Sink Swim Ceviche

Michael Nagrant / 12.13.16

One of my favorite new restaurants to open in 2015 was Sink Swim in Logan Square. One of my favorite TV shows back in 2006 was “Gilmore Girls.” These things may not seem related, but they are. Just because something is great doesn’t mean that it will last forever. “Gilmore Girls” was canceled in 2007, and the folks behind Sink Swim announced a change of course last month, leaning toward more casual, affordable eats. Founding chef Matt Danko left and was replaced by Mitch Cavanah (GT Fish & Oyster) earlier this month.

During the changing of the guard, chef de cuisine Nathan Whittaker held down the fort and retooled the menu away from luxurious caviar- and creme fraiche-studded oysters in favor of neighborhood-friendly fare such as crab mac ‘n’ cheese and broiled oysters with garlic butter and crisp breadcrumbs.

I expected dishes like these. What I didn’t expect was top-notch ceviche, a blend of silky avocado and luscious diced mahi mahi dripping with lime and jalapeno and mixed with a satisfying crunch factory courtesy of diced apple, fennel and fried pepitas (pumpkin seeds). The pepitas added a buttery, smoky crunch I’ve never experienced in a ceviche before.

“The dish draws on my experience working with Rick Bayless at Topolobampo, which is where I first learned how to make ceviche,” Whittaker said. “The addition of fried pepitas is a play on Peruvian ceviches adding cancha to their versions. Cancha is a toasted corn kernel, essentially another form of popcorn. I find pepitas have this crunch and deep toasted flavor that goes well with this autumnal ceviche.”

Thanks to the miracle that is Netflix, “Gilmore Girls” is back. And with a new chef getting settled in and a killer ceviche on the menu, things are certainly looking up for Sink Swim.

Worth a trip: Ceviche ($12) at Sink Swim
3213 W. Armitage Ave. 773-486-7465

This article first appeared in Redeye Chicago in a different form.