Rincon Argentino means little corner of Argentina and was named so for Argentine Chef Christian wanting to bring a bit of his home to Boulder. The restaurant is small but comfortable, decorated with photos of Argentina, and “futbol” jerseys. Christian and his wife Carly treated me to empanadas, the house special, and an Argentinian beer. I sat at the bar overlooking the open kitchen, where I could watch empanadas being baked, and the chef in action.
The empanadas, an Argentinean staple, are made in a wood stone oven that heats up to extremely hot temperatures. This oven is best for baking empanadas, cooking the meat or vegetables enclosed, while toasting the outside to perfection. I tried the Spicy Chicken and Vegetarian flavors. After my first bite I was in heaven, impressed by the flakey softness of the empanada outside and the perfect blend of spices on the inside. Between bites I took sips of my Quilmes beer. This lunch was a getaway, complete with beer, and good food; and very Spanish, as the authentic cuisine attracts local Argentines.
Carly Saber, wife of the chef and co-owner of Rincon, sat with me while I ate and answered my tireless questions. Carly and Chef Christian met and lived in Buenos Aires for years and she talked passionately about the country, the people, and most importantly the cuisine. Her enthusiasm was endless. The menu of Rincon, she explained, will include steak sandwiches, empanadas, desserts and occasional chef-created specials. In addition to the menu and friendly atmosphere, Rincon also imports Argentinian groceries, including varieties of mate, cookies, and other Argentine favorites.
“Mate Time” occurs from 2-4pm at Rincon, and I happened to arrive just in time. Yerba mate is a popular beverage and cultural tradition of Argentina. The loose-leaf tea is served in a gourd with a metal straw, and a full thermos of hot water. The mate is for sharing, and I was lucky enough to share one with Chef Christian himself. The mate was soothing to the throat and palatable, but the real fun came from the sharing. In Argentina you drink mate with everyone, from friends and family, to new acquaintances. That’s the spirit of this place, to enjoy the company of others while diving into new and amazing cuisine. This new restaurant will be an excellent addition to Boulder, bringing people together over great food, a concept we are all familiar with.