Samba Room brings a Caribbean feel to Larimer Square
The Samba Room in the heart of Denver's Larimer Square provides good, basic cuisine of mostly Latin origins in a space designed to evoke an island feel — with the sounds salsa and samba playing to a crowd of young professionals, tourists and business people.
The menu concentrates on the few and the good. There's the signature ceviche appetizer of seafood and shellfish for $8.95. The coconut shrimp costs a dollar more, and the pork and sweet corn empanadas a dollar less.
The Maryland Bluefin Crab Cakes, for $10.95, don't exactly fit the Caribbean theme, but the mariquitas — plantain chips — served with black bean corn salsa for $6.95 definitely do.
The dinner entrées range in price from the traditional Spanish paella, at $25.95, down to the $15.95 Samba Soba Noodles, a Japanese dish of buckwheat noodles, bok choy, shitake mushrooms and soy ginger sauce.
The Argentinean skirt steak ($22.95) at least reminds you of a Spanish-speaking land, while the pork barbacoa might have come straight out of Puerto Rico or Cuba. Tucked into a roasted banana leaf, the shredded pork in a salty-sweet sauce is both tender and tasty. As with other items on the menu, there's not a huge amount of it, but the portion isn't tiny, either.
For lunch, of course, you'll pay a lot less, with sandwiches such as the Ropa Nueva topping out at just under ten bucks. There's arroz con pollo for $9.95 and a rum-glazed salmon for $12.95.
Although the food makes the Samba Room worth a try, a lot of people come here just to drink. They'll get some delicious and beautiful cocktails, but they won't get them cheap: the basic Mojito, of rum, mint and squeezed lime, goes for $7.50, while the Caribbean Cosmo costs $10 and the Samba Tinis range from $9 to $11.
You can also choose from quite a few wines, as well as the usual ales and beers. You can save a lot by showing up during the Happy Hour, from 4 to 7 p.m. daily and on Sundays until closing.
Posted on May 15, 2009 by David Zindell