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10 Best Restaurants in South America

10 Best Restaurants in South America

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These restaurants only represent a small portion of the culinary excellence that can be found throughout South America

The 10 Best Restaurants in South America

These restaurants only represent a small portion of the culinary excellence that can be found throughout South America.

#10 Epice (São Paulo)

After working under some of the world’s top chefs, including Gordon Ramsay in London and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, Alberto Landgraf came home to Brazil with a vision: to give authentic Brazilian flavors a modernist makeover. The result is Epice, a cozy, warmly lit restaurant in São Paulo's stylish Jardim Paulista neighborhood where Landgraf practices some serious culinary magic in the kitchen. His tasting menu descriptions are minimalist — dried cassava and cured pork belly, quail egg and fresh seaweed, fried pork ear — but the dishes are intricately fashioned and often brilliant. Landgraf's sense of contrasting flavors and textures is superb, paving the way for Epice’s creative dishes like scallops served with pickled carrot or cubes of cold carrot jelly served with luscious warm carrot purée. The à la carte menu ranges from the seemingly mundane elevated to the gastronomic (a plate of pumpkin gnocchi, sautéed pumpkin, pumpkin cream, Parmesan gelatin, and shimeji mushrooms) to the unlikely (grilled octopus with sweet corn, black garlic, broccoli, and vegetable broth) to the luxurious (foie gras with green corn, farmer's cheese, endive, and sorrel).

#9 Maní (São Paulo)

Both Daniel Redondo and Helena Rizzo, the husband-and-wife team at Maní, spent time at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain (Redondo was born in that city), hailed as "the best restaurant in the world," and the true heir to the culinary throne after the closing of elBulli. Redondo and Rizzo have made their own mark, using what they learned there and incorporating its Spanish culinary influences with those of Italy and Brazil. What to expect at Maní? Among many other delicious and unusual dishes, curried quinoa balls with celery jam; octopus sticks with confit potatoes and sweet paprika; cold soup of jabuticaba (a Brazilian "super-fruit") with cachaça-steamed crayfish, pickled cauliflower, and amburana nuts; lightly grilled tuna with quinoa, blackberry chutney, ginger foam, and shiso peppers; and sweet smoked eggplant with curdled goat milk, lime zest, orange flower jelly, pistachios, crispy shredded phyllo, and black sesame seed ice cream. There is also a skillfully designed nine-course tasting menu.

#8 Criterión (Bogotá, Colombia)

Brothers Mark and Jorge Rausch have brought a new level of gastronomy to the Colombian capital with their restaurants, most notably with this sophisticated entry. French (above all), American, Spanish, and Italian, and Latin American culinary influences blend superbly here. The menu at Criterión leads off with the restaurant's famous "terrine de foie gras PB&J" — duck liver with peanut butter, unripe grape preserves, caramelized banana, pecans, and puréed prunes. Crabmeat and guacamole are formed into a "tower" and graced with balsamic reduction, mango sauce, grapefruit sorbet, and parsnip chips. Langoustines are served in several guises (for instance, with porcini, asparagus sauce, and potatoes lyonnaise) and the steaks may be the best in Colombia. The Rauschs have also been pioneers in the cooking of lionfish, an invasive species from Southeast Asia that now crowds the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, looking fearsome and devouring local species, but apparently tasting really good itself.

#7 Maido (Lima)

After years spent toiling in sushi kitchens in Japan, Peruvian-born chef Mitsuharu Tsumura has created a masterpiece at Maido, his Nikkei restaurant in the seaside district of Miraflores. Nikkei serves a century-old fusion of Japanese food with Peruvian characteristics, a style that began in Lima and draws inspiration from the decades of Japanese immigration to Peru. Maido, whose name is a greeting in Japanese, welcomes diners to its sushi counter seats and tables with an ever-changing omakase menu of nigiri, ceviche, and tiraditos, the contents of which are based on the daily catch and the chef’s imagination.

#6 1884 Restaurante Francis Mallmann (Mendoza, Argentina)

Argentina's first winery restaurant, sharing a complex of old buildings (its name tells you its vintage) in the country's wine capital of Mendoza with Bodegas Escorihuela Gascón, is also celebrity chef Mallmann's showcase for his "seven fires" cooking skills. Employing open-fire grills, clay ovens, and other wood-fueled means, his chefs at 1884 turn out salt-crusted chicken, roast baby goat and suckling pig, and a beef rib, too big for its plate, that could be a dinosaur bone. Empanadas, grilled vegetables, grilled pacú (a fleshy river fish related to piranha), and other traditional Argentinean specialties fill out the menu. The candlelit patio and the dining room, with its wrought-iron accents and oversize nickel floor lamps with papyrus shades, evoke grand gaucho living of an earlier time.

