The first thing I do when I arrive at my beach vacation destination is order a drink—preferably frozen and topped with a cocktail umbrella. I plan on adopting the same habit when dining at Sol Mexican Cocina, a California/Arizona import opening in Cherry Creek North today. The refreshing mango con chile frozen margarita—one of a dozen varieties on the menu, all made with fresh fruit—is a perfect introduction to executive chef Deborah Schneider’s fresh Baja-inspired cuisine. (Pro tip: Make sure the accompanying house-made dried mango chile slice soaks up some of the margarita before you bite into it.)
Margarita in hand, you can focus your attention to the menu, which features inventive takes on familiar dishes. For instance, order the guacamole naked or amp it up by opting for the much richer Guacamole Sol, which adds goat cheese, tequila mango, pepitas, and serrano chiles to the traditional mix. Tacos are available as plates or a la carte, with all the favorites (carne asada, beer-battered shrimp, grilled fish) making appearances. I was surprisingly smitten with one of the vegetarian options: The hearty sweet potato and black bean option combines the veggie and legume with poblanos, caramelized onions, and chipotle salsa on a corn tortilla covered in melty cheese. Other must-tries include the citrusy Ceviche Sol and peel-and-eat shrimp cucarachas, a salty-spicy dish which arrives with the heads and tails still on for a delightfully messy experience.
The restaurant itself is split in half between the more formal dining room and bar area, all of which offers glimpses into the exhibition kitchen. High ceilings, large windows, an all-season patio, and an open-air bar add to the coastal vibe. Pretend you’re on vacation and order that second margarita. We won’t tell.
Insider’s Guide: Sol infuses its own pineapple tequila. Grab a taste of the dangerous—as in, you won’t taste the tequila even though there’s a lot in there—blend by ordering a frozen margarita with a pineapple vanilla float (the house infusion incorporates Madagascar vanilla beans).
200 Columbine St., Suite 100, 303-953-2208