Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday with a delicious feast at Orinoco restaurant in Brookline Village. Orinoco specializes in Venezuelan cuisine, which I had never tried before until recently. I had read great reviews and as expected, this restaurant was perfect for celebrations – great food, great drinks, and great ambiance. They also have locations in the South End and Harvard Square.
I am a big fan of mojitos especially in the summertime because they’re so refreshing. At Orinoco, my friends and I tried both the autentico version and the mixed berries; both were tasty, but I prefer the autentico, which was made with Venezuelan rum. The group consensus was that this was probably the best mojito drink in the area. Red sangria also received high marks.
We shared some appetizers for the table: cocas del dia (Spanish flatbread), mini costillitas (baby back ribs in guava BBQ sauce), datiles (bacon-wrapped, almond-filled dates), and empanada mechada (traditional Latin American turnover beef patties). We enjoyed each one so much that we couldn’t decide on a group favorite. See photo on right (top to bottom): datiles, empanadas, mini costillitas.
For entree, our waitress recommended the adobo-smoked churrasco (char-grilled steak with panela red wine glaze, left photo), of which most of us ordered. If you’re a fan of lamb, the pistachio-panela-plantain-crusted lamb chops (right photo) is an excellent choice as well. We also shared side orders of yuca fries and tajadas (fried sweet plantains), which were devoured quickly.
We left the restaurant feeling full, satisfied, and happy. The space was cozy and the ambiance was lively, although it could use more lighting. If you’re looking for a delicious Latin American meal, check out Orinoco. I am looking forward to more dinners and drinks here.