C-Viche, a Latin American small plates restaurant, plans to open at 2165 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View in the former site of Lovely salon.
The focus of the restaurant will be on Ibero-American cuisine, derived from countries in the Americas that are former colonies of Portugal and Spain, served in a fun, casual atmosphere.
Owners, Karlos Soriano, a native of Peru, and Paco Villar, who grew up near Mexico City, are both Milwaukee industry veterans. Friends for about ten years, they met while working together at Rudy’s just off of Water St.
"We are excited to give people a brand new concept, exposure to a new culture." says Villar. "And we will try to capture a bit of each country in the dishes and drinks we serve."
Not surprisingly, ceviche will be a focus. Five varieties, including a rotating special will include Peruvian with halibut, lime, onions, cilantro and both fresh and toasted Peruvian corn and Mexican, a ceviche which starts with cooked shrimp, tomatoes, cilantro and onions served on an organic tostada spread with sour cream and mayonnaise.
Additional menu items -- many based on family recipes -- would include dishes like anticuchos -- marinated beef heart that is skewered, grilled and served with pepper-based sauce; seco criollo, a dish of stewed beef or veal served with a cilantro based sauce along with red onions and chile peppers seasoned with lime, salt and pepper; and ensalada de palta, a South American avocado salad.
The emphasis will be on shareable dishes -- though Soriano says the portions will be larger than most tapas or small plates.
"We want to make things affordable," he says, "With an emphasis on small plate portions that can be easily shared between three people."
Villar, who is currently bar manager at Cubanitas, would oversee the bar program at C-viche, which will include a variety of beers from countries including Brazil, Mexico and Peru. Wines will focus on varietals from Argentina, Spain, Portugal and Chile. Meanwhile, cocktails will take inspiration from Mexico and South America, including variations on the pisco sour and sangria in the style of the Dominican Republic. Spherical ice -- infused with green and red chiles -- will play a role in some of the cocktails, adding flavor to the drinks as it melts.
Currently, the partners have applied for occupancy of the building, as well as a liquor license. If all goes well, they hope for an opening sometime in November.
"We’re 100% devoted to our guests," says Soriano. "You have one chance to make a first impression. And we want to make sure we take advantage of that chance -- from the door to the bar to the food."
C-Viche will serve lunch, which would include sandwiches and small plates, as well as dinner. A spacious parking lot adjacent to the building will accommodate guests, and a patio behind the restaurant will provide outdoor dining next summer.
Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for addition details as they develop.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.