Attention all parents out there: isn’t it time to treat yourselves to a festive date night, a little break from the kids, to enjoy being together like you did when you were younger? My husband and I took that break and ate at Tamayo, a trendy restaurant in a prime location within Larimer Square. Its vibrant atmosphere included a colorful bar, with south-of-the-border tile artwork giving the place a festive vibe. The atmosphere was highly engaging without being invasive, the perfect place for a date with your loved one. With its high ceilings and natural light, it’s an easy place to feel comfortable. In addition to a spacious rooftop deck with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains, there is an outdoor eating area perfect in summer to enjoy the tastes of Latin cuisine.
Tamayo’s world-renowned restaurateur and chef, Richard Sandoval, grew up working in his family’s restaurant in Acapulco, Mexico, where he honed his skills in the kitchen. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he opened his flagship restaurant, Maya, in New York in 1997. His home is now in Denver where he runs Sandoval Hospitality.
Using Mexican recipes with techniques from around the world, his masterpieces let you experience a realm of contrasting flavors.
We started with drinks, my husband ordering Tamayo’s famous spicy mango margarita which he said was a delightful mix of spicy and sweet, part of the restaurant’s collection of over 100 tequilas and agave-based spirits.
A popular starter is Tamayo’s Guacamole. We ordered the traditional guacamole which included tomato, onion, and cilantro, topped with the delicious and subtle flavors of Serrano peppers. The Habanero sauce that came on the side was a bit too much for our palates, but the chunky guacamole was fresh and tasty.
My husband ordered the chili and coffee rubbed carne Asada which consisted of a skirt steak, refried beans, nopales green bean salad, achiote chimichurri, with a mole poblano demi glaze. He was pleased with the mixture of flavors. Even though the meat had a coffee rub, it’s not meant to taste like coffee. The coffee merely enhances the already rich characteristics of the dish.
One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is the slow-roasted pork carnitas, which we were told is also traditional. I ordered Mahi Mahi tacos with grilled garlic, pico de gallo, napa cabbage, chipotle rouille, and avocado, which was a savory surprise for my taste buds. They were exquisite, if not a bit messy.
For dessert my husband ordered Tres Leches Bread Pudding which contained warm three-milk bread pudding, cinnamon ice cream, tres leches crème Anglaise, and blueberry compote. He’s tried many types of bread puddings over the years and said this dessert had the perfect balance in that it was not too heavy, and the consistency was just right. He added, “If you get the consistency wrong, it’s just wrong.”
My dessert was Pastel de Mousse, a rich chocolate mousse with a tangy mandarin sauce, and a blackberry peanut butter feuillantine crust which melted in my mouth; the perfect ending to a terrific meal.
We met the congenial Chef de Cuisine, Antonio Tevillo, who brought us our desserts himself and took great pride in his work, describing what we were about to eat. We were also impressed that the floor staff was attentive and friendly.
The Taquiza Taco Experience
If you decide to double date, Tamayo offers a Taquiza Taco Experience available for parties of four. The interactive tableside street taco experience is inspired by the authentic Taquiza taco parties of Mexico where friends and family gather to enjoy tacos, tequila, and good company.
Aside from traditional dishes with a contemporary flair, Tamayo is home to a large variety of innovative margaritas and hand-crafted cocktails.
For more information, or to make reservations, visit: Tamayo.