Getting a Little La Fresca

A really great restaurant can transport you somewhere else and that’s just what happened when we went to La Fresca for dinner. Located in south Minneapolis, this is the newest restaurant from chef Hector Ruiz and is described as “nouveau Mexican cuisine.” What exactly does that mean? Well, our server Boris could be heard telling tables throughout the room (ours included), “It’s Mexican food with a French twist.”

While we sat in the small, cheery dining room, Boris guided us through a delicious assortment of dishes. And the man knew exactly what he was talking about. He told us that the guacamole was best in the city and the verdict after my first bite? It was. It’s not my finest moment, but I tried subtly moving it closer to my side of the table with the hope The Husband would forget about it so I wouldn’t have to share:

GUACAMOLE: Fresh avocados, red onion, cilantro, vine ripe tomatoes, roasted tomatillo sauce, lime, citron oil, sea salt, cilantro-chile de arbol oil (vegetarian)
GUACAMOLE: Fresh avocados, red onion, cilantro, vine ripe tomatoes, roasted tomatillo sauce, lime, citron oil, sea salt, cilantro-chile de arbol oil (vegetarian)

There were no vegetarian options on the “terceros” section of the menu, but there were a few options in the “primeros” (small plates) and “secondaros” (salads). If every corn tortilla tasted like the homemade “corn tortilla boat” in their sopes, that would be all I ate. Far from the thin, dry store-bought corn tortilla, these were moist and tender:

sopes
SOPES: Homemade corn tortilla boat, roasted poblano peppers, onion confit, crema casera, frijoles colados (vegetarian)

Boris recommended the Frida salad, and it was as light and fresh as he said it would be. I was surprised to find in sprinkled with sea salt, even more surprised that I liked it. One of my favorite aspects of this salad was that the honey-chipotle chevre fondue was on the bottom. It really complimented the salad, not overwhelming it or adding heaviness:

salad

FRIDA: Red wine braised pears, roasted beets, arugula, baby spinach, toasted almond, fennel, apple, honey-chipotle chevre fondue (vegetarian)

The Husband was having problems making up his mind but Boris sold him on the Carne Asada. I watched him take his first bite and saw his eyes roll in what I can only describe as ecstasy:

carnas
CARNE ASADA: Serrano pepper marinated flank steak, beans borrachos, cambray onion confit, asparagus, chorizo, fried shallots (medium rare)

I’m disappointed that we were both too full to try dessert but look forward to going back. If you need to transport yourself somewhere else for an evening, consider a little nouveau Mexican. Just make sure to save room for dessert and let me know how it is!

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