#5 Central Restaurante (Lima)

Central Restaurante is slowly earning a major international culinary reputation, due to head chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz’s creative take on classic Peruvian cuisine made with carefully sourced ingredients. Not only has Central ranked on the World’s 50 Best list for two years in a row, but Central’s sister restaurant, Lima, in London, also helmed by Martínez, recently became the first Peruvian restaurant to earn a Michelin star. The current Central tasting menu is conceptually based on ingredients characteristic of different elevations of Peru. From the sea to the mountains to the jungle, the menu progresses through novel ingredients not often experimented with in Peruvian dining. Dishes include scallops with loche squash (an unusual winter squash found only in Peru) and tumbo (tart "banana passionfruit"), frogfish with deepwater algae, and whole beef heart cooked and dehydrated, then shaved on top of kañiwa, a type of Peruvian quinoa, and served with milk. Martínez is poised to become a culinary giant.

#4 Sucre (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Sucre is a sleek, modern, high-ceilinged restaurant with what could almost be a downtown Manhattan vibe, but the food is fresh, deftly fashioned Argentinean fare. Anyone who thinks that Buenos Aires is mostly about meat should sample this restaurant's octopus tiradito with crunchy corn, ají mirasol, and oyster sauce, or black rice with grilled langoustines, leeks, and wild mushrooms. Of course, there's meat aplenty, too, from the usual Argentinean cuts of steak, grilled perfectly, to specialties like lamb stew with harissa and toasted cauliflower and wild duck with cherries and purée of Turkish lentils. A simple but unforgettable dessert is the housemade goat cheese cheesecake with black figs, dates, and hazelnuts

#3 La Mar (Lima)

Gastón Acurio’s Peruvian cebichería franchise began its climb to international fame at this, the original La Mar. The spicy, refreshing ceviches and the mouth-puckering pisco sour (made with pisco brandy, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and Angostura bitters) are legendary here. These signature treats have been replicated with varying success at franchise locations in Bogotá, São Paolo, Miami, and San Francisco (a New York outpost failed). The seafood-heavy menu also includes a selection of whole fish (most of the time purchased directly from fishermen off the Lima coastline), Peruvian soups, and rice- and pasta-based seafood dishes.

#2 Astrid & Gastón (Lima)

With the notable achievement of four consecutive years on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Astrid & Gastón is a pioneer of Lima’s blossoming culinary scene, and a major reason for the international recognition of Peruvian food. Though the restaurant's founder, Gastón Acurio, retired from active management of the place last year, he and his wife, Astrid Gutsche, continue to oversee a fine-dining (and occasionally casual-dining) empire stretching from Madrid to San Francisco to São Paulo (including an impressive seven restaurants in Lima alone and several more in development). The menus at Acurio’s Lima original comprise experimental dishes, in which traditional items are transformed into new and different offerings. One of the standout dishes is the famous cuy pekinés, in which guinea pig is cooked in the Peking duck style and served with rocoto chiles and a purple corn crêpe. Desserts follow the same creative cooking style, combining local Peruvian fruits with syrups, cakes, and ice cream for creations like lúcuma (a tropical fruit) ice cream served with raspberry compote and crème brûlée foam.

#1 D.O.M. (São Paulo)

The amiable, heavily tattooed Brazilian chef Alex Atala has galvanized his country's food scene and is one of the most original and influential chefs in South America. His showplace, D.O.M. — the initials stand for Dominus Optimo Maximo, which might be translated from the Latin approximately as Lord Almighty (in the religious, not the exclamatory, sense) — is a small place, with 50 seats, high ceilings, cool beige walls, bare wood tables set with linen placemats, and a Philippe Starck chandelier. The food Atala cooks is unmistakably Brazilian, though created through the filter of a classical culinary education and wide experience of the world. Chibé is a kind of manioc flour mush eaten by native tribes in the Amazon; Atala reinvents it as a tabbouleh-like salad flavored with a dozen Amazonian herbs and blossoms, each with a different taste. Lightly toasted black rice mixed with bits of broccoli, celery, corn, scallions, and parsnips is moistened with Brazil nut milk. Salt cod — that favored fish of Brazil's Portuguese colonizers — is sauced with a "mayonnaise" made with milk and cabbage. Hearts of palm are turned into fettuccine, flavored Italian-style with butter, Parmigiano, sage, and popcorn powder, or served as "carpaccio" with scallops and basil oil. Skate is combined with peanut foam and smoked mandioquinha, or "little cassava," in fact an ancient Andean root (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) sometimes said to resemble a cross between carrot and celery. Desserts might include a Brazil nut tart with whiskey ice cream, chocolate, salt, and pepper, and a few leaves of a very popular green here: arugula. It is safe to say you won't find food like this anywhere else in the world.

