With its red-and-black color scheme and bull-themed decor, Cocina del Barrio in downtown Edina looks a lot like its sister tequila bars in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, right down to the gothic candelabra drowning in drippy white wax. But the third of Ryan Burnet and Tim Rooney's Barrios adds the Spanish word for kitchen, cocina, to its name, emphasizing its expanded food menu. The former Coldwell Banker Burnet office building now contains three-sided bar in front, a dining room with an open kitchen in the middle, and a private dining table in back that seats up to 18. And in spite of Cocina's vast size, diners who arrive at, say, 6:30 p.m. midweek might face more than a half-hour wait as aggressively accessorized after-work drinkers and early diners quickly fill the tables. Cocina is, in fact, the first real "bar bar" to arrive in the once dry city. (Surely the George Clooney-esque bartender would be the subject of much whispered discussion if the volume of the music and conversation allowed for anything other than shouting.) Favorite Barrio small plates, such as the guacamole and fish tacos, are as good as ever. New Cocina items, including many lighter salads and ceviche appetizers, are less reliable, though the wood-grilled pork rib chop is excellent.
Sun-Mon 11:30am-9pm, Tue-Wed 11:30am-11pm, Thu 11:30am-11:30pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-1am
Latin American, Mexican
Full Bar, Lunch, Outdoor Dining, Private Party, Reservations Accepted, Reservations Recommended