It’s great to have an innovative restaurateur like Hector Ruiz working in your city. He and his wife have succeeded in bringing creative, high quality Latin cooking to South Minneapolis, and my wife and I have enjoyed each of his venues.
We were quite dismayed when El Meson, his first restaurant, closed late in 2012. We had enjoyed dining there often. Besides great food, he often had flamenco music and dancing as entertainment. (Click here for a review of El Meson.) At least we still had Café Ena, his second venue, which is another personal favorite.
But we shouldn’t have worried. Not even 6 months after closing El Meson, Ruiz opened Rincon 38. It’s in the same neighborhood as Ena. The word ‘rincon’ means ‘corner.’ The restaurant is located on the corner of 38th and Grand in South Minneapolis. It’s not even a mile from Ena, which is at 46th and Grand.
Rincon 38 is a tapas restaurant. We met friends and scored a table outside. It was a gorgeous evening and a relaxing way to enjoy the food. Between the four of us, we split 6 different plates plus 2 desserts. All of them were great, but a few really stood out.
Pulpo – braised octopus. It was tender and served with potatoes, chorizo sausage, and artichokes with aioli and drizzled with sherry. Fabulous.
Coliflor – roasted cauliflower with saffron and a citrus aioli.
The other tapas were setas (mushrooms), canoli (lobster, crab, and mascarpone wrapped in a pastry), vasco (sorry, can’t remember) and mero (roasted sea bass over vegetables and polenta).
For dessert, we split pumpkin crème brulee and tiramisu. I’m not too fond of either, so I had an espresso.
I always enjoyed the wine list at El Meson and Café Ena. Rincon 38 continues that tradition with an interesting line up of wines, mostly from South America and Spain. But they also have a nice selection of beer on tap and bottled. On this particular summer night, I opted for beer.
Since we ate outdoors, we didn’t get an impression of the interior ambiance. The service was friendly and knowledgeable. We had a great time and we definitely will be back.