100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: La Limeña

Cost:

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

About La Limeña

Cost:

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
rich
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.
Inexpensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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.