By Melanie Galarce
Ceviches by Divino (46 Curtiss Pkwy, Miami Springs) is an inviting Peruvian eatery brought to you by the same chef behind the Divino Ceviche restaurants that you can find in Doral and Coral Gables. The restaurant serves the best of classic ceviches and South American cuisine in an unassuming, relaxed ambiance with incredibly affordable prices.
Menu highlights: Ceviches by Divino offers the traditional Peruvian dishes that you expect to enjoy given its sister establishments. You’ll find a variety of ceviches, rolls, and chaufas, among other Peruvian specialties. In essence, this concept aims to offer only the best dishes of the already popular Divino Ceviche properties, and let’s be honest, I’m all game for a menu that offers only the best. I’ll walk you through a few of the highlights of my meal so you can start brainstorming what you should order during your visit.
Ceviche Apaltado: salmon ceviche with leche de tigre and avocado sauce. There are a few ceviche dishes to choose from but this one is bathed with leche de tigre. The citrus-based marinade cures the ceviche with a smooth and savory coat so this is a sure win.
Ceviche de Salmon en Canasta de Toston: green plantain shaped into a basket, filled with salmon ceviche with leche de tigre on the side. These delicious starters are sort of like the best of both worlds coming together. Green plantains serve as the bed for a delicious ceviche concoction which tastes as good as it looks.
Causa Ganadora: cold mashed potato seasoned with Peruvian yellow pepper, oil, and lime, served with panko shrimp in maracuya sauce. This non-traditional, award-winning potato roll is a favorite among customers and the unexpected bursts of fruit sauce will leave you hooked.
Pulpo Anticuchero: skewers made with octopus, seasoned with vinegar, cumin, garlic, and Peruvian panca chili, accompanied with potatoes and rocoto pepper. A damn good version of skewered octopus with even better potatoes that have a spicy kick.
Standout dish: The Crispy Cilantro Rice with Salmon was my favorite dish of the night. I loved this take on crispy rice cakes topped with fresh, delicious salmon ceviche. It’s a simple dish with few ingredients, and if done right, those tend to be the best (in my humble opinion).
Another standout? The Porkbelly with Chalaca and Salsa Acevichada. The dish was pork belly (pancetta) marinated in lime juice, onion, choclo (Peruvian giant corn), tomato, limo chili, and fresh cilantro. It feels like the kind of dish that you would enjoy at an over-the-top restaurant and pay far too much money for. Except this rendition is better than the glitzy version of celebrity chefs and at an incredibly affordable price.
Are we boozing? Any good Peruvian dish needs some booze for pairing, so we are definitely drinking. Specifically, I’d recommend you pop open a nice cold Cumbres: an organic Peruvian craft beer you might only find at Ceviches by Divino (the maker has limited distribution in Miami). The beer company, which only entered the US market at the end of 2015, is known to make its beer with maíz morado (purple corn), quinoa, kiwicha or amaranth, cacao, and organic Peruvian coffee. A true artisan specialty worth indulging in when at Ceviches by Divino.
Mel’s take: I generally love all Peruvian cuisine. One of my favorite parts of traveling to Peru a few years ago was restaurant hopping and rightly so, this country gets worldwide notoriety for its innovative cuisine. I love when we get to experience a bit of that culture in Miami and Ceviches by Divino helps us feel like were indulging in authentic Peruvian fare at an incredibly low price point. It’s a total win-win.