Belleview’s newest addition, Off The Hook Bar and Grill, has made quite an impression in its first couple of months. Alberto and Melanie Benvenuto opened up the restaurant in April to serve fresh, homemade Peruvian food—something their experience proves they’re good at. In fact, the Benvenutos already have 12 years of restaurant service under their belts from their first two restaurants in Alaska; the second one was their first Off The Hook.
“We started doing Peruvian food, and it just went off there because of the tourists,” Alberto says. “We were so busy up there.”
Now, they’re ready to show this community what Peruvian food is all about. While Alberto and one other chef cook all the restaurant’s food at their new location, Melanie and three other servers make up the entire waitstaff. The Benvenutos aren’t just the bosses—they take on most of the work and are at the restaurant almost 24/7.
Alberto is passionate about cooking and takes pride in his food. For him, Peruvian food is all about the flavors really popping. As he explains it, the many flavors of Peruvian food come from a fusion of cultures. For example, there’s a Peruvian spin on Chinese fried rice and a delicious rendition of ceviche that came from the different cultural influences in Peru.
“Peru is huge on seafood, spices and veggies,” he says. “We can make [any dish] as spicy as you want it.”
When you walk into the cozy restaurant, the first thing you’re served is canchita, which is like a Peruvian popcorn. Take a look at the menu and choose from different appetizers, stir-fries, ceviches, soups, sandwiches and so much more. Eat lunch or dinner, try a Peruvian beer or juice and enjoy the lounge atmosphere decorated in bold colors and filled with modern Peruvian music. Besides the cool atmosphere, one thing you’re sure to love is how fresh the food is.
“Everything is handmade and homemade. Nothing comes out of a jar, and that’s what really makes the difference,” Alberto says.
Now he wants everyone to try his food because, from what he’s witnessed, “Once they try it, they’re in.”
Stay up to date on upcoming specials and menu offerings on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Off The Hook Bar and Grill › 10901 S US Hwy 441, Belleview › (352) 307-0661 › Tue-Sun 11a-9p