Divino Ceviche celebrated its third anniversary at its cozy Gables location with a pisco-addled shindig. To commemorate the occasion, chef-owner Christian Encalada invited his close friend chef Frabricio Pareja of North Miami Beach's Cholo Ceviche and Grill. Together they concocted a menu that highlighted some of Peruvian cuisine's lesser known staples as well as the locally renowned ceviche.
If you've ever walked past Divino Ceviche while strolling along Giralda Ave, you'd surely recognize it's distinct decor. While it's located in an upper middle class suburb of southwestern Miami, the atmosphere is more Vice City than expected.
Friday night's festivities were no exception with a veritable who's who of Gables society out to support the local ceviche haunt. Even Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez made a low-profile appearance, sitting at table with two male aids. All appeared eager to sample the lime-marinated fish.
The first course surely did not let fish fans down. It was a heaping serving of traditional Peruvian causa crocante, a lightly fried, potato-based ball, generously spiced and served alongside white fish ceviche marinated in lime juice, and red onions. The fish was so incredibly fresh it was almost, but not quite, room temperature. The causa crocante perfectly balanced the acid of the fish and apparently is the staple soccer nosh in Lima.
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Next, came a light fish course. A delicate mahi-mahi fillet with a leek sauce on a bed of risotto cooked in a anticuchera, or sweet chili sauce. Though a bit salty, the filet was perfectly cooked and the risotto was melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. It was a delectable fusion of Andean flavor with Italian textures.
Dessert was the highlight of the meal. Suspiro de limena, AKA sigh of a woman, is a sugary caramel base, topped with a creamy merengue liqueur. The sugar concentration on this dessert is out of control. Simply touching a spoonful of this digestif to your tongue will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.