20 Best Southern Restaurants You Have to Visit

Courtesy of The Olde Pink House

The South has always been all about food. In the lowest part of the U.S., food is used to bring families together, to honor special guests, and to comfort those in need of some uplifting. Over the years, Southerners have honed their culinary craft, mastering the art of down-home cooking, one buttermilk biscuit at a time. So you can bet visiting Southern restaurants is always a treat, but which are the best spots to stop in and dine at?

The South offers so many different types of cuisine, from the salty oysters of the South Carolina coast to the Creole creations of New Orleans. So next time you're traveling around America's Southern region, try these following 20 Southern restaurants, which range from the fancy to the fun, and from the unassuming to the legendary. But they all have one thing in common: They're just too good to miss.

The South's Best Food Cities 2020

The South may be known for its fall-off-the-bone barbecue and crisp, golden-fried chicken, but anyone who has visited a Southern city knows that Southern food is so much more than that. These 10 spectacular food cities consistently prove that the South&rsquos culinary scene is vibrant, diverse, and&mdashmost importantly&mdashunpretentiously delicious. From New Orleans to Asheville, these food destinations span regions and states but while all of the places on this list are in the South, we&rsquod put them up against any celebrated culinary city in America. Each of the South&rsquos best food cities, as voted on by our readers, has its own particular character: In Austin, you&rsquoll find taco shacks around every street corner in Charleston, seafood is king. But no matter where you are&mdashwhether it&rsquos a white-tablecloth, crystal-chandelier restaurant or a backyard barbecue pit with red-checkered picnic tables&mdashthere&rsquos one common denominator in all good Southern food: It&rsquos relentlessly welcoming.

A few of the top chefs and restaurants to experience in Louisiana

Sue Zemanick

As the winner of the 2014 James Beard award for Best New Chef: South, you can be sure Sue Zemanick knows her way around the kitchen. See her in action on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and on Top Chef New Orleans, or better yet, taste her signature dishes in person at New Orleans restaurants Gautreau’s and Ivy.

Manny Augello

Manny Aguello's Twitter bio sums it up: "obsessed chef & charcutier. culinary activist. representative of the new garde. madly devoted to food & culture. kitchen junkie." While at Jolie's Bistro in Lafayette, Aguello was invited to cook at the Farm to Table Dinner at the James Beard House in New York. Visit Manny at Bread & Circus Provisions in Lafayette for charcuterie and other "playful food."

Jeffrey Hansell

Chef/owner Jeffrey Hansell oversees the kitchen at one of the Northshore’s newest dining destinations, Oxlot 9, based in downtown Covington’s refurbished Southern Hotel. Hansell has trained at New Orleans restaurants Lüke and Commander’s Palace, and in 2014 he was nominated for Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef: Gulf Coast award.

Aaron Burgau

Chef Aaron Burgau is the cofounder of Patois, a restaurant serving French fare with Southern accents located in uptown New Orleans. He is also the recent winner of one of Louisiana’s highest culinary honors, the King of Louisiana Seafood award (taking over from 2013 winners Sam and Cody Carroll of Hot Tails Restaurant in New Roads).

Tory McPhail

As the executive chef at New Orleans’ world-famous Commander’s Palace, Tory McPhail has won accolades that include the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South in 2013. It wasn’t because the competition was lacking, however—that year, competitors for the prize included chefs from local restaurants Domenica and La Petite Grocery.

Emeril Lagasse

Few chefs in the world are so famous that they’re known by one name. Emeril is among them. The man behind Emeril's New Orleans, NOLA Restaurant and Emeril's Delmonico is a pioneer in what’s widely known as “new New Orleans” cuisine—contemporary twists on traditional Creole fare.

Cory Bahr

Chef Bahr’s list of accolades keeps getting longer, with awards that include Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in the U.S. and being named the King of Louisiana Seafood. He’s also one of north Louisiana’s shining culinary stars, exemplified by his restaurants Cotton and Nonna, both located in Monroe.

