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Edible South Florida Winter 2014 : Page24

Where to find them ?K:G<>L<H&#19; ,+.&#19;:e\ZsZk&#19;:o^'%&#19;<hkZe&#19;@Z[e^l&#19;&#19; ,).&--/&*/))&#19; _kZg\^l\h'\hf'i^ EBFHG&#19;R&#19;L:;HK&#19; ,)-.&#19;;bl\Zrg^&#19;;eo]'%&#19;FbZfb&#19; 01/&-,*&.0,2&#19; ebfhgrlZ[hk'\hf :KHF:L&#19;=>E&#19;I>KN &#19; *2,)&#19;Ihg\^&#19;]^&#19;E^hg&#19;;eo]'%&#19;<hkZe&#19;@Z[e^l&#19; ,).&-0/&.11/ !Zelh&#19;*,1+,&#19;LP&#19;11&#19;Lm'%&#19;FbZfb4&#19; .2*.&#19;LP&#19;1&#19;Lm'%&#19;FbZfb4&#19;Zg]&#19;*)+)*&#19; AZffh\dl&#19;;eo]'%&#19;Lm^'&#19;*-)%&#19;FbZfb" ZkhfZl&]^ei^kn'\hf&#19; FBQMNK: &#19; 0**1&#19;<heebgl&#19;:o^'%&#19;FbZfb&#19;;^Z\a&#19;&#19; ,).&,20&1...&#19; fbqmnkZk^lmZnkZgm'\hf LK'&#19;<>OB<A> &#19; +)1/&#19;G'&#19;Ngbo^klbmr&#19;=k'%&#19;I^f[khd^&#19;Ibg^l&#19; 2.-&-22&00**&#19;&#19; ppp'_Z\^[hhd'\hf(lk\^ob\a^[khpZk] C>:G&#19;I:NEÃL&#19;AHNL> &#19; +-+/&#19;G>&#19;+&#19;:o^'%&#19;FbZfb&#19;&#19; ,).&.0,&0,0,&#19; c^ZgiZnelahnl^'\hf Below left: Causa with vegetables. Above: aji pepper and sauce; lomo saltado GASTON ACURIO’S LA MAR in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is scheduled to open in February 2014. But if you’re craving Peruvian food now, you do not lack for options. These are boom times for Peruvian restaurants in South Florida. A growing Peruvian population (Miami-Dade and Broward counties’ Peruvian-American population numbers rank one and three in the nation, and collectively dwarf any other county) has brought a corresponding growth in Peruvian restaurants: where there were only a handful 10 years ago, there are roughly 200 now, by some counts. Here is a small sample: For one of South Florida’s originals, open more than a decade, pay a visit to Francesco in Coral Gables, a sister restaurant to the original in Lima, Peru. Their ceviche with three sauces – dressed traditionally with citrus juices, and with bright yellow aji amarillo and red rocoto chili pepper sauces (at home they call this “B.A.R.” for blanca, amarillo and rocoto) – is a classic. And the Italian influence comes through in one of my favorite dishes, a dramatic jet-black squid ink risotto topped with shrimp and drizzled with aji amarillo sauce for a hint of spice. Along Biscayne Boulevard, Limon y Sabor is another solid option. Their Vuelve a la Vida, a ceviche variation with chopped bits of seafood swimming in a bright, citrusy dressing, is exactly as advertised, especially if you request it spicy (the name translates as “return to life,” and it is a reputed hangover cure). Follow it with the Chupe de Camarones, a deep bowl of a bisque-like soup studded with a fairly ridiculous number of shrimp (I lost count after a dozen), potatoes, choclo, fava beans, rice and egg, the shrimp-shell broth stained bright orange with aji panca (a Peruvian chili pepper) and enriched with evaporated milk. Aromas del Peru , with locations in Coral Gables, Kendall, West Miami and The Hammocks, has one of the more expansive menus of any of the places I’ve visited. In addition to the usual suspects, you can also find delicious grilled octopus, served with a chimichurri-like herb and garlic paste; Cau Cau, a traditional tripe stew; and Arroz con Pato, duck braised in a beer and cilantro sauce, served with green-hued cilantro rice. At Mixtura on Collins Avenue, the brightly lit, slick dining room with black-and-white pictures of Peru is much more polished than the touristy North Beach surroundings would lead you to expect. So is the food, with a menu that mixes traditional and contemporary. I like their Causa de Pulpo al Olivo – rounds of creamy cold mashed potato mixed with aji amarillo sauce, topped with chunks of octopus in a purple-hued botija olive sauce – and their Chaufa de Quinoa con Mariscos, a stir-fry of fluffy quinoa studded with shrimp, squid and clams. In Pembroke Pines, the recently opened Sr. Ceviche offers many of the customary dishes in the Peruvian repertoire, but some surprises too, including a Ceviche Verde brightened up with aji limo chili peppers and huacatay, an Andean herb also known as black mint. At Jean Paul’s House in Edgewater, chef Jean Paul Desmaison offers an even more varied menu, though still with a Peruvian undercurrent. Piquillo peppers are stuffed with ground lamb studded with raisins and peanuts, and blanketed with a reggiano cream sauce. Crisp pork belly is paired with grapes braised in pisco. Paiche, a huge, prehistoric-looking Amazonian river fish, is served with anticucho sauce and a lima bean puree. +-∙ winter 2014 ∙ edible SouthFlorida.com

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