Orinoco (South End)
Rubee and coookie, get ready to battle as you may be competing for seats--Orinoco is quite small! Totally and completely worth the wait, though, I heart that place.
I second the datiles. Also love the Verde empanadas (plantain dough). Entrees were not all that impressive to me--arepa, empanada plate, and shared salad was more than adequate, and much more interesting. I know zilch about wine but have loved all the S. American ones they have--I'm vaguely recalling a $30 malbec that stands out.
funnily enough, we're meeting friends at orinoco tonight as well. awkward intersection of internet and real life in 3, 2, 1...?
anyway, i've only been once (for lunch) and i had the chicken / avocado / cilantro arepa. it was pretty delicious, if a little mild in flavor. i tried a bit of the pernil (slow cooked pork w/ mojo) and the mechada (shredded beef), and i'll likely order one of those tonight instead.
I liked the datiles (dates wrapped with bacon, stuffed with an almond) -- a real WHAM of sticky-sweet dates and crispy bacon. I also really liked the chicken "guiso," which is available as an arepa filling or in one of the dinner plates -- spiced stewed chicken with plumped raisins, olives, tomatoes -- very tasty and homestyle, if a little sweet and sour, which I like but some might not.
I liked the empanadas as well -- nice salsas alongside. The pernil was fine but didn't wow me. And I kind of hated the white sangria -- tasted like Del Monte fruit cocktail -- but then I haven't found a white sangria that I really like. Which raises the question of why I keep trying it, but never mind that....
Have a great time and let us know what you think.