A great meal awaits you in a tiny Peruvian restaurant tucked away under above-ground highways and endless construction near the Wood Island T-stop in East Boston. Rincon Limeño is a small, humble, family-style joint with only 1 waitress. The food is fantastic, always packed with a great variety of flavos and textures which harmonize wonderfully. I would recommend trying their ceviches which, although not included in this gallery, were definitely something to write home about.
The goat stew (with refried beans, seasoned with red onions and garlic, served over white rice) is one of my favorite dishes around town, definitely worth a trip on the Blue Line. The meat is slip-off-the-bone tender, far from fatty with an incredible depth of musky, minerally flavor so characteristic of lamb and goat. The spicy refried beans picked up the essence of the goat and provided a perfect starchy, syrupy bed for the dish while the red onions and cilantro offered that bit of lightness so essential in a hearty dish like this one.
These Peruvian-style mussels, stuffed with onions, cilantro and lemon are delightfully refreshing and will transport you to a sunny, sandy beach on a summer afternoon. If you don’t like ceviche because uncooked fish freaks you out, this is a great alternative.
Leche de Tigre is the cilantro-citrus based marinade in which raw fish is traditionally “cooked” during ceviche preparation, either spooned as a soup or (if you’re like me) slurped down like a spicy-sour shot. The one at Rincon Limeno is delicious. The hot-sour combination of lime juice, onion, chiles and fish juice provides a tantalizing, crazy flavor wake up your taste buds, preparing them for the rest of the meal. Also good at curing debilitating hang-overs….
And now onto what causes such hang-overs…the notorious pisco sour. A combination of pisco (a grape brandy I grew especially fond of during my stay in Chile), lime juice and raw egg whites to make it frothy (don’t worry about salmonella, folks, the 70 proof hootch in this drink is every bacterium’s worst enemy). I didn’t really care for this particular Pisco Sour because I lean toward Chilean brands while this one was made with Peruvian pisco which is a bit funkier tasting. However, this drink is so hard to find in Boston that seeing it on the menu definitely put a knowing smile on my face, a smile noticed and reciprocated boldly by our Peruvian waitress.
The alfajores were a delicious ending to my meal. Although not as intricate as the flan or the mazamorra morada (Peruvian purple corn pudding with fruit), I wish to highlight them as the dough was very light and fresh (despite ordering them at 9:00pm) and the manjar (dulce de leche) smooth and nutty sweet.