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Getting Sauced at Rinconcito Sudamericano

Getting Sauced at Rinconcito Sudamericano
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  • Getting Sauced at Rinconcito Sudamericano

    Post #1 - March 12th, 2005, 12:17 pm
    Post #1 - March 12th, 2005, 12:17 pm Post #1 - March 12th, 2005, 12:17 pm
    LTH,

    Janet C arranged dinner at Rinconcito with a goal worthy of any and all LTHer, duplicate her favorite sauce. I'm not sure how much closer Janet is to completion of her quest, but it provided an excellent excuse, not that we need one, to gather at the table.

    In addition to Janet there was myself, my lovely wife Ellen, Giovanna, who was celebrating her B-Day, the always engaging Cathy2, Lydia M, who writes Savoring Chicago, Maria Kijac, a South American cookbook author of some note, and JimInLoganSquare, LTHForum's resident environmental attorney, man of many talents and a true aristocrat.

    The sauce, how about the sauce? The consensus was, while my version of Rinconcito's recipe is close, it's not exact. Maria suggested Rinconcito roasts their peppers first, my version steams, and uses serrano in addition to jalapeno. Maria also suggested a wee bit of cumin, oregano and, possibly, cream cheese instead of feta.

    Frankly, I like my version better than Rinconcito's, heat comes from one or two habaneros added and the feta seems to add tang, while smoothing out the sauce. But that was not the goal, at least Janet's goal, so back to the drawing board. I should also add that, even though Maria is utterly charming, asked incisive pointed questions in Spanish to the waitstaff, they did not part with any secrets. Oh well. :)

    Our dinner was quite good, with beef heart being a standout.
    Image

    Ellen enjoyed her paella, as did I, it was a large portion. :)
    Image

    Two tamales were split as an appetizer
    Image

    Along with the potato croquet w/cream cheese.
    Image

    We had a number of different dishes, all were quite good, though Rinconcito does seem to, at least to my taste, go a little heavy on the sauce. A perfect example was my duck dish, which I liked, but thought he sauce mixed in with the rice detracted from the overall dish.
    (Yes, I know, not a very good picture.)
    Image

    Ellen and I capped off a very enjoyable evening at The Chocolate Shoppe, Pictures Here and Here .
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    Thanks for arranging Rinconcito Janet, hope you achieve Peruvian sauce perfection.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Rinconcito Sudamericano
    1954 W. Armitage Ave
    Chicago, IL
    773-489-3126
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - March 12th, 2005, 10:12 pm
    Post #2 - March 12th, 2005, 10:12 pm Post #2 - March 12th, 2005, 10:12 pm
    Hi,

    Since we were brought there by sauce, may as well begin with the sauce. Riconcito's sauce was too hot for me to enjoy. Maria was also of the opinion the heat distracted from other flavor components. I liked Gary's sauce; I liked it more than Riconcito's sauce; though frankly they were two very different sauces. Gary's choice of Feta, an unusual ingredient for the region, added a nice sour note. After comparing the two sauces, I'd stick with Gary's sauce since it had a more interesting flavor profile. Though Janet if you do plumb the depths of the Riconcito's sauce and find what you desire; I'll be interested to have the recipe. Just because I don't like it hot, doesn't mean others won't enjoy it.

    When I read of Gary's scouting trip the night before, I was left with a deep lust in my heart for heart. It wasn't so much I lusted the taste, I'd never had it before, I lusted the opportunity to try it. I was quite delighted the mix of appetizers included the grilled heart. Yet, once it has been portioned and passed around to 8 people, you don't get a lot of heart. So I ordered a second heart, almost all to myself, for my entree.

    I was terribly impressed by the heart's taste, which reminded me of flank steak. Talking to Maria on the ride home, I learned the trick to a good heart is in the preparation, which involves removal of the ventricles and trimming off a silvery membrane. Riconcito's preparation included cutting it into 1/2-1 inch cross sections, then several pieces slipped onto a skewer, the meat scored and grilled. The lighting was dim, so I cannot tell if it was cooked through or if it was medium rare, though it had a medium rare steak taste

    Given the workout a heart has, I was expecting something more sinewy and tough or slimy smooth and livery. I never expected it to taste like steak by any stretch of my imagination. If anything, I was expecting this to be a one-shot deal with no real desire to beeline for it again - sometimes expectations of the unknown are so off the mark.

