When Zengo, Richard Sandoval's Latin-Asian hot spot opened in Riverfront Park in 2004, you couldn't keep the crowds away. Inevitably, the buzz subsided, which made me wonder if the place had lost its appeal. But after dining there last week with a group of friends, I can happily report that Zengo's still got it.
Our table of seven decided the best way to sample the menu would be to order a lengthy list of starters, and we weren't disappointed. Standouts included the arepas de puerco (pulled pork served on a cornmeal cake with guacamole, crema fresca, and an achiote-hoisin sauce), the Thai shrimp lettuce wraps (served with chorizo, peanuts, mint, and a spicy tamarind chutney), wonton tacos (with charred ahi tuna, sushi rice, and mango salsa); and the Wagyu beef gyoza (dumplings stuffed with beef, ham, shrimp, red chile, and served with black-vinegar soy sauce).
Altogether, we ordered nine appetizers, and the kitchen adjusted each order so there were enough servings to go around. Even so, we still managed room for dessert. Top honors went to the crispy churros with spicy chocolate-berry sauce and the creamy semifreddo with cinnamon ice cream.
Tip: Take advantage of Zengo's tasting menu (available Sunday through Thursday), from which you can sample five dishes for just $30.
1610 Little Raven St., 720-904-0965