a different world. Elegance oozes from every pore of this stunning arts-boutique hotel, the only one of its kind in Lima. The original mansion was first completed in 1914. The restoration process, which was several years in the making, preserved the original Belle Époque mansion structure while retaining many of its original early 20th century architectural features and transformed the mansion into the chic, contemporary showcase it is today. Hotel B opened their doors in 2013 thanks to the diligent work of the team of some of the best architects, interior designers and art dealers in Lima.

The substantial and interesting art collection (contemporary, bold and eclectic) found within Hotel B is linked directly to the Lucia de la Puente Gallery and all of those art pieces are available for purchase. The majority of artwork found within the hotel is from the gallery, plus several others are from the private art collection of the owner. The art pieces add another dimension to the experience at Hotel B.

pink
_(Photo: Jose Aguilar/Living in Peru)_

We were fortunate to have been given a tour of the hotel’s premises by Javier Benavides, Hotel B’s chief marketing director. The hotel has a total of 17 suites located inside the preserved historic mansion as well as in the three-story annex contemporary wing addition. Luxury and comfort was not spared. The suites are made for comfort and relaxing in elegance. Every inch of the hotel was impressive. From the lobby, hallways, patio, the spiral staircase, rooftop terrace, bar and dining area, library to the stunning second floor lounge – I could go on and on about this gorgeous hotel.

I was initially under the assumption that Hotel B was only open to the hotel guests, but recently discovered that the bar and restaurant is also open to the public. Hotel B is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, tea time, dinner as well as the bar. I had heard from friends that the bar is bustling, especially on the weekends. We were fortunate to sample several incredible cocktails prepared by the head barman, José Luis Valencia. His cocktail creations were gorgeous to look at as well as to drink and savor.

Interior decor team, Britto Charette, talks with _Living in Peru_

We were entertained by the preparation of the very original creation named “Purple Harvest”. This cocktail was inspired by _el mes morado_ here in Peru, the purple month. The month of October is quite religious and is dedicated to El Señor de los Milagros, the lord of miracles, a uniquely Peruvian image of Jesus Christ. Purple is worn by the faithful who follow the various processions during October. During these religious processions, incense is burned. The Purple Harvest is José Luis’ clever reinterpretation and invention which combines pisco macerated with _chicha morada_ (sweet purple corn beverage), red vermouth, cranberry juice and a touch of passionfruit juice. The cocktail was served in a old-fashioned rocks glass and presented on a black tray accompanied by a few raspberries and blueberries as well as a couple incense sticks called palo santo. (_Living in Peru_ featured “this cocktail recipe last week.”:http://www.peruthisweek.com/food-recipe-purple-harvest-drink-107916)

p=. “Recipe: Hotel B’s Purple Harvest cocktail”:http://www.peruthisweek.com/food-recipe-purple-harvest-drink-107916

José Luis prepared perhaps the most lush and romantic drink I have yet to taste, named Petalos. The concoction of Citadelle 6C vodka from France, apple liqueur, grapefruit juice and rose petal essence served in a martini glass and accented with a rose petal, definitely was a cocktail to inspire our senses. You first smell the fragrant rose scent and then taste it. This was one sexy liquid libation.

I’ve always been a confirmed lover of vodka, but with the popularity of the current gin craze in Lima, I am quickly converting to becoming a fan of gin. One of the gin creations of the maestro barman José Luis was the Basilisco, a cocktail incorporating Hendrick’s gin, Japanese cucumber, a cava syrup (sparkling wine without the fizz), passionfruit juice, sparkling water and muddled basil accented with a thin slice of Japanese cucumber on a small skewer. The premise is to take a small bite of the cucumber and then a sip of the cocktail to enhance the flavor of the cocktail. One of the freshest drinks that you can imagine.

Another gin cocktail we sampled was the crisp and refreshing Gin B Tonic, Hotel B’s version of gin and tonic which was served in an extra-large goblet over a generous amount of ice, Citadelle gin from France, mixed with tonic and a couple generous peels from the strong citrusy lima fruit. This will easily be the perfect cocktail for the approaching warm Lima summer months ahead of us.

gin
_(Photo: Jose Aguilar/Living in Peru)_

Our experience in Hotel B’s bar was unforgettable and should not be missed. The bar offers cocktail classes on occasion for groups.

