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Best Restaurants in Cuzco: Review of Cicciolina Restaurant

Updated on April 28, 2013
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Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" & "Taste of Home" magazines. She belongs to "Cook's Recipe Testers" for Cooks Illustrated.

5 out of 5 stars from 5 ratings of Cicciolina Restaurant
Homemade Taglioni Pasta at Cicciolina
Homemade Taglioni Pasta at Cicciolina | Source

Restaurant Review for Cicciolina of Cusco, Peru

If you are looking for upscale dining in Cusco then Cicciolina is your restaurant of choice. Boasting Italian-Andean cuisine in a hip atmosphere, the service is as exceptional as the chef's daily pasta specials. Although pricey for the Cusco area and portions are a bit scanty, you can expect creative dishes prepared with high quality ingredients from the Sacred Valley.

Centrally located just a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas, Cicciolina is housed on the second story of a charming Colonial house. Modern red walls and local artwork warmly embrace you after a long day of shopping or hiking. Enjoy wine and tapas in the bar area or, if you'd like a formal dining experience, make reservations for dinner in the small dining room.


What to Order

Start with beetroot soup, sweet and comforting. Salads are fresh, organic and large enough to share. For the main course sample homemade pasta, both intensely flavored and filling.

I enjoyed the pasta bowl of the day which was chock full of sauteed mushrooms, roasted garlic and red peppers, grilled chicken, fresh basil, carmelized onions and ground pepper bathed in light cream sauce: earthy, slightly sweet and silky.

Beetroot ravioli is another excellent choice with mushrooms, parmesan shavings and balsamic reduction. Risotto is a delicious option. Cicciolini is the perfect place for those adventurous enough to sample guinea pig or cuy, which is roasted until crispy and flavorful.

If you have a hankering for beef tenderloin, expect chewy texture. Portions are very small, more the size of an appetizer, so this wouldn't be a good option for diners with big appetites.

For travelers seeking a lighter meal, try tapas and wine in the bar area. The tapas are unusual and creative; the list of South American wines is extensive.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Beetroot Ravioli with Mushrooms & Balsamic ReductionBeef TenderloinHomemade Tagliolini Pasta with Chicken & Mushrooms
Beetroot Ravioli with Mushrooms & Balsamic Reduction
Beetroot Ravioli with Mushrooms & Balsamic Reduction | Source
Beef Tenderloin
Beef Tenderloin | Source
Homemade Tagliolini Pasta with Chicken & Mushrooms
Homemade Tagliolini Pasta with Chicken & Mushrooms | Source

Overview


ATMOSPHERE: Hip, modern, charming

CUISINE: Italian/Andean

SOUND LEVEL: Quiet and intimate in the dining room

RECOMMENDED DISHES: Homemade tagliolini pasta specials, ravioli, salads, soups, risotto and guinea pig are all delicious choices.

BEVERAGES: A good selection of South American wines, beers and cocktails such as Pisco sour.

PRICE RANGE: Expect to spend about 150 Nuevo Soles or $50 US per couple.

HOURS: Open for lunch and dinner

RESERVATIONS: Highly recommended for dinner as seating in the dining area is limited. For a great view reserve the table for four in the dining room window alcove, or try the table for two on the bar area's balcony.

CREDIT CARDS: Yes

For Reservations call (084) 239510 or write at info@cicciolinacuzco.com


Value: 4 stars

Atmosphere: 4.5 stars

Service: 5 stars

Food: 5 stars

Portions: 3 stars


Cicciolina Restaurant

Homemade Pasta Hanging in Bar/Kitchen Area
Homemade Pasta Hanging in Bar/Kitchen Area | Source
Try Tapas in the Bar
Try Tapas in the Bar | Source
Intimate Dining Room
Intimate Dining Room | Source

General Information

Breakfast: 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. (last order)

Lunch: 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. (last order)

Dinner: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. (last order)

No Smoking


ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED


How to Get There

A markerCalle Triunfo 393 (2nd Floor) Cusco, Peru -
Triunfo, Cusco, Peru
get directions

Baco, Cicciolina's Sister Restaurant

After an outstanding lunch experience at Cicciolina we returned the following evening without a reservation and, to our dismay, found the dining room full. When we decided we didn't want to be accommodated at the bar, the hostess offered us a table at the sister restaurant, Baco.

One of the restaurant staff accompanied us to Baco, about a five minute walk from Cicciolina. A larger restaurant, Baco offers more seating. Service was decent, food was tasty and d├ęcor was slightly rustic and beautifully comfortable.

I highly recommend the homemade pasta dishes and gourmet pizzas. The chicken is melt-in-the-mouth tender. Try alpaca or cuy (guinea pig) and fig cake or mojito ice cream for dessert.

Insider's tip: Right across the street you'll find the best picarones (Peruvian donuts) in town. Instead of ordering a pricey dessert at Baco, opt for deep-fried Peruvian donuts drizzled with fig syrup. You won't regret it!


What to Order at Baco

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Melt-in-the-mouth ChickenHomemade Spinach Ravioli & Beef TenderloinAndean AppetizerDelicious Andean Sauces
Melt-in-the-mouth Chicken
Melt-in-the-mouth Chicken | Source
Homemade Spinach Ravioli & Beef Tenderloin
Homemade Spinach Ravioli & Beef Tenderloin | Source
Andean Appetizer
Andean Appetizer | Source
Delicious Andean Sauces
Delicious Andean Sauces | Source

Conclusion

If you have yet to discover the unique cuisine of Peru, you're in for a treat! For an intimate dinner in upscale ambience, reserve space in the dining room at Cicciolina.

