The Harwood District has a new restaurant for its expanding portfolio, this one tackling Latin American food. Called Te Deseo, it's at 2700 Olive St., next door to its sibling Happiest Hour, and will open for dinner and drinks on August 7.
According to a release, the menu incorporates flavors from many regions of Latin America, with prominent influences being Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. Executive chef is Ty Thaxton, who has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Chefs in Mexico.
In a statement, he says, "We ultimately combined several different recipes and techniques of Central America. Most items are made in-house: from the dough, chorizo, sauces, to our tortilla chips and more. Although, if a local tortilleria is making better tortillas than us, we will buy from them. For instance, we went out of our way to find a source for real blue corn tortillas. We finally chose to work with one in the Southwest using real blue corn – not dying it."
They're using beef from famed steakhouse purveyor Allen Brothers and specialty products such as pastes, chiles, and seasonings from all over the region.
The menu ranges from familiar items such as enchiladas and tacos to interpretations of traditional Latin American fare such as Peruvian-style sashimi and wood-fired meat skewers known as Anticuchos.
A carefully planned taste of the region divided into eight sections, as described in the release thusly:
- Tiraditos: Peruvian-style sashimi with storied history brought along by Japanese immigrants
- Ceviche: fresh seafood prepared with house-made citrus juice marinades
- Anticuchos: wood-fired skewers of marinated chicken, shrimp, and beef popular in South America
- Plato Común: shared small plates of familiar dishes such as guacamole and stuffed arepas along with characteristic Asian fusion selections
- De Leña | Mar + Tierra: individual main courses from land and sea primarily prepared with wood-fire cooking
- Parrillada: shared family plates of impressive meat cuts, including a tomahawk ribeye, that showcase a variety of culinary techniques from self-basting to smoking and wood-fire cooking
- Tacos: a section dedicated to a staple from Mexico
- Dolces: traditional and street-style desserts with irresistible flavors and playful presentations by the pastry chef
The bars will feature more than 100 specialty tequilas and mezcals along with inspired cocktails that highlight Latin American spirits, including cachaça in the Brazillionaire, aguardiente in the La Calena, and pisco — the star of three cocktails.
The signature drink will be the Chupito de la Casa, IE, the house shot of reposado tequila, which is no ordinary tequila but instead the result of an extensive tequila taste test by the founders of Te Deseo to create a one-of-a-kind, specialty blend.
Teo Deseo will comprise a 14,000-square-foot space with multiple social and dining spaces, each with differing personalities and design, which is kind of a Harwood trademark.
The spaces will include a tiled courtyard, four bars, and a rooftop with city views. It'll also host a lively lineup of entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
Harwood senior vice president Stephen Bello says that their goal is "to ensure guests go home with unforgettable memories that keep them coming back," and that could include a dancing encounter with a staff member.
"Latin American culture embodies excitement, mystery, love of life, bonding over food and drink, dancing, and more," Bello says. "It wouldn't be surprising to take home a story from Te Deseo that a server pulled you out of your chair to dance in the courtyard or under the stars on the rooftop."
Harwood Hospitality Group's collection of restaurants in the Harwood District include eight places: Dolce Riviera, The Grove at Harwood, Happiest Hour, Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens, Mercat Bistro, Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar, and Te Deseo.
The release says there are more coming: "New culinary experiences are in development in this 'Walk to Life' neighborhood, including a pub, sushi bar, and Thai restaurant." Harwood International also recently broke ground on a 21-story boutique hotel, which will also be operated by Harwood Hospitality Group.