June 28 is National Ceviche Day. It might seem odd that a dish barely known in the United States a generation ago is now celebrated and consumed with gusto, in metro areas at least. Ceviche is practically the national dish of Peru, and across Latin America you’ll also see it spelled seviche and cebiche. Escabeche, which is Spanish for “marinade,” may be the origin word. In Peru it is often served with slices of cold sweet potatoes; in Ecuador, with popcorn, nuts or corn nuts; in Mexico, with sliced raw onions, cilantro, avocado and toasted tortillas.
Everywhere, it consists of fresh, firm-fleshed fish, shrimp, octopus, clams or mussels “cooked” by citrus acidity, most commonly lime. Like many ancient preparations, ceviche most probably sprang from necessity—in the absence of refrigeration, the sea’s bounty did not spoil as quickly. Today’s chefs can be playful or traditional with their versions, but it never fails to be a tangy, refreshing treat.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, Los Cabos
With exhilarating, open-air views to Sea of Cortez, this Forbes Five Star resort’s Tequila & Ceviche Bar offers traditional Mexican and creative ceviche, paired with a huge curated selection of tequila. Or, if you prefer, tap into La Cava, the 3,000-bottle wine room. Located near the historic city of San Jose del Cabo, the property specializes in luxury incentives, exclusive events and power meetings.
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas
At Fleur by Hubert Keller, one of America’s most celebrated French chefs applies Gallic sensibility to global small plates. For a world tour, sample Beef Carpaccio Lyonnaise, L.A. Style Galbi and Squid Ink Capellini with Mexican-style Yellowtail Ceviche. Or you could order the $5,000 hamburger (Wagyu beef, foie gras and truffle, accompanied by a superb French Bordeaux).
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
La Mar by Gaston Acurio at this Brickell Key property features a ceviche bar. Options include Peruvian-style Clasico, with fluke, aji limo (super-hot lemon drop pepper), choclo (large-kernel Peruvian corn) and leche de tigre (literally, tiger’s milk, but actually the citrus-based marinade); and Japanese-inspired Nikkei, with tuna, nori, avocado, daikon, cucumber and tamarind leche de tigre.
Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel, Huntington Beach, CA
At the hotel’s Pacific Hideaway, Tahitian-style ceviche showcases locally sourced fish that rotates based on quality and seasonality. Served in a half coconut, it combines clean flavors of the sea with fresh herbs, peppers, lime and coconut water. Private events can experience this cuisine in two 500-square-foot dining rooms and an 1,800-square-foot banquet hall with a wraparound patio.
Kimpton The Gray Hotel, Chicago
Set in a downtown landmark building, this paragon of modern opulence serves up South American buena onda (“good vibes”) on its 15th-floor rooftop restaurant and lounge, Boleo (which is available for buyout). The cuisine is a take on Peruvian street food, including—natch—ceviche. Art of Ceviche teaches groups how to authentically slice fish, prepare leche de tigre and incorporate seasonal produce.