The high-end restaurant scene in Quito takes its cue from a mixed bag of countries; each week another concept and cuisine appear. What sets it apart is its diversity-not tied to one trend, traditional eateries hold sway as do those that break away from the norm. Keep reading for five places where you can splurge on special occasions while visiting the capital.
Langostino risotto with parmesan accents, tuna tartar, duck confit, and seafood bouillabaisse are a few of the go-to dishes on chef Jerome’s small, well-crafted menu. A French chef who has lived in Ecuador for more than 20 years, Jerome’s restaurant is a romantic destination where the service is excellent, the food spot on, and the wine list makes the grade.
In addition to the classic dishes, there are Ecuadorian fusion plates and a tasting menu. The elegant setting surrounded by a garden is a great place to relax, pamper yourself, and enjoy great food in good company, including the chef who often comes to check on his guests personally.
Under the helm of Byron Rivera, the gastronomic director and Le Cordon Bleu chef, Casa Gangotena has become the restaurant in Quito that others emulate as a matter of course.
The menu uses ingredients from the four regions of Ecuador to create fusion plates that stimulate the senses in new and enticing ways. New takes on ceviche from the coast and pork rib from the Andes join lobster from the Galapagos, lamb stew from Guayaquil, beef tenderloin, and rack of lamb on the menu. Classic cocktails and house specialties using herb and tea infusions compliment the well-rounded wine list.
Set in a colonial-style restored mansion overlooking the San Francisco Plaza in the historic center, this is Quito chic at its most refined.
Bolivar Oe6-41 y Cuenca Quito
Segundo Muelle is a Peruvian restaurant that pulls out all the stops when it comes to seafood. mouth-watering ceviches, crab, shrimp soup, corvina in garlic cream, octopus, and Tacu Tacu-a beef dish from Peru-are gastronomic delights that bring people from all over the city.
Isabel La Católica N24-883
With the same owners as the people behind Zazu, Zao takes Asian cuisine to new heights in Quito. Fresh sushi using fish that comes from the coast daily, orange peel chicken, pad thai, curry, and seafood skewers are a few of the dishes that the chef and kitchen put their signature twist on. There is also a small plates menu for those who want to sit at the bar, and an extensive drinks menu including a well-rounded scotch whiskey list and sangria
Paul Rivet N30-145 y Whymper
Considered to be one of Quito’s premier Italian eateries, Carmine Gastronomia is a fine-dining, elegant restaurant that serves all the favorites. Ossobuco, carpaccio, prosciutto with mozzarella, linguini, tagliatelle with mushrooms and cognac, and chicken Milanese are all present on the menu and favorites that bring people to the table for celebrations, romantic dinners, and holiday fun.
Housed in a spacious, exuberantly decorated mansion, the staff are helpful without being overwhelming, the Maître d’ is quick with wine and food pairings, and the owner visits tables inside and out to check on his patrons.
Catalina Aldaz N34-208 y Portugal