Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Indio Feliz - After Machu Picchu

A word about Machu Picchu. It’s often listed as one of the most impressive places on the face of the earth. But there are very, very, very few places that exceed a reputation like that. The Grand Canyon is one. The scale of the canyon is beyond description. Machu Picchu is another. Now, we were very lucky: we had a spectacularly clear blue sky first thing in the morning, which is a rarity. And it poured rain the night before! Pachamama was with us. The site, the structures, the view, all beyond my descriptive powers. Go. See it.

After coming down from Machu Picchu, we decided to go back to Indio Feliz for lunch. Hey, when it’s one of the best in Peru, and nothing else in Aguas Calientes comes close, what would you do? This time, we get a table in the upstairs dining room. It's more brightly lit, with natural light, and more spacious than the downstairs dining room next to the bar. (Hint: If you want a nicer table, speak French to the owner. The only other clients having lunch in the upstairs dining room were from France.)

For this return trip to Indio Feliz, we went with the Prix Fixe menu. Both Michèle and I start with Avocado and Mango Balls with Olive Oil and Lemon juice. The avocados here are HUGE, almost the size of a football…and delicious.

For the main, Michèle opts for Urubamba Salmon-Trout “a lo macho” (tomatoes, onion, pepper, and white wine). Same sides as the day before. Hey, when you're running a restaurant in a tourist town, where the clientele changes quickly, you don't need to mess with the formula.

My choice is also Salmon Trout, with mangoes from Quillabamba. It looked so good the day before that I had to try it. And I wasn’t disappointed. Fresh trout and (more) fresh mangoes. Wow, superb!

No beer today! For the wine, we choose a Lazo Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Central Valley, Chile. Citrus and tropical fruit (mango!) aromas and flavours, with just a note of grassy herbaceousness. Medium-bodied with great crisp acidity to balance out the fruit on the finish. A superb match to the avocado and mango appetizer and both of the salmon-trout dishes.

For dessert, it’s orange (!) pie with crème anglaise and coconut ice cream. Hmmm.

Go to Machu Picchu. Eat at Indio Feliz. One is a wonder; the other is just wonderful.

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