The light was dimming. La Merced church was to be the last of our sightseeing for the day. Having built up quite an appetite, we decided to stop at the first restaurant we went by. Just a half a block south on 6 Av. Nte, we found Da Vinci.
Upon entering, we were left speechless. The Christmas decorations were breathtakingly beautiful and lent the restaurant a festive and elegant air. Part of what was once a home, there are multiple rooms in which to dine. The walls are painted tones of red, terracotta and ecru. The furniture is of a dark wood, and the tables are dressed with richly colored linens. This was by far the most beautiful restaurant of our trip. The food was right up there, too.
Originally, we were to sit near the fireplace, but a misbehaving flue sent us to the courtyard. It was lovely, with low lighting among the plants and a starry sky. The table was beautifully set, and there was good music playing far in the background. The waiter was attentive but not at all intrusive; our water glasses were kept full; and the ashtray was kept clean, without us even noticing.
The menu is extensive, offering mostly Italian fare with some international dishes and local dishes to add variety. Although not inexpensive, it was much cheaper than we had expected considering the surroundings. Everything sounded so good; the decision so hard. We ordered a lot!
We started with the mushrooms in a red wine sauce and the bruschetta. Both were very good. The mushrooms were perfectly seasoned, and the bruschetta was piled high with vine-ripened tomatoes. Libby’s first course was the mushroom and wine soup; mine was the cream of spinach soup. Both were good, but I think the spinach was better. We then had the beef tenderloin with pears and blue cheese and the pork chops Gran Marnier. Both were served with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The pork chops were perfectly tangy, and the pears and blue cheese were the perfect combination of sweet and sharp. Everything was exquisite. Libby even ate her vegetables!
To get here from the central park, go west 1 block on C4, turn right on Av. 6, and then go 2.5 blocks. Da Vinci is on the left. It is open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 3pm and for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 6pm to 10pm.
Orange, tomato, mozzarella, and green olives in a vinaigrette
Sopa de Lima……Q30
Chicken and lime soup with a touch of ginger and coconut
This is a house specialty
Pollo a la Gioconda……Q70
Sautéed chicken in a slightly spicy blue cheese and tangerine sauce
Spinach linguini and scallops in a light mussel and white wine sauce
Tomato, carrots, broccoli, pimentos, onions, olives, and mozzarella