Lima's El Mercado Restaurant

written by:
April 14, 2011

At Lima's El Mercao Restaurant, the theme is old meets new—not just in the food, where acclaimed chef Rafael Osterling puts a new twist on classic Peruvian dishes, but also in the architecture. Opened in 2010, the restaurant is located in the city's Miralores district. On the triangular site, architect Jaime Ortiz de Zevallos created a "little green area" in the semi-industrial area. Here, we take an off-hours tour of the bustling cerviche lunch spot.

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  With Lima's climate as warm as it is, all the seating at El Mercado is outdoors. After a meal, guests can take a two-block stroll to the ocean.
    With Lima's climate as warm as it is, all the seating at El Mercado is outdoors. After a meal, guests can take a two-block stroll to the ocean.
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  The two-level structure accommodates not only the restaurant's dining area but also Osterling's office and workspace.  Courtesy of: 2009
    The two-level structure accommodates not only the restaurant's dining area but also Osterling's office and workspace.

    Courtesy of: 2009

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  The first floor houses the patios (3), dining area (2), and restrooms (9). The second level accomodates the chef's offices (13) and dressing areas (16, 17).
    The first floor houses the patios (3), dining area (2), and restrooms (9). The second level accomodates the chef's offices (13) and dressing areas (16, 17).
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  The corner site is surrounded by car garages and old adobe houses. "What makes the project interesting is that it tries to recover a little green area in the middle of this industry," Ortiz de Zevallos says.
    The corner site is surrounded by car garages and old adobe houses. "What makes the project interesting is that it tries to recover a little green area in the middle of this industry," Ortiz de Zevallos says.
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  The first-floor space between the two second-floor structures creates one of two dining patio. "The chef wanted a fresh space that would basically be like an open market," Ortiz de Zevallos says.
    The first-floor space between the two second-floor structures creates one of two dining patio. "The chef wanted a fresh space that would basically be like an open market," Ortiz de Zevallos says.
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  "The focus is on the working counter," Ortiz de Zevallos says of the space where shellfish and seafood dishes are served to eager crowds. Throughout the dining area, the floor is made of recycled wood.
    "The focus is on the working counter," Ortiz de Zevallos says of the space where shellfish and seafood dishes are served to eager crowds. Throughout the dining area, the floor is made of recycled wood.
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  The elegant design extends through the washrooms. Collaborating on the project was interior designer Maria Eugenia Alvarez-Calderon.
    The elegant design extends through the washrooms. Collaborating on the project was interior designer Maria Eugenia Alvarez-Calderon.
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  Osterling, who owns several restaurants in Lima, relocated his office to the second floor of the new space.
    Osterling, who owns several restaurants in Lima, relocated his office to the second floor of the new space.
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  Also upstairs are Osterling's experimental kitchen and a private dining terrace.
    Also upstairs are Osterling's experimental kitchen and a private dining terrace.
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  El Mercado is open for lunch only but is reportedly worth the trip. Find it at Hipólito Unanue 203 in Miraflores, Lima.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    El Mercado is open for lunch only but is reportedly worth the trip. Find it at Hipólito Unanue 203 in Miraflores, Lima.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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