Don’t try and find Divino Ceviche by car.
The restaurant is on the tree-lined, two-block pedestrian-only stretch of Giralda Avenue in Coral Gables, under the Umbrella Sky project. There, it serves modern and traditional Peruvian dishes, al fresco under a shade umbrella or inside in the white, black, aqua and lime green space.
One of the best chefs in the world, Gaston Acurio, hired the chef and co-owner here, Christian Encalada, to work at his restaurant Tanta in the exclusive Miraflores district in Lima, Peru. Encalada teamed with his brother, Frank, to open this restaurant in the former Costa Azul space. The name means “divine,” and, indeed, you are treated to some heavenly ceviche here.
Start With These Dishes
Pass around appetizers such as choritos a la chalaca. Spoons with mussels in lime juice and choclo (giant white corn), diced tomato and cilantro are made to eat in one bite. There are also shots of leche de tiger (tiger’s milk), addictive ceviche juice, served with cancha (roasted, slightly chewy salted chullpi corn) with mint and aji amarillo sauces.
Chicken causa is a small scoop of seasoned mashed yellow potato topped with shredded chicken in a creamy mayo sauce. Or try the tequeños, fingers of fried wonton wrappers stuffed with lomo saltado (beef with onions and tomatoes) served with huancaina (cheese and aji amarillo sauce). Pulpo en salsa anticuchera are skewers of octopus seasoned with smoky, fruity aji panca accompanied by roasted potato planks for a Peruvian surf and earth.
Share These Dishes
Order a trio of ceviches with corvina and shrimp in yellow pepper sauce, lavender-tinted black olive sauce and spicy rocoto pepper sauce.
Ceviche Nikkei blends Peruvian and Japanese flavors. Fish is marinated in lime juice with onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and scallions. Divino fish and shrimp ceviche is in a cream with lime juice, red onions, cilantro, mango and avocado.
For those who like cooked fish there’s Ceviche Frito, breaded and fried into balls. Jalea mixta is a heap of crispy deep-fried squid rings, shrimp and mussels served with fried yucca, creole salsa and tartar sauce.
The Chaufa Amazonico is fried rice (or for $2 more get quinoa) with sweet banana, scrambled egg, cubes of smoked pork, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce and scallions, a favorite of the Amazon region of Peru. During happy hour try tacacho, mashed fried plantain mixed with tiny bits of pork cracklings. There’s also tallarin (spaghetti) with Peruvian pesto and beef. Aji gallina is shredded chicken in creamy aji amarillo sauce with rice.
Save Room For Dessert
The only dessert is the sweet and poetic Suspiro de Limeña, a creamy mixture of caramel pudding topped with meringue and perfumed with Port wine. It’s dusted in cinnamon with a swirl of kiwi sauce on the plate.
Contact Linda Bladholm at email@example.com. Hidden Gems highlights out-of-the-way restaurants in Miami-Dade County. It is not intended to be an anonymous, critical review.
Address: 160 Giralda Avenue, between Ponce de Leon and Galiano, Coral Gables
Contact: 786-360-3775, divinoceviche.com
Hours: Sunday-Thursday noon-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon-11 p.m.
Prices: Appetizers $7-$2, ceviche $9-$22, entrees $11-$26, dessert $7
F.Y.I. Happy hour 4-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, Sunday brunch 11 :30 a.m.-4 p.m., another location is at 2629 NW 79th Avenue, Doral