For the most part I had mined my list and planned out all of my dinners during this trip to Miami. But I had one free night where I wasn’t sure what to do. Entry trust friend, UrbanSpoon. Given that it was already later when I made it back to the hotel and finished my workout, my criteria for a place to go was a highly rated, Latin American cuisine within walking distance of my hotel in Downtown Miami. The result of this search was Cvi.Che 105, a Peruvian restaurant three blocks away.
Walking into the restaurant, I can honestly say I was not taken back to my trip to Peru. The decor was very sleek and very modern whereas most of the places I visited in Peru would be better described as “rustic”. There was a “ceviche bar” at the front that displayed the fresh fish, peppers and citrus that would combine for their signature dish. The dining space was wide open and vibrant with modern white tables and a bar in the back corner. There was definitely a high energy coming from the well-lit space.
Sitting down, I had to fight the urge to order a Pisco Sour; a drink that I enjoyed frequently in Peru (only three more weeks!). Instead, I went with a glass of ice water and started looking through the menu. Flipping back and forth between the English and Spanish versions, I tried to identify some of the dishes that I enjoyed during my trip. I was searching for rocotos rellenos, a stuffed spicy pepper, but had no luck. What I did find was papitas rellenas (stuffed potatoes) and Ceviche Pucusana which I figured would combine to make a nice meal.
The peeled and fried potatoes were the first course to the table, looking a little fancier than the presentations in Peru. I cut through the nice crust and super soft potato to find the beef and pepper filling. There wasn’t as much as in Peru, but the flavors were very good. The potato was so soft it was almost mashed, and the crust added just enough texture without making it feel heavy and oily. A spicy pepper sauce brought a very nice kick to each bite.
As good as the papitas were, I was surprised that they were served before the ceviche. One because it seems they would take longer to make. And two because usually the meal gets progressively heavier, not progressively lighter. It was definitely a welcome reprieve when the ceviche finally made it out as my “main course”. It was a good, classic ceviche. The fish was marinated in lime juice and served with some onions and cilantro. It was good, but not as “wow” as some of the other ceviches that I’ve had since I’ve been in Miami, which was surprising given that the place was called “Ceviche”.
The meal as a whole though was good. The food brought back some memories of Peru. The flavors of the potato were there, though the filling felt skimped on. The ceviche was similar, but not quite as vibrant and wow as I remember it. And all of it was in a very modern setting, unlike anything you would find in Cuzco or Aquas Calienties…though maybe there was a little Lima to it. But I enjoyed it as much for the memories and the fact that I can’t get anything similar in Seattle.