A Romantic Dinner in Cusco

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By the last evening of our whirlwind adventure in Peru, the Brawny Sherpa and I are running short on time and energy—despite our new affection for coca tea and our hopes of entering a time warp to extend our brief stay here. Low on energy, we walk less than a block from our hotel where we power shop for souvenirs for the youthful adventurers, none of whom appreciate not being with us on this trip. Our one real chore now successfully completed, we can spend these last few hours in Cusco focusing on us.map of Peru

Our guide suggests Uchu, a short walk away. If it looks viable, in we will go. We are hopeful that the menu will feature both meat entrees for the Brawny Sherpa and vegetable-based ones for me. On the way up the street, we stop by a new-age shop of sorts and realize that it’s more of a shop offering products and services from ancient eras. We try to arrange for a reading of tea leaves, but the reader who speaks English is gone for the day. There is no time for an ayahuasca adventure on this particular journey. We are tempted to buy Florida water, a scented potion our guides poured on our hands to give us some energy, but figure it will probably be confiscated at the airport since we just are carrying our luggage onto the plane.

pink chandelierUchu looks promising as we arrive shortly before dark. Seats are available, vegetables are available, pisco sours are on the way very quickly. A pink candlestick flickers on our table; forget tea lights or nonflammable plastics at this place. Shortly, more people file in, dodging a late-breaking soak. The rain, the dark, the turquoise-colored dining room, the candle, and our soon-to-arrive pisco sours ease our fatigue as we consider the options on our menu. The Brawny Sherpa opts for steak, of course, which is brought out on a very hot stone. I start with coconut corn soup, select vegetables for my main course, and follow up with a quinoa freeze for dessert. Our guide has done good by us.

This place is popular, but we do not feel crowded. No one will be getting too close with this tall candle at our table. We wish we had discovered this place sooner and that we were staying longer, because we surely would come here more than once.

—Lori Tripoli

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