Baco is a better option for dinner without a reservation. Either restaurant offers delicious, creative dishes made with fresh ingredients. Set aside funds for at least one special meal while visiting Cusco. You won't be disappointed!


Comments

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  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    GetitScene, thanks for the promotion! It's a wonderful restaurant for travelers to Cusco looking for a special meal.

  • GetitScene profile image

    Dale Anderson 4 years ago from The High Seas

    My wife and I like to share our reviews of local restaurants too so I really enjoy reading other people's just in case I ever go to that place. Will promote this on SayGudday.com

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    lindacee, I also hope you can visit Cusco someday! Cicciolina is our favorite restaurant in Cusco. Thanks for the votes!

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

    I love Italian food and this restaurant sounds like they know their stuff! Your photos are wonderful and the food descriptions mouthwatering. Hope to someday visit Cusco. Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. :)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Yes, the food really is wonderful and had a nice time. Thanks so much for the stars and votes, Peggy!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Your photos are making me hungry! The food looks good at both restaurants and your review gets 5 stars from me plus some up votes.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Millionaire Tips, I hope you make it to Peru someday. It really is a unique and beautiful country with a fascinating cuisine. Thank you for commenting.

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

    I've never been to Peru but I would like to visit someday. I will keep these restaurants in mind when I go. They both look wonderful. Great review!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Happyboomernurse, thank you for your kind wishes. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and review....sometimes reading about a place is almost as good as visiting it! And it's a lot less expensive and stressful than all that travel, too. : )

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

    Though I'll never get to Peru, I enjoyed reading about these two unique restaurants and loved the mouth-watering photos.

    I also like the way you organized the hub and gave specific recommendations.

    I gave 5 stars for Cicciolina Restaurant, and voted up across the board except for funny.

    Good luck in the Rigorous Review Contest.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Moonlake, I hope you have the opportunity to visit some day. It really is an amazing country. Thank you for the vote!

  • moonlake profile image

    moonlake 4 years ago from America

    I've never been to Peru but if I ever get there I will have to go to this very cute restaurant. The food looks great. Good job on review. Voted up.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Letitia, wouldn't that be great?? It's such a lovely place--I mean both the restaurant and Cusco--I hope someday you can visit!

  • Letitialicious profile image

    Letitialicious 5 years ago from Paris via San Diego

    I just love the look of this place. Who knows, maybe sometime we can have lunch there!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Nell Rose, I hope you can visit some day! It's such a fascinating country. Thank you for paying me a visit! : )

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    This is a great review, all I need to do is come over to visit! lol! looks and sounds wonderful, nell

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Prasetio, I certainly hope you can visit Cusco some day. It's the trip of a lifetime. Be sure and save your money for a good meal at Cicciolina!

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

    My friend, you make me hungry just looking at the pictures above. Nice review. I hope I can visit this restaurant one day and taste all the menu over there. Voted up!

    Prasetio

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Lemonkerdz, we look forward to your reviews and photos! Thanks for taking the time to pay us a visit. : )

  • lemonkerdz profile image

    lemonkerdz 5 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

    Thanks so much for the wonderful review. Having eaten at both of these restaurants, we too can say they are really well worth the visit. Your photos really do the places justice. Well done!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Yes, they have a creative chef on staff at Cicciolina, Alocsin. As far as I'm concerned, the pasta is your best bet. I hope you fulfill your dreams of visiting Cusco.

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Great resource for when I travel to Peru. The most intriguing item on the menu for me is the beetroot ravioli. Never heard of such a thing before. Voting this Up and Interesting.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Randomcreative, they really are special places to enjoy a nice meal. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Both of these restaurants sound great. Your pictures are very enticing. Thanks for the great information.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    KofeeKlatch Gals, Cicciolina is like a refuge at the end of a long day! I hope you can visit Peru some day. It's the trip of a lifetime! : ) Thank you for coming by.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I hope some day to visit Peru. I like the looks of the pasta dish of the day. Great job - the pictures are beautiful - what atmosphere.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    The restaurant really is worth the visit, Mrs. Menagerie. Thank you for dropping by!

  • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

    Mrs. Menagerie 5 years ago from The Zoo

    This looks fantastic. I wish I had seen this review before I went to Cisco! Voted useful!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    You're welcome, Mhatter. Hope you have a chance to visit someday.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

    Outstanding review. Thank you.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Billybuc, thank you for your upbeat attitude. Travel is expensive. We have the benefit of living in Peru and having generous family who visit and treat us to dinner. : ) We can also make a voyage in our imagination, and that's what I hope to do for others with these restaurant reviews!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Maybe someday my friend! All of these exotic places waiting for me, but economics prevents me from seeing them firsthand. That's why I count on you and others to be my tour guides. Great review!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Carol, thank you for all your support. I always enjoy your hubs and I know you spend a lot of time supporting the community. I really appreciate the time you took to read and comment!

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

    I am probably not going to visit Peru but I always enjoy seeing restaurants from other countries. The food looks great and I love the hanging pasta. Great review.