Several months ago, a new Peruvian restaurant opened its doors in Fort Lauderdale on Oakland Park BLVD just west of the Intracoastal Waterway. I was so excited to eat there and try their ceviches and house specialties, especially after speaking to the General Manager…
Ceviche By the Sea – Seafood and Peruvian Cuisine
Delicious Peruvian Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale
by: Ian Maloney
Several months ago, a new Peruvian restaurant opened its doors in Fort Lauderdale on Oakland Park BLVD just west of the Intracoastal Waterway. I was so excited to eat there and try their ceviches and house specialties, especially after speaking to the General Manager Benjamin and the Head Chef Carlos Delgado. Delgado is a 26 year old Peruvian who won the Best Young Chef Award at the Mistura Food Festival, the largest International Food Festival in South America. He studied at the Cordon Bleu of Peru and is food is a blessing from God himself. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to eat at Ceviche By the Sea with my boyfriend Alan, and I guarantee you I will return and become a regular there. Even though I spent years as a Spanish teacher, and have studied the culture of many Latin American countries, I must confess that I know very little about the Gastronomy of Peru, but now I´m fascinated and obsessed with Chicha, Ají Amarillo, and leche de tigre.
As soon as you enter the building, you know you are in a Peruvian restaurant; there are Incan masks decorating the walls. Our waiter, Aldo, also a Peruvian, explained a little about the wine list as well as about the specialty drinks that they offer daily. The day we went, the specialty of the day was a fruit juice mix of pineapple, mango, and orange juice. Alan and I tried a glass of that juice as well as a glass of Chicha Morada, another house specialty made from purple corn, apples, and cinnamon. Delish!
To start off, they offer several appetizers, causas (small Peruvian dishes, think tapas), ceviches, and soups. After asking for help form Aldo, we decided to order a pair of ¨piqueos¨ or samplers that came with 3 small portions of separate dishes. Each menu section has several choices as well as a sampler so you can try more than one item. We decided on the Piqueo Parrillero, the Piqueo Clasico Ceviche, and a delicious Chilcano de Choros y Pescado, a clear soup of mussels and white fish. The first to arrive at the table were the piqueos. The ceviche sampler contained classic ceviche, ceviche with ají Amarillo, a spicy Peruvian pepper, and Rocoto ceviche, made with rocoto, another Peruvian pepper. I had had ceviche before, but NEVER this good. The flavor of the peppers didn’t dominate the dishes, we asked for medium hot, but the fresh Corvina, shrimp, and calamari were amazing and made it so tough to decide which was the best. Before sending the empty plate back to the kitchen, I used a spoon to drink the leche de tigre, the juice that the fish is marinated in. I was soooo good. The Piqueo parrillero was a sampler of grilled dishes that included their beef kabobs, two octopus tentacles, and two Scallops Parmesan, served baked on the half shell. It was all served with a mini grill that they bring to your table so that you can finish cooking the dishes or heat the kabobs and octopus up on your own. As a rule, I don´t eat octopus, I had it in Galicia when I was traveling through Spain years ago and I didn´t like it at all. However, this dish was so very different than what I had tried before. They use soy sauce, ají panca, a different Peruvian pepper, and red wine to create a delicious sauce that is out of this world. In a word, incredible. They used the same sauce to finish the beef kabobs that were also just scrumptious. The scallops were fresh and delicious as well.
For our main dishes, we stuck with the fish theme. I ordered Dudado Criollo de Pescado, made with Chilean Sea Bass and roasted fresh veggies in an ají Amarillo sauce. Alan ordered the Pargo Nuevo. It was crispy snapper served with fresh asparagus and a seasoned cheesy polenta cake. Even after having eaten every single bite of our appetizers and soup, we still ate every single drop of our entrees; I even wanted to lick the plate. We talked about our dishes for days afterward, and we already plan to go back to try the Cau Cau de Choros y Conchas, a dish with scallops and mussels, and the Salmon a la Chorrillana.
Besides fish, they also offer several pasta and beef dishes like beef tenderloin, Churrasco a la Huancaína, and Chicken Raviolis. I can´t wait to go back! Each plate demonstrates the chef´s love of his countries gastronomy and his refined technique, not only with the entrees but also with dessert.
To end the night, we ordered the Lucuma Panna Cotta, a ¨flan like¨ Italian dessert topped with Lucuma, a fruit that is native to the Peruvian Andes.
I was so surprised at the level of the food at Ceviche By The Sea. It´s an elegant restaurant with a fantastic selection of food, a natural environment and reasonable prices. Do yourself a favor and stop in for a bite to eat, and tell them Genre Latino sent you. They won´t disappoint!