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Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011

Mr. Sebass' Freshly Prepared Peruvian Cuisine

New restaurant adds South American touch to Silver City

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The intersection of 34th Street and National Avenue, part of Milwaukee's Silver City neighborhood, is home to a number of restaurants serving food from Southeast Asia. Latin America is also represented, with a Mexican and Puerto Rican eatery. South America now joins the pool with the opening of Mr. Sebass, a Peruvian restaurant.

Mr. Sebass, which is open for lunch and dinner, houses about a dozen tables. The spare décor includes tile floors, Formica tables and a Peruvian flag on a wall. The menu has been different at every visit, though every item remains true to Peru.

One item that has always been available is ceviche, which is popular everywhere in Peru. When visiting the country a few years ago, I found a trout version at Lake Titicaca and even a sea urchin ceviche at Arequipa. The ceviche at Mr. Sebass is the type you would find in Lima. Two versions are offered: raw fish ($10) and mixed seafood ($10). The mixed seafood, served over a bed of lettuce, features fish augmented with shrimp, squid, octopus and mussels. It also has slices of red onion and slivers of hot red pepper. A unique Peruvian touch is the garnish of toasted corn kernels. The seafood is marinated in lemon juice, as opposed to the lime juice that distinguishes Mexican ceviches. This is a fine ceviche in a serving that is large enough to be an entrée. Those who are wary of raw seafood can try jalea ($10), which is the same mixed seafood battered and deep-fried.

The rest of the menu offers sandwiches and entrees. Another item that is always on the menu is lomo saltado ($9), strips of beefsteak cooked with onion and tomato and served over fried potatoes. Seasonings of soy sauce and ginger add Asian touches—an appropriate touch, as Peru has a substantial population of Japanese and Chinese immigrants.

Chicken dominates the entrees. Pollo a la brasa ($6) is a quarter chicken—an ample quarter at that—served with choice of fried potatoes or white rice. A salsa verde is also included. The salsa is quite spicy, nothing like a Mexican tomatillo salsa verde. This entrée even includes a side salad of lettuce and tomatoes with lemon juice. Aji de gallina ($9) is chicken breast coated with a mixture of eggs, peanuts and milk, and cooked with potatoes. This soothing dish seems a bit like a fricassee.

Tallarin verde ($9) is a delicious pasta dish with round noodles and pesto sauce made with Peruvian basil. It includes a choice of thin beefsteak or breaded chicken. Request some salsa verde for the steak.

Mr. Sebass plans to serve alcohol in the future, but it is not currently on the menu. For now there is the Peruvian soft drink Inca Kola, fresh fruit juices and chicha morada, a very unique beverage made here with purple corn, apple and pineapple and seasoned with cloves.

The menu changes frequently at Mr. Sebass—a move that ultimately rewards the diner, because everything is freshly prepared.

Mr. Sebass

3427 W. National Ave.

(414) 383-0300

$

Credit Cards: MC, VS

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