In the dining area you will once again be surrounded by interesting art pieces. The table tops are marble and dark woods are found everywhere which gives this area an elegant bistro vibe. There is also limited seating on the outdoor terrace where you will also find a bit of eclectic art and unique, comfortable furniture.

Peruvian restaurateur, Oscar Velarde, known for his renowned restaurant, La Gloria here in Lima, is Hotel B’s culinary advisor and visionary who oversaw the direction and creation of Hotel B’s menu for this signature restaurant.

All of the dishes we sampled the day of our visit were creations of executive chef, Josefinna Vallve, who has been at Hotel B for the past two years. She has managed to put her own creative spin and passion into all the dishes. The majority of plates are tapas and comfort food-inspired with a combination of traditional Peruvian ingredients fused into Mediterranean flavors.

tuna
_(Photo: Jose Aguilar/Living in Peru)_

We began with a dish from the tapas/starters, tuna tataki. I have eaten this dish on numerous occasions in many different restaurants. This version was memorable. The slightly seared tuna (30 seconds per side) was served over an exquisite purée of almonds and garlic.

Of the six pizzas offered on the menu, we sampled the lomo saltado version; a thin crust pizza prepared in wood oven and served with juicy pieces of beef tenderloin, cherry tomatoes, slivers of _aji Amarillo_, a generous amount of cheeses and a sprinkling of cilantro.

pizza
_Lomo saltado pizza(Photo: Jose Aguilar/Living in Peru)_

The _quinua de hongos con porcos_ (quinua with mushrooms) was very popular at our table, and in fact, probably one of our table favorites. This dish was reminiscent of a risotto, but instead uses quinua, porcon mushrooms (similar to porcini), olive oil and truffle oil and generous shavings of Grana Padano cheese topped off with an edible flower. This dish was exquisite in its richness.

The salmon dish we were served from the main entree section of the menu was delicate, prepared more on the rare side (as I feel it should be), perfectly moist and was glistening in all its glory. The purée of lima beans (habas) with a generous drizzle of a tangerine sauce and accented with radish sprouts was the perfect accompaniment to the salmon. If you enjoy salmon, this “comfort food” dish should not be missed.

dessert
_(Photo: Jose Aguilar/Living in Peru)_

We were served one of the more popular desserts at Hotel B, their _crocante de chirimoya_. Served in a large martini glass, the mixture of the chirimoya fruit, caramelized almonds and crunchy turron showcased the creaminess of the exotic chirimoya fruit.

Hotel B serves a breakfast buffet every morning in their library area. A wide variety of choices includes: a variety of juices, dairy, cereals, fresh seasonal fruits, cold cuts, cheese, vegetables, cakes, breads, pastries and hot food as well. The daily lonche/tea time offers Italian coffees, teas, hot chocolate, seasonal fruits, sweets, etc. The lunch buffet which is offered only on Sunday offers an array of cold and hot dishes which change every time and include beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian options.

The high quality of the food and drinks we were served at Hotel B was not unexpected for a luxury boutique hotel and was reflected in the prices. I personally don’t mind spending more for a unique, luxurious experience. The logo on Hotel B’s menu card reads: “To Talk, Share & Smile” and indeed, the team of _Living in Peru_ did all of these during our visit and experience at Hotel B.

Hotel B
Av. Saenz Peña 204
Barranco
Phone: 206-0800
“Website “:www.hotelb.pe
“Facebook”:https://www.facebook.com/HotelBLima/?fref=ts

Hours:
Breakfast buffet:
Monday-Friday: 7:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Saturday/Sunday: 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Lunch: every day 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Evening: every day 7:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Sunday lunch buffet: 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Bar hours:
Sunday-Wednesday: 12:00 noon-12:30 a.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 12:00 noon-2:30 a.m.

Daily breakfast buffet: S/. 59
Daily Tea Time: S/. 38
Sunday lunch buffet: S/. 95
Tapas/Appetizers: S/. 32-46
Raw/Cold Starters: S/. 34-58
Salads & Soups: S/. 32-38
Bruschetta: S/. 32
Pizzas: S/. 36-40
Pastas & Quinuas: S/. 42-59
Entrees/Main Dishes: S/. 52-72
Sides: S/. 14-16
Dessert: S/. 18-28
Beer: S/. 20
Cocktails: S/. 32-55
Wine (by the glass): S/. 26-30

_Note: Breakfast buffet and lonche/tea time are complimentary for hotel guests._

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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.