Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pizza In Arequipa, Peru? Why of Course!

Prior to me leaving the States for my trip to Peru Rick Daviscourt said to me, "Jeff, when you get here I am going to take you out for pizza and a glass of wine!" Rick further explained, "This will be an opportunity for me to relax as well."

Once in Arequipa, and after a few nights into my visit Rick ditched his vehicle and off we went for pizza. Ever so responsible and due to the zero tolerance for driving & drinking in Peru we took a cab to

La Luciernaga, 
(an up scale pizzeria in Cayma (district) Arequipa.)

Being a former restaurant owner I can be an insufferable critic. 
Fortunately, I was able to do exactly what Rick was eager to do, relax and enjoy with him, his favorite place to dine.

We climbed a short stair case up to the front door of the Pizzeria. The street below was busy as are most of the streets in this part of Arequipa. The sun had long since vanished offering a cool but comfortable evening.
The exterior of the pizzeria was nice contrasting a certain elegance similar to Rodeo Drive, in Beverly Hills. I was comfortable due to the night air and the overall aesthetics of the exterior environment Ricks's pizzeria offered.......

Greeting us was a gigantic photograph draped across the wall in the entrance way. I later was told that this was a photograph of the garden created by the proprietor's father. The walls were painted a sort of burnt orange in color. I could easily compare the interior to that of a nice restaurant in Arizona, or New Mexico. The lighting is dim, inviting, while the overall dinning area is small, clean and comfortable. In fact, the kitchen area is through a door against the far wall. I never heard what was going on behind the door. However, behind that door is where our pizza eventually came from.
Rick introduced me to the owner Diego Vergara Poppe who was seated at a table working on a laptop. He stood to greet us welcoming Rick once again into his pizzeria. The two men were well acquainted. Diego took my hand as we completed the universal hand shaking ritual that is done (globally I suppose.) The place was not yet busy so we had our pick of places to be seated. Rick asked, "Would you turn on the music that I enjoy Diego?" Moments later the restaurant was quietly filled with music, soft, quiet, relaxing instrumentals accompanied our visit for the rest of the evening.

We ordered two large pizzas with Rick ordering his wine. I had a beer served to me in an ice cold glass I might add. I have no idea what we ordered from the menu.  I just know that Rick and I ate every single piece (vegetarian is what comes to mind) *Simply delicious!* The crust was not the familiar American crusts I was use to, nothing like a wafer or cracker to be sure. The sauce was sweet, not overwhelming while the vegetable toppings were not overly populated. The pizza was, in one word, OUTSTANDING!

Everything about my experience visiting La Luciernaga was exceptional.

I chatted with Diego about his establishment learning that he has lived in Miami for a period moving to Arequipa specifically to open his restaurant. Diego is a native of Peru, I believe he said Lima (?) Mr. Poppe is very warm, friendly, and accomplished. His restaurant is well received and his food, along with the presentation of what he is doing, is nicely done.

I was full after about three slices but, continued eating until none was left. Rick Daviscourt ate the last piece...we were stuffed, overly satisfied. Rick managed to fit a second glass of wine somewhere in his being as we sat enjoying the peaceful conversations that followed.
When next in Arequipa, Peru you can be sure that I will visit this pizzeria, shake the hand once again of Mr. Poppe asking for the music that Rick enjoys with an expectation to stuff myself a second time!
Highly recommend your visiting La Luciernaga when visiting Arequipa, Peru

La Luciernaga

Av. Cayma 512-Cayma, Arequipa
054-253042 993-274-221

1 comment:

Diego Vergara said...

Thank you for your kind words, I hope this review brings us some business, Regards Diego