In 2008, Rinata opened at 2541 Hennepin Avenue, taking over the space from another popular Italian restaurant, Giorgio. “Rinata in Italian means reborn, so when Giorgio closed, we thought Rinata made sense as we were opening another Italian restaurant opening in the same spot,” shared Amor Hantous, who owns the restaurant along with Scott Butters.
The fresh, handmade fare on Rinata’s menu includes salads, pizzas, pastas, entrees, desserts and, of course, their signature, freshly-made focaccia bread. Wine and beer are also available to-go.
When asked about creating the menu, which changes seasonally, Scott admits, “We are borderline obsessed with food and so we're always cooking for ourselves or getting together after work and doing barbecues or making pizzas.” When experimenting with new menu ideas, their inspiration spans the regions of Italy. Scott also revealed that Amor has thousands of cookbooks at his house to spark their creativity.
Rinata’s Spaghetti and Meatballs is a mouthwatering rendition of the classic dish, and their Bucatini All'amatriciana featuring house pancetta, tomato, garlic, chili flake, and Parmigiano Reggiano elevates a simple tomato sauce with a rich spiciness. When prompted, Scott admitted to the Bucatini being his current favorite.
Just in time for spring, a new addition to Rinata’s menu is their Local Spring Lamb Maltagliati featuring porcini mushrooms, fava beans, asparagus, peas, and locally raised lamb from Red Rock Ridge in Comfrey, Minnesota. Rinata sources local ingredients whenever possible. “Once the farmer’s market opens, we’re there a couple of times a week,” said Amor.
While the quality of Rinata’s food is upscale in flavor composition, the atmosphere is relaxed and inviting. It’s a neighborhood restaurant where you can celebrate a special occasion or stop in to grab a salad and a pizza. The casual intimacy of this small scale restaurant is enhanced by the distinct dining environments. The main dining room is perfect for dates, family dinner or a night out with friends. The cozy bar area with high top tables and bar stools gives solo diners and couples a place to dine and unwind. The small room off the host stand offers a semi-private dining with advance notice. And in the summer, al fresco dining is available on the sidewalk out front.
For many in Lowry Hill East, Rinata feels like a second home. That’s the environment Amor and Scott desired and intentionally created. “We truly love our customers and honestly cannot wait to open again,” shared Scott. “This has been a really challenging environment for restaurants, obviously, but also for human beings in general. I can't tell you how many friendships have been made just from people sitting next to each other randomly at our bar. I think it’s really important to get back to serving our customers as soon as we safely can.”
Due to the size of their restaurant and their concern for staff safety, Rinata is open for online orders/take-out only at this time. Dine-in service is expected to return as case numbers fall and vaccines become more widespread. “Tentatively we're thinking early May,” said Scott. Fingers crossed!
Hours: Tues – Thurs 4 - 8 p.m.; Fri – Sat 4 - 9 p.m.
Address: 2451 Hennepin Avenue