Peruvian Flair in Providence: Ceviches, Tapas and Excellent Wines

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About 3000 years ago, fishermen in what is now Peru ate their catch straight from the sea. Even before the Inca civilization, people there would cure their raw fish in acid and season them with hot chilis, pepper and seaweed, according to “Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America,” a new book by Maricel Presilla.

Today, a version of that same meal is called ceviche, and it’s usually dressed in lime juice, salt, chili, and onion. And you don’t have to go to Peru for that: there are multiple versions on the menu at a new Providence gastropub: Ceviches by Divino.

The Acevichado role in Ceviches by Divino.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The Purple Haze cocktail made with pisco at Ceviches by Divino.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the River House in the Innovation & Design (better known as the Jewelry) District. It has free valet parking, an outdoor patio overlooking the river and the towers of Manchester Street Generating Station, and an industrial feel. In a city where many cuisines close early, their tapas bar and ceviche are available seven days a week until midnight.

I went with a crew and checked out the space last week, and we sampled just about everything available during their soft opening. Our favorites were the Trío de Ceviches ($30), a sampler of their Ceviche Tradicional, Ají Amarillo, Divino; and the Pulpo Anticuchero ($19), octopus skewers seasoned with vinegar, cumin, garlic, and Peruvian panca chili and accompanied by potatoes and rocoto pepper.

Probably more suited to a brisk fall or winter evening, the Parihuela Acevichada ($25) was a seafood and corvina soup with a panca pepper topped with a spoonful of ceviche.

As for their bar program, you won’t find Tito’s Vodka or Casamigos Blanco tequila here.

Partner and certified sommelier Ali Alejandro Quero prepares to taste Caravedo pisco, an unaged Peruvian cognac at Ceviches by Divino in Providence, Rhode Island.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The Ceviche Market.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Each of their cocktails is made with pisco, an unripened brandy made from fermented Peruvian grape juices and musts with spicy and earthy notes that remind me of tequila. Within the next two weeks, they will also be offering pisco flights where you can sample four different varieties.

The franchise chain is an award-winning concept founded by three brothers in the Miami area. This Rhode Island location is their sixth spot, but the only one outside of Florida. It is managed by partner and certified sommelier Ali Alejandro Quero, who has been deeply involved in their beverage program. Quero previously worked at Los Andes, a popular Peruvian and Bolivian restaurant on Chalkstone Avenue in Providence.

He put together Ceviche’s wine list, which serves varieties by the glass, including an orange vinho verde from Portugal (11€ for a full glass), a Brut-style sparkling wine from New Mexico by Gruet Winery, and a Beaujolais 13€ from a French winery that has been growing grapes for over 500 years.

The Octopus Anticuchero.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Ceviches by Divino is a new gastropub in Providence’s Jewelry District.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Each wine is also available in a half glass.

“There’s something romantic about wine: it’s an art form that immediately captivated me. I was always that server reading the labels on the backs of all the bottles to learn more,” Quero told me. “It’s intellectually stimulating and when you take a sip, everything around you just stops.”

If you have any suggestions or need a recommendation, please email me [email protected].

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Alexa Gagosz can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.