By: …………………….

La Floresta, a traditional Quito neighborhood, has gathered a cluster of high cuisine restaurants, charming cafes and exclusive design stores. Walking along the neighborhood is a visual delight due to its eclectic architecture, a combination of 1950s buildings with modern environmentally friendly structures.

Near the beginning of Isabel La Católica Avenue is the new locale of a very well regarded Italian restaurant, La Vieja Europa (Old Europe). Luki Spaziani is the proprietor and chef, with Belén Cobo and Luis Miguel Sánchez as his new partners. For those of us who have been Luki`s customers for decades, this new place gathers the memories and the aromas spanning almost 50 years since Luki first opened.

La Vieja Europa´s menu still retains dishes that become famous long time ago. But, even knowing the menu by heart, we just had to check it once again. Meantime, first decision was selecting an aperitif. After resisting a delectable pisco sour, we settled on a new Martini cocktail. Excellent choice!

To start, the Santorini salad and the Italian antipasto both appeared extremely appetizing. The main dish options were just mouth-watering. Mussels in garlic sauce. Tortellini with ricotta cheese and spinach in a four cheese dressing. Authentic Italian pizzas cooked in a wooden oven. Fresh homemade pasta. A variety of seafood. Time flew while we debated our choices, waited for them to arrive and then savored each bite.

The ambience was relaxed and fun. Great background music and good vibrations from the pleasant chatter of good friends sitting down to enjoy a fantastic meal. Not surprisingly, La Vieja Europa gets top ratings from locals and tourists. A typical comment from Trip Advisor: “…savoring the dishes was a true poem for the senses, the presentation beautiful and the taste delicious.”

Unfortunately, dinner is over and it`s time to leave. Luki, as usual, shows up to say goodbye. Our longstanding mutual affection is as warm as ever. A date is set for our next dinner.