Tucked away near the pool at the ritzy Palacio Nazarenas hotel, Senzo is Cuzco's best high-end restaurant. If Michelin came to Peru, Senzo could very well could get a star. The restaurant is helmed by Virgilio Martinez, whose Central in Lima is arguably one of the top three restaurants in the country. Though not here full time, Martinez is intimately involved with the restaurant and the staff, who are trained to forage for many of their ingredients, including making use of the hotel's extensive gardens. Most diners opt for the a la carte menu, though a more extensive tasting menu is also offered at dinner. While there are familiar dishes like skirt steak for the pickier eater, the specialty here is the exploration of lesser-known Peruvian ingredients from throughout the region. Prehistoric Amazonian paiche fish gets infused with herbs from the high jungle, while trout gets paired with cushuro, an algae found in high-altitude lakes. There's even a vegetarian menu utilizing Andean tubers and ancient grains like quinoa and kiwicha (amaranth). The interior dining room is elegant, with white tablecloths and floor-to-ceiling windows. At lunch there is patio seating overlooking the hotel pool.
- Nicholas Gill