Six years ago, Peru native Edison Pinedo moved to Miami. Soon after that, he opened Sabor a Perú, an Edgewater restaurant that lured diners with its authentic Peruvian cuisine, warm atmosphere, and consistent quality.
"We exist for our clients," says Pinedo. "We don't have any publicity; if we did we might get too many people [in the restaurant] and wouldn't be able to serve them all satisfactorily."
The restaurant's popularity has encouraged him to open his doors even wider. Sometime within the next few months, Pinedo plans to add more space and seating to
the restaurant, as well as other traditional items to the menu, such as pollo a la brasa.
"[Sabor a Perú] has been received with open arms by the community," he says. "And
that's helped us keep going in the market."
Of course, that doesn't mean he'll forgo the wildly popular ceviche. Peruvian restaurants
can't claim to be so without the emblematic dish, and Pinedo agrees. "In Peru, there's not
a house where they don't eat ceviche," he says. "It's a big responsibility to run a Peruvian
restaurant. We want to represent our country."
Behind any good dish is a good backstory, and ceviche is no exception. Some people believe the plate originates with Polynesian voyagers who crossed the Pacific to pre-Columbian Peru. Others claim Moorish women brought it from Granada when they accompanied Spaniards to Peru in the 16th Century.
Theories aside, a superb plate of ceviche should always be fresh, tangy, and spicy -- though not overwhelmingly so.
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We asked for Pinedo's list of must-have ingredients for the most popular ceviche on the menu, the pescado. The fish, usually sea bass, is cut into dice-size pieces and marinated in lime juice, celery, onions, black pepper, ají limo, salt, and ginger. Served alongside the fish is a small cob of choclo -- prepared with a touch of sugar and anise -- and a wedge of sweet potato.
We tried the ceviche de pescado and were impressed; it's well balanced, not too salty, not too spicy, brightly hued, and fresh and firm. It's the perfect dish for when it's warm outside -- basically, every day in Miami.
If all goes well, Miamians can enjoy coal-roasted chicken and cow heart skewers by June 28 -- National Ceviche Day in Peru.