Antigua, Guatemala is one of the worlds best conserved colonial cities with stunning architecture, three volcanos Aqua, Fuego and Acatenango, 75 spanish schools and a plethora of restaurants and great chefs. We spent two weeks walking the cobblestone streets and enjoying culinary delights daily in this beautiful setting. Naturally our first order after unpacking was to have an early dinner at Hector’s, rated #1 on Trip Advisor. The restaurant has 20 seats with tiny tables and even smaller kitchen. We spent several hours just watching the chef prepare all the tasty meals in this kitchen. Who says you need a large kitchen to make fabulous food?
We had the spicy pepper crusted Duck Breast with potato carrot gratin and roasted grapes, Beef Tenderloin open face sandwich with homemade mayo, ketchup and fries, and Veggie Quiche with fresh greens. They were all fabulous and made with the freshest of ingredients.
And of course, we needed to select a wonderful wine to accompany our entrees. We selected a dry, light and fruity Spanish Tempranillo that I love. Casa Solar became my wine of choice at every restaurant. The price is a little higher than I like to pay… $20 per bottle in the restaurants and $10.00 at the liquor stores. The wine selection is smaller and pricier than what we have in Panama. I am now searching for Casa Solar in Panama.
Another of my favorite spots was Exotic Ice Cream…the inspiration for my next test kitchen. Alex, the owner and chef of Sobremasa restaurant opened the Ice Cream shop after so many of his customers would come in and just order ice cream. All the ice creams were amazing, but I love the ones with a hint of spice… Fig & Wasabi, Banana Jalapeno and Apple Chipotle were at the top of my list. Byron loved the chocolate peanut butter and pistachio cardamom brownie. Let me know what your choice would be. I will be experimenting with some fun flavors soon.
Tartines Restaurant has a wonderful outdoor patio on the second floor with a view of Fuego volcano. One afternoon while having lunch, Fuego was blowing smoke. An active volcano was definitely a first for us.
We had a wonderful lunch of asparagus crepes with creamy mornay sauce and the best part of the meal was fresh strawberries with raspberry coulis over mascarpone cheese. A simple, beautiful and divine dessert. We wanted to lick the plate. Once again, more inspiration for test kitchen.
And last but not least… we had an eight course tasting menu at Casa Santo Domingo. CSD was once a monastery with beautiful grounds and chapels that has been converted to a luxury hotel. It was reported that President Obama was at the hotel the week before. The chef, Mario Enrique Sarti attended the French Culinary Academy and this year won best chef of the year in Latin America. His eight course tasting menu was wonderful and beautifully presented. We loved each and every bite. Don’t worry, I will not post all the courses…. but here are a couple of the tasty plates….
Well, needless to say we had a wonderful trip and enjoyed many fine meals. Now I am starting my foodie adventure at home creating some of the tasty treats we enjoyed in Guatemala… and Living The Dream Every Day.