A few weeks ago, I attended a local blogger’s club meeting at the sleek new restaurant, Latigo. Latigo – named after a part of a leather saddle, is the brainchild of executive chef and owner Ignacio Leon. The restaurant opened it’s doors this summer in Denver’s Ballpark District and has been serving up delicious, authentic Mexican flavors ever since.
You won’t find Tex Mex here. Chef Leon’s focus on authentic Mexican cuisine shines through the food. Leon, who attended culinary school in Mexico, bases his recipes on traditional foods made by his mother. For example, the Huarache entrée on Latigo’s menu uses large and unique tortillas from Veracruz which take 10 minutes each to make! All the meats on the menu are slow cooked – some dishes even take 6 hours to cook!
AMBIANCE AND AESTHETIC
Latigo Modern Mexican is located in Denver’s Ballpark district adjacent to Coors field. The location has ample parking but if you prefer to take public transportation, it’s only a short 15 minute walk from Union Station. The restaurant has an outdoor patio and a large indoor seating area and bar which accommodates up to 300 people! The restaurant is modern in design, filled with vibrant colors, accents, and paintings. Inside you’ll find a clean, spacious and airy dining room complete with unique rope accents. The walls of the restaurant are giant windows which allow for lots of beautiful natural light and add to the “freshness” of the dining experience.
I was really impressed with Latigo’s service. Our group was not an easy bunch to accommodate. Between the few of us there was a mix of various dietary preferences, some gluten free, some vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant… The Latigo team did a great job adapting each of their signature dishes to each dietary preference and the results were exquisite. The wait staff and bartenders were all very knowledgeable and friendly!
The team at Latigo generously surprised us with a delicious 5 course tasting menu and some refreshing margaritas! Each signature dish was adapted to meet individual dietary preferences, which I really appreciate! I’ve often had to skip out on Mexican food because I don’t eat beef or pork. If you have special dietary needs, such as a gluten-free diet, I’d recommend checking out Carrie’s take on the restaurant at her blog, Lettuce Be Different.
CHIPS AND SALSAS
I have to include their chips and salsa in this list – it was delicious! The chips were fresh, crispy, and not at all greasy. They were served with 3 different salsas and a delectable avocado guacamole / sauce which I’m now obsessed with! But actually, try the avocado sauce – it was amazing.
The house margaritas were so refreshing! Made on the rocks with reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, a splash each of Grand Marnier and triple sec, and a little salt and sugar on the rim, these margaritas were the perfect complement to the meal. They were sweet enough to complement the heat of some of the dishes, while the refreshing lime served as a palate cleanser between dishes. The flavor was fresh and not overly sweet – something that I really love about authentic margaritas. I’m dying to try their Fruity Margarita made with tequila, fresh passion fruit juice, simple syrup, orange liqueur, and salt!
VEGETARIAN TINGA TOSTADAS
The typical Tinga Tostada at Latigo is made with shredded beef that has cooked for 4-5 hours on a crunchy corn tortilla and topped with lettuce, queso fresco, and colorful radish shavings. This dish is not only tasty – it looks beautiful too! The vegetarian version of this dish swapped out the meat for cactus – a delicious low fat, low cholesterol substitute that preserves the authenticity of the dish while providing substance. Aren’t they beautiful?!
CEVICHE DE CAMARON
This was by far my favorite dish of the day!! A traditional ceviche is a fresh raw seafood cooked in lime juice and complemented by a spices. Latigo’s Ceviche de Camaron is made of a traditional shrimp ceviche married with a delicious salsa of mango, onions, jicama, avocados, and serrano chiles topped with crunchy tortilla strips. This dish was so fresh and had a wonderful spicy kick! The mangos and jicama provided the perfect sweet complement to the acidity of the lime in the dish resulting in a well balanced and tasty ceviche. Tortilla strips tied the whole dish together by bringing a crunchy texture to the party which played along nicely with the texture of the shrimp. I’m definitely going back for this one.
The fajitas are grilled fresh and come piping hot to the table! They are served with fresh flour tortillas, beans, rice, guac, sour cream and salsa as well as your choice of meats. I had the vegetarian fajitas below and they were delicious! I topped mine with the green guacamole sauce that came with the chips. Told you I was obsessed!
This dish is so unique and is definitely one of my favorites! Traditionally, Conchinita Pibil is a Mexican slow roasted pork that cooks for 6 hours! For my vegetarian version, the pork was swapped for healthier cactus and zucchini. The veggies were served in a banana leaf, topped with a spicy sauce, and garnished with pickled veggies. The presentation was so beautiful!
HOT SMOKY HORCHATA
The hot smoky horchata is a treat! A traditional Horchata gets an extra kick with some Mezcal, Tuaca, XO Coffee Patron Tequila, and cinnamon! That delightful (and boozy) beverage is served hot, topped with a fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings, and garnished with a vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. The drink wasn’t too sweet and the spice warmed me up before the walk home. A great after meal treat!
If you like Mexican food, Latigo is a restaurant you must try. It’s modern Mexican cuisine is fresh and authentic. I’d highly recommend the Ceviche de Camaron with a refreshing margarita on the patio!
Latigo Modern Mexican
2229 BLAKE STREET
DENVER, CO 80205
*Please note: This is a semi-sponsored post. I am under no obligation to write about this restaurant, I only have done so because I had a wonderful experience and would like to share it with you all. Please see my Restaurant Review Guidelines here.