A new restaurant from the team behind popular South Minneapolis spots Café Ena, La Fresca and Rincón 38 is planning to open its doors at 50th & Xerxes by the end of the year.
Don Raul, a new project from owner Hector Ruiz and executive chef Gustavo Romero, will open in the former Sew What space at 4953 Xerxes Ave S.
Romero said they plan to be open for business before the end of the year but have been slightly delayed in finishing cosmetic work on the restaurant’s interior.
The service style at Don Raul, which will also be known as “DR49”, will focus on multi-course, fixed-menu dinners to start, according to Romero. Ruiz previously said the name is a reference to his grandfather.
“We want to do something really different than everything we have,” Romero said.
The group is tentatively planning on offering two seating groups each night where dinners are guided through a curated culinary experience.
The menu will draw on the life experiences of staff members, Romero said. Both Ruiz and Romero have Mexican roots, but have been exposed to a variety of cultures and culinary styles. Romero was trained at Le Cordon Bleu and had an Italian mentor early in his career. He said they want diners to have a new experience each time they come.
Fixed-menu meals will feature dishes with familiar Mexican staples, like heirloom corn from Oaxaca, and items that push the palette, such as insect-based dishes. Romero said he’s been experimenting with ants and scorpions lately.
“The only thing we want to be consistent is the good experience for our guests,” Romero said.
The space at Don Raul will be intimate. There will be seating for 38 guests inside, with room for another 32 on the patio in the summer.