Tamayo - Dinner
Have you thought about where you will be spending Cinco de Mayo?! The choice is easy for us. You can find us at Tamayo!
After writing about the Bottomless Margarita Brunch at Tamayo, we were graciously invited to dinner with the Director of Marketing and Brand Management of the Richard Sandoval Restaurants, Vanessa Lustig. The Richard Sandoval group owns and operates restaurants nationally and has several in the Denver area including Tamayo, Zengo, La Guera, and La Sandia. Vanessa was an incredible hostess and we were spoiled rotten at this complimentary dinner!
Before we get into the food, we have to mention the service at this restaurant. Tamayo goes out of the way to make sure exceptional service starts the minute you walk through the door. We were greeted immediately upon arriving and were politely ushered to our table. We were seated and our fabulous server Lia instantaneously appeared and began telling us all about Tomayo’s great drink and appetizer options. A knowledgeable server is everything and Lia’s history with the restaurant shone through and she truly is first-rate at what she does. Head chef, Oscar Padilla, personally presented all of our courses and went out of his way to ensure we knew all the ins and outs of the dishes he was serving. Oscar has been with Richard Sandoval Restaurants for 4 years and his experience shines through in his food preparation, presentation, and most importantly, TASTE. We were blown away by this dinner!
WARNING: here comes the good stuff; you will be HUNGRY after reading this review.
We started with Tamayo’s speciality margaritas (no true Mexican meal is complete without them!). The margaritas at Tamayo are pure and have no fillers or extra sugar. We tried three types of margaritas at our dinner. The Prickly Pear Marg was sweet and smooth, using prickly pear infused tequila, fresh lime and Grand Marnier. It is hard to have just one. Next up was our spiciest selection, the Ancho Chili Margarita. This margarita is bold and spicy with fantastic flavors due to the combination of Ancho Chili Liquor and Patron Citronage; complemented by agave nectar and lime juice. Our last margarita choice was the Spicy Mango Margarita. This beverage is made with serrano-infused tequila and mango puree. The perfect balance of spicy and sweet!
For appetizers, we started off with a trio of guacamole. All we can say is WOW. Do NOT go to Tamayo and not try one of their signature guacamoles. They are AMAZING. Our fave was the Tuna Tartare Guacamole with wonton chips. That’s right, light and crisp wonton chips! This guac was seasoned with serrano and chipotle seed, then topped with generous chunks of prime tuna tartare and jicama salad. We also tasted the Spicy Crab guac and Bacon guac which came with torialla chips; these were also to die for.
Our next course was the Tianguis Quesadilla. This quesadilla has beautiful presentation as it sits atop a throne of guacamole and is topped with pickled onions. Inside was pork belly and carnitas that have incredible flavor.
Now let’s taco ‘bout the tacos. We tried three of the tacos that Tamayo offers: the Chicken Tinga, the Crispy Tofu, and the Tacos de Puntas de Filete. All were great! Our fave = Tacos de Puntas de Filete. This taco combines juicy marinated beef tenderloin, avocado, panela cheese (new obsession), and a chile toreado salsa. The biggest surprise was the crispy tofu! We’re not huge tofu fans but let me tell you something that surprised even us, these crispy tofu tacos are DELICIOUS. The Asian infusion preparation and the garnishing of shitake vinaigrette and avocado espuma is Oscar Padilla’s special creation which has the restaurant screaming for more!
We were naïve enough to think the tacos were our main course, but to our delight, Oscar had a variety of entrees and sides for us to try!
We sampled the Chipotle Camarones, the Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas, and the Envuelto de Pescado. All of these selections exhibited creative flavor combinations and stood out from any other Mexican restaurant in Denver we have ate at so far. The Chipotle Camarones is a seafood dish featuring tequila flambé shrimp drizzled with black bean puree and Gouda huarache chipotle sauce. The Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas featured pork tenderloin and pork shoulder that is roasted all day to ensure tenderness and flavor. This dish rests atop avocado puree and a corn tortilla stuffed with black bean Mexican ricotta cheese. Talk about delicious! Oscar Padilla knocks it out of the park with the Envuelto de Pescado. The striped bass is wrapped in a corn husk and grilled. The dish is presented with salsa ranchera, avocado espuma, sautéed heirloom tomatoes, epazote, topped with a scoop of steamed rice.
The table side dishes that accompanied our entrees were the Mexico City Style Corn on the Cob and the Caramelized Plantains with chipotle butter. Both were fabulous but my favorite was the corn on the cob! It’s covered in cheese and it’s MORE than worth getting a few kernels stuck in your teeth! Treslyn’s favorite side dish was the plantains so you can’t go wrong with either!
As full as we were at this point, there was no way we would turn down dessert! And dessert did not disappoint. We tried the Empanadas de Plantano and the Corn Flan. Treslyn’s birthday was a few days prior so the Chef adorned the empanadas with a dazzling sparkler; way too fun! The empanadas were topped with a deliciously creamy coconut ice cream that is made locally in Denver. They were amazing and are a must have if going to Tomayo. This was our first time trying flan which was also great! The flan is made with corn so it's gluten free! As we savored every last bite of our dessert, we sipped on cappuccinos that were topped with cinnamon.
Make your reservation today and be sure to tell them that denv.her. sent you! See you there!
1400 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202