Justin Girouard

In 2013 he was selected as one of Louisiana Cookin' magazine's "Chefs to Watch." James Beard nominated, Chef Justin Girouard spent six years in the kitchen at Stella! in New Orleans where he perfected his technique before opening The French Press in Lafayette. SAVEUR Magazine named The French Press in their Top 100 Inspiring Place and Things to Eat issue in Jan/Feb 2013.

Susan Spicer

Susan Spicer is a James Beard Award-winning chef best known for Bayona, a fusion restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter that is housed in a 200-year-old Creole cottage and courtyard. Stop by Bayona for a taste of Spicer’s multicultural creations, or at Herbsaint (which she cofounded), or her newest endeavor, Mondo.

John Folse

The namesake of the John Folse Culinary Institute and author of The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cooking is also one of Louisiana’s most beloved chefs. Experience dining as an art form at his and chef Rick Tramonto’s Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans and at Lafitte’s Landing Restaurant at Bittersweet Plantation in Donaldsonville.

Louisiana is home to far more praiseworthy chefs. Discover more of them, plus recipes, restaurants and the Taste-umentary video series at Louisiana Culinary Trails. Your taste buds will thank you.

La Pecora Nera

If delicious authentic Italian cuisine served in a delightful open-air restaurant well off-the beaten track on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast sounds like your cup of tea, look no further than La Pecora Nera. The Italian chef Ilario is as charismatic as he is talented in the kitchen, and his recommendations of daily specials are always spot on, but you can't go wrong with anything on the simple yet well-rounded menu. It's romantic yet family-friendly, unpretentious yet undeniably special, and easily one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica. Ask the chef to recommend a bottle of wine to complement your meal.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Exquisitely crafted Italian cuisine served in a romantic rainforest atmosphere makes for a unique dining experience.

Sophia's expert tip: The bruschetta mixta is a perfect appetizer for two, delicate toasts topped with a variety of Italian ingredients like roasted eggplant and proscuitto crudo.

19 Best Latin American Chicken Recipes

Chickens are not native to Latin America. They're an import from Europe though there is a debate about the possibility of chickens coming to South American from Polynesia.

Nowadays, Latin America is quite well known for certain popular chicken dishes, such as arroz con pollo and Peruvian-style Pollo a la Brasa. Peruvian roasted chicken is popular for a reason. It's popular due to the unique combination of spices used that gives the meat an extra bit of flavor. The dish has an interesting background. It was made famous by a couple of Swiss expats in the 1950s at their restaurant La Granja Azul. They designed and patented the mechanical spit that roasts multiple chickens simultaneously (el rotombo). The restaurant is still popular after decades. That's how you know they've done it right.

The word in Spanish for the hen is gallina, and gallo is the word for a rooster.

However, when you are speaking of chicken meat (as in to eat), you typically use the word pollo. But a few recipes still use the words gallina or gallo such as the dish, sancocho de gallina, which is a hen soup. It used to be that people distinguished between the flavors and cooking uses of hens versus roosters.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, however. Continue to discover a list of recipes for more interesting South American ways to prepare and enjoy chicken.

Faidley Seafood

Founded in 1886, Faidley Seafood is one of the oldest and best-known purveyors of fresh and prepared seafood in the Chesapeake region. Located in the "World Famous Lexington Market", it is best known for is its award-winning lump crab cakes. They are made by hand and average around 6.5 ounces. This is a casual dining destination and a unique place to visit as the market itself is the oldest in America. You can also order crab cakes to go or to be shipped anywhere in the continental United States.

Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina

Bourbon Steak takes the concept of a typical American steakhouse and elevates it to a level that a scarce few thought imaginable. With the exclusive use of fresh market ingredients, prime cuts of all-natural, organic and hormone-free beef and the freshest seafood available, executive chef Gabriel Fenton perfectly balances humble steakhouse classics with the art of fine dining.

The signature dish is the Main Lobster Pot Pie, which comes with a delectable brandy-truffle cream and seasonal market vegetables. Don’t forget to try the Caviar Parfait, served with smoked salmon and crispy potato.

As well as incredible shellfish, there is also an array of high-quality meat to choose from. The headline 32oz Porterhouse steak comes highly recommended for those who like a challenge while the signature ‘Ruben’ style tomahawk short rib has been a longstanding favorite with regular diners.

Contact:+1 786 279 6600,

South Carolina's 10 Best Seafood Spots

From Hilton Head Island on up to Myrtle Beach, we landed the state's freshest catch.

