Every time we travel to Miami, I do have a few favorite eateries I must stop by. That said, my family basking in the playfulness of Miami that particular morning woke up craving something aside from Cuban cuisine. Swiftly I researched food sites to find a hot spot for lunch, fortunately for us, I stumbled across CVI.CHE 105.
Located in the heart of downtown Miami, CVI.CHE 105 was minutes from our hotel. Modest exterior opened up to clean and minimalist interiors reminiscent of South Beach sexiness. Airing on the cautious side, since it was downtown, we got there few minutes shy of 11:30. Mind you, we were starving by now since I had barred my family from eating breakfast.
Douglas Zamora, our server efficiently brought us chilled glasses of water and complimentary snack dish of cancha (cornnuts). I usually prefer not to mention specific names while dining out since I do believe that any restaurant’s success is a team effort and each individual contributes to their triumph and deserves credit.
That said, Douglas was not only hospitable and pleasant, he actually ‘listened’ to our needs. Even when I casually mentioned that I am a food writer, he wasn’t intimidated. And most importantly, he had a deep understanding of the extensive menu and tremendously assisted with our lunch selection. So kudos, Mr. Douglas, you took customer service to a new level of excellence.
The menu is not only expansive; the poetically detailed description can be overwhelming. It has by far the largest fresh seafood selection and Ceviche variety I have seen. It can be daunting especially if you are new to Latin cuisine. While my family immersed themselves in deciphering the menu, I asked for CVI.CHE 105 signature cocktail which was made from Pisco 100. I know, it was not even noon. But hey, I was on vacation and since it was my first time here, I had to check out the bar purely for research reasons (wink, wink).
Pisco Fuego true to its description was a perfect blend of sweet and spice. Wow! It had some serious spice and I loved it!
Keeping in mind Douglas’s recommendations, we ordered Anticuchos, Pork Tamale, Ceviche in Cream of Pisco 100, Octopus Special, and Lomo Salteado.
One bite of the generously portioned Ceviche, oh my! I was in love. The creamy pisco sauce married delightfully with the fresh assortment of fish boasting genuine heat that added an edge to the Ceviche. I have to admit it was by far one of the best Ceviche’s I have had the pleasure of tasting outside of a Latin country. Yes, CVI.CHE 105 truly deserves the The BEST Ceviche in town accolade.
In comparison the Pork Tamale was a disappointment. I accept that Tamales can be a hit or miss depending on whose loving hands they touch. Though, I appreciated the huge serving and the fresh house made Criolla salad. Eh, I have had better tamales.
Moving on, the special ‘Octopus’ dish that came highly recommended was unlike any octopus I have ever tasted. Moist and beautifully spiced, well-prepared meat, flambéed and covered in a smoky & spicy sauce, octopus never tasted so good.
The Anticuchos (hearts) were skillfully marinated with a touch of smoky sauce similar to a spicy mole. They were served with a simple preparation of casua and corn. I very much enjoyed the ‘al dente’ cooked corn. The concept of keeping the sides uncomplicated yet cooked perfectly is an ingenious combination that compliments the bold flavors of the entrée.
I was sensing a pattern here; fresh and bold flavors were tickling my palate, hats off to Chef Juan for creating such a marvellous harmony of sweet and spicy flavors.
Of course as a Peruvian menu is incomplete without a traditional dish, Douglas recommended the Lomo Salteado. Honestly, I didn’t have much expectation since this cut of meat doesn’t have much marbling to render a juicy steak. Was I in for a big shocker? The traditional chopped chunks of steak simply melted in my mouth. OMG! For once I was speechless. Yes, it was that good!
Chefs/Owners Juan Chipoco & Luis Hoyos have brought their dream to life with their perfectly executed dishes. Extensive menu inundated with fresh seafood selection, bold flavors, beautiful presentation, vibrant condiments, friendly and knowledgeable staff, signature cocktails , and wine list has earned Cvi.che 105 as one of the top contenders for fine food exemplifying Miami’s highest dining standards.
Next time you are in Miami and are looking for a dining experience which showcases the sexy and hip vibes of South Beach, reserve a table at Cvi.che 105. For more details check their website or via social media including Twitter and Facebook.