I heard rumors that the ceviche at Hugo Ortega's new Mexican seafood restaurant was the best in town. So I stopped by to try some. I was expecting a bowl of fish in lime juice with some onion and chiles for garnish, so I was surprised when the waiter put down the plate in front of me. The red snapper ceviche featured slices of cured fish with escabeche onions and thin jalapeño slices and tangerine sections along with little Hershey's Kiss–shaped mounds of tangerine puree. If I am not mistaken, the puree contained the tangerine zest along with the fruit—it was deliciously tart and a trifle bitter.

Caracol
2200 Post Oak Blvd.
713-622-9996
caracol.net 

This ceviche presentation was not quite as austere as the yellowtail with jalapeño wheels you see at Nobu or Uchi, but it was inspired by that sort of sushi. The tart, spicy, and bold flavors reminded me of Latin Bites, or something from the wild ceviche era of Jonathan Jones at long-gone Oceans. It was, in short, not your typical Mexican restaurant ceviche. I recommend you try some soon. For my entree, I sampled the "catch of the day," roasted sea bass served with a lovely pureed herb sauce.

Houston has its share of great ostionerias, as Mexican seafood restaurants are known. Caracol is taking the category to a whole new level.

 

 

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