Sea Shack
Hilton Head Island
The line for the Shack&aposs grilled, fried, or blackened seafood begins long before the 40-seat eatery opens for lunch or dinner. But it&aposs worth the wait for the daily "Blackboard" special that features a choice of perfectly cooked fresh fish, including grouper, flounder, and snapper, served up with two sides such as collards, macaroni and cheese, cheese grits, and green beans.
Order: Hearty appetites should try the Shack Attack ($17), which combines a crab cake, tilapia, shrimp, scallops, and oysters on a giant paper platter. Homemade tartar sauce is the traditional accompaniment, but we think the brandy-infused gator sauce makes an even better platter slather. 6B Executive Park Road or 843/785-2464

Bluffton Family Seafood House
Larry and Tina Toomer figured they wouldn&apost have to go far to get fresh fish and oysters—the couple also runs the Bluffton Oyster Company—so they opened this full-service restaurant in 2010. The dishes are unpretentious, but because the crabs, mussels, clams, and shrimp come mainly from the nearby May River, they need little in the way of adornment.
Order: Share a bucket of steamed oysters ($20), then dive into a basket of fried shrimp ($14) with a side of stewed tomatoes and rice. 27 Dr. Mellichamp Drive or 843/757-0380

Edisto Island
Housed in a former gas station that was once the only place to get fresh water or make a phone call for 45 miles, Whaley&aposs still serves as a popular gathering spot. But now locals and visitors come by for platters of fried mahi-mahi bites dipped in house-made Ranch-chipotle sauce, mussels spiked with garlic and white wine, and beers pulled from the original soda cooler.
Order: Topped with a sweet tea-and-lemon glaze and mango chutney, the Firefly Flounder ($22) is a popular, down-to-earth dish with a heavenly twist. 2801 Myrtle Street or 843/869-2161

The Crab Shack
Folly Beach
You know you&aposve finally reached the beach when you find steamed shrimp, crab legs, oysters, and corn on the cob served in tin buckets on a dog-friendly porch. If you&aposre doing Folly for the weekend, come by for the Saturday or Sunday brunch, when the Bloody Mary bar is stocked with pickled okra and the eggs Benedict is made with freshly grilled flounder and a crab cake standing in for the usual Canadian bacon.
Order: The creamy she-crab soup ($5) is thick with sweet crabmeat and made for a good cause. (All proceeds from its sale go to the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston.) 26 Center Street or 843/588-3080

Bowens Island Restaurant
Bowens Island
As the winner of an America&aposs Classic award from the James Beard Foundation, Robert Barber knows a thing or two about keeping customers happy at this eatery his family has run for 66 years. First, he sources (very) locally by serving oysters caught just yards from where they&aposre steamed or fried. Enjoy your fresh fare with hush puppies, Frogmore stew, and South Carolina-brewed beers. Second, his restaurant has a waterside deck, so if you come early, you can watch the sun set over the wetlands as the oysters arrive.
Order: The fried creek oysters are terrific, but nobody steams and pit roasts the tasty bivalves like the Barber family ($14 for a tray, $25.50 for all you can eat). 1870 Bowens Island Road or 843/795-2757

The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene
Mount Pleasant
When Hurricane Hugo blew the Richard & Charlene (a North Atlantic-style trawler) into their dock, Fred and Pat Scott had the wreck removed, and then named their restaurant in Mount Pleasant&aposs Old Village area after it. Although the couple originally offered mainly eggs and grits (at the time, breakfast was all they knew how to make), they soon found their sea legs. Now they serve combo platters overflowing with fried, grilled, or broiled shrimp, scallops, oysters, and fresh fish fillets.
Order: The Wreck&aposs spicy deviled crab (think crab cake with a kick, $18) tastes best sitting on the restaurant&aposs screened porch and watching the fishing boats pass by on Shem Creek. 106 Haddrell Street or 843/884-0052

Seewee Restaurant
It&aposs like Sunday dinner at grandma&aposs every day in this general store-turned-cozy restaurant where rice and gravy, okra soup, and butter beans vie for your attention with just-caught flounder, fish stew, and creek shrimp (the sweet, diminutive cousins of saltwater shrimp). The setting is equally old-school—homemade cakes look out from under glass domes, rustic wooden beams line the ceiling, and silhouettes of Southern scenes rendered in iron by Lowcountry artist Thomas Smoak decorate the walls.
Order: Stone crab claws caught in nearby Bulls Bay ($11 as appetizer, $22 as entrພ). 4808 Highway 17 North 843/928-3609


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