100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: La Limeña


The dining room at La Limeña in Rockville, Maryland. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

About La Limeña


You can eat Peruvian chicken anywhere these days. You come here
to explore the multifaceted cuisine beyond
pollo a la brasa—from
tiradito (lime-marinated tilapia atop yellow-pepper sauce) to
grilled beef hearts (imagine a hanger steak with slightly more chew) to
aji de gallina (chicken in a sauce of egg, white wine, and
garlic). And don’t allow the steam of a sizzling steak trailing through
the room to divert you from the fish, particularly the ceviches and the
whole fried trout blitzed with shaved almonds.

Potatoes are a Peruvian staple—the country counts 700 varieties
in its diet—and the kitchen transforms them in myriad ways. Most memorable
is an appetizer called causa—tender squares of potato sandwiching
a rich paste of tuna—but wherever potatoes turn up on the menu, order
them. Don’t miss: Papa a la huancaina (potatoes
in a sauce of bread, cheese, and wine); lomo saltado; Cuban
sandwich; alfajores (anise shortbread with caramel);
lucuma ice cream. Open: Daily for lunch and dinner.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.