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Candace West

C-Viche Restaurant

Candace West
C-Viche will win no awards for its decor; an outdated dining room is lunchroom-casual, with barren whitewashed walls with nothing but a pair of TVs blaring Spanish programming. A short bar offers nothing but import beers -- like Peruvian Cristal -- and just one type of liquor, enough to make a few potent pisco sours. Yet despite its dismal trappings, C-Viche has managed to make its mark the old-fashioned way: by serving well-made, regional dishes presented by Peruvian-born chef and owner Jorge Velarde. C-Viche is his latest concept, a neighborhood-style establishment with a menu offering both modern and traditional Peruvian cuisine side by side. Dishes include a list of hot and cold appetizers, several takes on ceviche, soups and salads, and entrées that include some meat and chicken but are largely seafoodcentric. Prices offer similar variety and fluctuate from penny-pinching affordable to fine-dining pricey. Starters like causa -- bright yellow potatoes layered with meat and vegetable filling and blended with lime juice and pepper sauce -- will fill you up for less than $8; house specialties and large sharing plates are priced from $20 to $30. the ceviche, a dish served at every Peruvian establishment from the rustic picanterías of the north to the bus-station snack bars of the cities. This South American staple of raw fish is a highlight at the aptly named C-Viche, an example of Peruvian dishes that forgo overpowering sauces and spice for the quieter pleasures of the aji Amarillo chili pepper.