BEST CEVICHE (2005)
305-445-1001 In a town where good ceviche is seldom far enough away to require hopping in the car, and great ceviche is served in dozens of places (from humble neighborhood Latin joints to nationally known gourmet palaces like Ola), Cacao's creations nevertheless shine. Though young chef Edgar Leal is Venezuelan, his specialties in the restaurant's main dining area are inventive Nueva interpretations of dishes from all over Latin America, and the newer ceviche bar follows suit. To taste-test the difference between a Mexican ceviche (chunks of guachinango fish with poblano peppers) and a Peruvian tiradito (sliced tuna, salmon, and grouper with aji amarillo sauce, cilantro pesto, and diced fennel), this is the place to go. The roughly half-dozen daily offerings always include at least a couple of marinated fish dishes that have decidedly Floribbean tropical touches too, like tuna ceviche with key lime juice and mango, or guacamole-garnished grouper ceviche marinated half in lime and half in sweeter passion fruit juice. And the ceviche bar doubles as a full bar, so skip the cerveza. Cacao's Santa Teresa Rum Old Fashioned is a more appropriately elegant accompaniment to such new-fashioned snacks.
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