Cebiche now serving authentic Peruvian fare in Wheat Ridge

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Cebiche, the Peruvian restaurant that opened last Saturday at 7000 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, does not have the same ownership as the Peruvian restaurant also named Cebiche that reopened on West 32nd Avenue a few months ago.

Sergio Iraola, the chef/owner of the West 38th Avenue Cebiche, once worked at the Cebiche at West 32nd; he says he was the owner there, and is referred to that way in Jason Sheehan's 2007 review of the restaurant. But Gabriella Watts, current owner of the West 32nd Avenue location, says Iraola was just a manager. They just agree on one thing: After parting on acrimonious terms, both are now threatening lawsuits over who owns the name.

The newest Cebiche is serving a limited menu: two appetizers, a salad, five entrees. There are picarones for dessert, too: fried pumpkin fritters served with a cinnamon clove syrup that are not listed on the menu, but worth asking for.

The kitchen is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.; a bar in the basement is open until 2 a.m. On September 9, the full menu will be introduced at a grand opening party. That menu will include seven kinds of cebiche (the Peruvian spelling of "ceviche"), as well as more entrees, soups, salads and desserts. The restaurant also plans to offer a brunch with $9 bottomless mimosas and a $5/glass Bloody Mary bar.

Iraola is the son of Peruvian immigrants. "It's different," he says of the food at this Cebiche. "It's authentic Peruvian. We offer a melting pot of different cultures -- African, Chinese, Italian, Spanish -- because Lima is a port city."

Sour Hour, Cebiche's version of happy hour, will focus on the Pisco Sour. Get them for $5 (usually $7) from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, when beers are also $1 off, which translates to $2.50 domestics and $3 imports and craft beers.

The massive, 5,000 square restaurant has rooms with different personalities. "It's like an old house with different rooms and different music in each room," Iraola says. The ground floor is a dining room with crisp white tablecloths and 45 dignified rattan-seats. In the back is a covered patio, where salsa classes will eventually be held. Upstairs will be a space for private parties.

And on the bottom floor, a cross between a speakeasy and your parent's basement, is the Underground, which is currently open Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. Iraola says that he'll soon book live music into the space.

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