Southern Comforts

Though it's well off the South End's restaurant row, ORINOCO couldn't stay off diners' radar for long. The quiet, unassuming restaurant makes so-called Nuevo Latino food as well as traditional Venezuelan dishes: tender, shredded beef served with black beans and plantains, puffed arepas - they're like a hybrid of corn tortillas and English muffins - with pork or cheese or beans inside. The open kitchen makes the whole place smell divine, and the wine list is easily navigated because it's short and the choices are good. Too bad it's not open seven nights a week - Orinoco is a nice place to unwind. Orinoco, 477 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, 617-369-7075, orinocokitchen.com

Boston Globe, January 28, 2007