    At lunch with the Evanston Lunch Club (check Events from time to time), I was reporting on my delight with the heart. The French Couple immediately advised there is an even better heart can be had at Taste of Peru in Rogers Park. They suggested we plan on meeting there for lunch sometime. Who knew there was so much heart out there to be had!

    Janet, sorry we did not accomplish your mission as hoped. Who knows, if I hadn't come, how long would it be before I found I desired heart! Thank you for an interesting gastronomic evening.

    As an aside, I googled beef heart preparation where I learned beef heart is a popular ingredient for homemade fish food; those lucky fish. One sight offered the caloric count, which is a very, very decent 50 calories per ounce indicating a very lean meat, though unlike many lean meats, this heart had a very robust flavor.

    Taste of Peru
    6545 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60626
    773-381-4540
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - August 12th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    Post #3 - August 12th, 2005, 3:19 pm Post #3 - August 12th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    Moving in September to:

    Rinconcito Sudamericano
    2012 W Armitage Ave
    Chicago, IL 60622
    773-489-3126
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - October 21st, 2008, 8:44 am
    Post #4 - October 21st, 2008, 8:44 am Post #4 - October 21st, 2008, 8:44 am
    I don't know if this is an opening, a closing, a move, a reconcepting, or all three. Rinconcito Sudamericano will no longer be at 1954 W. Armitage. The sign says they are "moving" to 2010 W. Armitage, which is currently Rios D' Sudamericano. The restaurants are owned by the same Peruvian family, and there is no indication that Rios is closing.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #5 - October 21st, 2008, 9:47 am
    Post #5 - October 21st, 2008, 9:47 am Post #5 - October 21st, 2008, 9:47 am
    Kennyz wrote:I don't know if this is an opening, a closing, a move, a reconcepting, or all three. Rinconcito Sudamericano will no longer be at 1954 W. Armitage. The sign says they are "moving" to 2010 W. Armitage, which is currently Rios D' Sudamericano. The restaurants are owned by the same Peruvian family, and there is no indication that Rios is closing.
    This is from the Chicago Magazine Dish newsletter:
    Dish wrote:Rinconcito Sudamericano (1954 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-489-3126), a 28-year-old Peruvian mainstay in Bucktown owned by Elizabeth Perez, will move into the larger Rios D’Sudamerica space on the other side of Damen (2010 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-276-0170), which is owned by Perez’s son, Dino. Rios, a two-year-old South American fusion restaurant, will keep its name but make way for a two-pronged Peruvian approach. “We’re expanding our menu,” says Percy Perez, a manager, also a son of Elizabeth’s. “We now have access to more Peruvian products. My ma has been cooking traditional food that we all know, and Jose Vittorio will bring in what’s in Peru now.” Expect the move to be complete by January, and the menu at Rios to begin changing as early as next week, incorporating dishes such as pollo a la brasa, a chicken marinated for 24 hours in a traditional Peruvian rotisserie ($15 with avocado salad and french fries).

    Also of note (to you, Kennyz) if you click on the link is the lead item regarding the training of Billy Alexander of Farmerie ("Emeril's, Commander's Palace," as opposed to the Stew's "Emeril's Commander's Palace").
  • Post #6 - October 28th, 2008, 5:16 pm
    Post #6 - October 28th, 2008, 5:16 pm Post #6 - October 28th, 2008, 5:16 pm
    As noted here, Riconcito Sudamericano is closing its doors at 1954 W. Armitage and moving in with Rios d'Sudamerica at 2010 W. Armitage some time in January.

    I ate at Riconcito for the first time recently and really loved the chupe de camarones (creamy Peruvian shrimp chowder). It's a milky-light cream soup with rice, spiked with ground chile. The shrimp were perfectly cooked. I ate the whole, ginormous bowl of it solo for dinner, but I've been back a second time and (reluctantly) split the bowl into four good appetizer servings.

    My plea to the Peruvian god Pacha Kamaq: when the menus merge, please keep this delicious soup in the mix.

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