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National Ceviche Day Friday, June 28

Denver's best ceviche and tiradito
Denver's best ceviche and tiradito
Ellen Larkey

Friday, June 28 is “National Ceviche Day,” and with the weather reaching record temperatures, ceviche is a delicious, healthy and easy way to cool off. Pair with a Pisco Sour and the weekend is off to a good start!

National Ceviche Day
Ellen Larkey

Ceviche is a traditional Peruvian dish made from fresh, raw fish marinated in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with aji or chili peppers. Many chefs like to get creative and add chopped onions, salt, spicy peppers along with sweet fruit like mango or pineapple.

Below are favorite restaurants to sample ceviche and celebrate summer.

Lola is a popular restaurant in the lower Highlands (http://www.loladenver.com/) dedicated to fresh Mexican cuisine and an innovative bar program. The restaurant is incredibly popular and features weekly specials such as “Taco Tuesday” and a Sunday brunch with live music.

Lola’s signature ceviches include Sea Bass Ceviche with tomatillo apple salsa, onions, roasted chiles and burnt blood orange vinaigrette, Shrimp Ceviche with melon salsa, grape tomato pico and chile de arbol aioli, and Scallop Ceviche with smoked corn and black bean salsa and red chile mojo. For ceviche connoisseurs, order the Ceviche Flight, which serves all three selections for $23.

Pisco Sour on East Colfax (http://www.restaurantpiscosour.com/) serves authentic Peruvian cuisine and has been heralded as having the best ceviche and Pisco Sour cocktails in Denver. It is also on the “eclectic” strip of Colfax, which only adds to its charm. Affordable and lively, this family owned restaurant a hidden gem in Northeast Denver.

Sea bass is the fish of choice for Pisco Sours’ ceviche selections. Ceviche de Pescado pairs fresh sea bass with lemon juice, cilantro and onions while Ceviche en Crema de Rocoto adds a twist to the sea bass with rocoto sauce. Rocoto is an authentic Peruvian pepper thought to be one of the first domesticated peppers (6,000 years ago) and used widely throughout South America.

Zengo on Little Raven in Riverfront park (http://www.richardsandoval.com/zengodenver/index.php) is part of the family of restaurants by chef-owner Richard Sandoval, whose accolades include Bon Appétit Restaurateur of the Year and Mexico's Toque d'Oro.

Zengo offers a Bay Scallop Ceviche with Thai chile, avocado, peanut, mint and crispy shallots. Mahi Mahi Ceviche pairs fresh mahi mahi with coconut, charred pineapple, basil and bonito flakes. The restaurant also specializes in Tiradito, a Peruvian specialty similar to carpaccio usually spiked with a spicy sauce. Hamachi Tiradito is delicately sliced with cucumber, shiso, Sriracha, ponzu and lemon while the Scottish Salmon Tiradito is served with yuzu tobiko, compressed melon, beet gel, micro pea shoots and white ponzu.

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