Sunday lunch is that sacred ritual that usually takes place between 12 and 4 pm, and is usually celebrated around a generous table. No matter how many people there are, what the occasion is or what the weather is like: if there is a good plate of food in front of you, any other excuse is superfluous. It’s Sunday when we visit La Capitana in Pueblo Libre – a bar Creole food full of creativity – and the sun shines outside.
Inside, the temperature also rises. Salsa from the 60s and 70s plays on an original record player – there are vinyls everywhere – while the rhythm in the kitchen becomes contagious: woks that flambé, knives that cut, orders that are dispatched. La Capitana is a proposal with a lot of neighborhood, and for three months it stamps its mark on everyone who visits it.
The place is small: 30 people enter seated (we recommend making a reservation or going early). At the forefront of everything is Angie Márquez, passionate about gastronomy and today an entrepreneur – Márquez has been working with Rafael Osterling for 12 years; she is its Operations and Projects Manager – with a recently fulfilled dream: opening her own space. To do this, she joined forces with chefs David Insandara and Mari Salazar, and together they created a fairly complete menu, designed to satisfy almost any possible craving: from ceviche to lomo saltado.
There are two things that work very well here: the size of the portions and the convenience of the prices (on the menu we find alternatives from 15 to 62 soles). Then comes the rich variety of flavors, starting –to name a few options– with wonderful clams a la chalaca, followed by a causa criolla topped with diced tuna and a cebiche with catch of the day, capers and patacones.
The backgrounds include, among others, two versions of rice with seafood (one from the north and the other more brothy), chaufas, tacu tacus, jellies, a powerful stretcher and a dry with beans that is unknown of seasons. The good news is that practically the entire menu can be served in half portions, so that not a pea is left untried.
- Although they have a delicious captain (cocktail based on pisco and vermouth) on the menu, the name captain is actually a tribute to all the women who run kitchens in millions of homes in Peru. In addition to the famous pisco appetizer, we also find chilcanos, pisco sours, ‘grandma’s’ algarrobinas, beers and an interesting selection of red, rosé and white wines, as well as sparkling wines.
- The team behind the bar is a reflection of this feminine inspiration. the entire staff is made up of women, except for one of the cooks, David Insandara, who shares credit with Mari Salazar. the first is in charge of the cold ones; the second, of the hot and Creole dishes.
- La Capitana is open every day of the week, except Tuesdays. They open at 10 am and serve sandwiches until noon. Then the full menu (closes at 5pm).
Address: Calle Santa Inés 102, Pueblo Libre.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.