Don Ricardo’s is a family-run Brazilian/Peruvian restaurant in the South End. When I went there on Thursday night, my dining companions and I were greeted by Don himself. We got there around 7:30 and the restaurant was completely empty, which gave me pause. Don was friendly enough and patiently addressed our queries about the food, but still, only one other couple patronized the restaurant that night, making me wonder how Don’s stays in the game in a really strong restaurant neighborhood. My conclusion by the end of the night: the apps and the sangria.
Unable to decide between the sweet and green plaintains (Don prefers the former and I the latter), we naturally ordered both. The maduros (fried sweet plaintains) with “carrot sauce”:
Here’s the latter, also served with the mysteriously yellow carrot sauce, which did actually have a pronounced carrot flavor when eaten on its own:
The no-frills guacamole was awesome:
For my main, I split the seafood paella, which disappointed. The lobster was juicy but the rice was underseasoned and lacking the infusion of seafood flavor that makes this dish. Also, the rice was noticeably missing the hot crustiness that should come from being cooked properly; as such I suspect the dish was not fresh, else just poorly prepared.
J ordered a special, the beef chimichanga and was rewarded with one intense beast. Interestingly the insides were layered very similar to lasagna. Not sure if there were multiple flour tortillas layered on top of one another all within the fried tortilla shell. Mm, deep-fried lasagna.
The sangria was the best part of the meal. A pitcher for $15, plenty for two and just the right amount for four on a weekday night. I’d come back for the sangria and guacamole but would prefer satiating my main event munchies elsewhere. Don and his wife are an adorable couple and make a mean pitcher of alcohol, but sometimes being cute just doesn’t cut it. Perhaps when the restaurant is busier things come out fresh but customers that come in on a slow night are customers nevertheless. Don’s been in business for awhile so he’s doing something right; it’s really just too bad his magic was missing that night.
57 W Dedham St