The heat has officially risen in Summerlin: Cantina Laredo recently opened the 35th US location of its south-of-the-border hot spot in the chic Tivoli Village.

“Cooking to me is all about heart, and Mexican cooking definitely has that,” says Damon Workman, the restaurant’s executive chef. To reach a wide audience, his menu mixes traditional Mexican favorites with modern fare, adjusting recipes to please vegetarians and those with health concerns or food allergies.

“We’ve switched to a vegetable consommé instead of a straight chicken broth, we use soy oil rather than the fatty lards, and we do a lot of baking and grilling instead of frying,” he says.

Don’t be fooled by the modern emphasis though—chef Workman knows the importance of a solid foundation in tradition, which is why the menu includes tacos, ceviche, and tableside-made guacamole. “You couldn’t have Mexican food without having a fantastic chicken enchilada on your menu,” he says. “We definitely have that, too.”

In fact, patrons have named that Enchilada Veracruz their favorite dish, stuffed with chicken, spinach, and Monterey Jack cheese and topped with a tomatillo sauce. In addition to the innovative flavors of the food, Cantina Laredo’s 6,231 square feet wows with two fabulous outdoor patios with two fire pits, one of which serves as a table for guests to dine by the fire.

The restaurant’s happy hour gives locals a good excuse to meet at the generously proportioned bar to enjoy a signature Cinco margarita, made with a whopping five different tequilas and freshly squeezed lime juice, along with traditional and specialty aperitivos. Tivoli Village, 702-202- 4511.

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