Ceviche mixto, in the cruel light of the iPhone
  • Mike Sula
  • Ceviche mixto, in the cruel light of the iPhone

I was right chuffed when I read the menu description for the ceviche mixto at Logan Square’s aptly named Ceviche, a new Peruvian restaurant from the folks behind the well-established and well-liked Ay Ay Picante. Not only are the actual menus from Ay Ay Picante itself employed here, but the classic dish is said to be composed of a “variety of seafood and tilapia,” as if the proprietors recognize that tofu with fins, as the Houston Chronicle once put it, doesn’t really count as seafood. But that’s why tilapia is an ideal species for ceviche, as it soaks in all that salivatory leche de tigre; sharp lime and fruity, stinging rocoto pepper, an almost creamy, pink-tinged elixir that transforms the fillet into firm, nearly chewy fish flesh. It does a pretty good job on the fat shrimp, calamari, and strips of sweet red onion too. The whole plate is starched up with a serving of choclo, or hominy, and a slab of sweet potato for $14.

  • Mike Sula
  • Tallarines verdes con bistec, Ceviche

Ceviche inhabits a practically Stygian double-decker den—necessitating the garish flash iPhotography—but trust me: the spinach fettuccine in basil pesto in the classic tallarines verdes con bistec really is as freakish looking as it appears here. I don’t know what it is about this particular combo of creamy, cheesy pasta and grilled flank steak that appeals to me but I’m sure it has something to do with the color combination ($16).

For all the depth and breadth of their menu, Ay Ay Picante doesn’t serve rotisserie chicken, but they’ve added it at Ceviche. I was told that it’s for now only on weekends, but a server managed to produce one for me on a quiet Tuesday. At $25 it’s no match for the great D’Candela, though it comes with two sides, and the fried yuca is perfectly light and crispy. A pair of grilled salmon and shrimp kabobs slathered in a tomato based “salsa madre” is a generous entree at $19, though perhaps not the most interesting item on a huge menu of classics including everything from a number of the Peruvian-Chinese-style fried rices, to grilled anticuchos, to giant bowls of seafood soup, and eight other varieties of ceviche and seafood cocktails, all augmented with the typical Andean predilection for starchy roots and grains. It’s BYOB for now.

Ceviche, 2554 W. Diversey, 773-235-4500