Review - New Harrogate restaurant: how good is it?

It's always a relief when a hot new phoenix rises from the ashes.

Latin American food and great drinks - Las Iguanas in Harrogate.

So, to sit and enjoy a meal and cocktails at newly-opened Las Iguanas in Harrogate at what was formerly La Tascas is a real pleasure.

Located on John Street, one of the town's most popular thoroughfares for a night out for fully 20 years or more, Las Iguanas bar and restaurant is full of Latin American cheer and charm.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And it’s not tapas though there is plenty to nibble on!

It officially opened its doors just over a week ago and if you want to know what it’s like in three or four words, think Jamie’s with a Latin American twist.

Combining quality fresh food and fabulous cocktails, there’s a warm and vibrant atmosphere which brings a fiesta of lovely Latino flavours to Harrogate.

The food itself ticks several boxes in a smart way. If you want the obvious, there are some obvious Mexican dishes available - and burgers, even.

If you want to dip into the slightly less familiar end of South and Central American food there’s plenty of choice there, too.

Everything myself and my colleagues try from different parts of the menu tastes just fine.

Among the dishes we sample are Ceviche in tiger’s milk with sweet potato crisps, pan-fried Sea Bass Achiote and a traditional Moqueca de Piexe mild Brazilian curry with coconut and fresh tomato sauce.

Ribs also prove popular, served with a Cuban twist of sticky Havana Club glaze and Fiesta Ensalada with butternut, avocado, roquito peppers and charred corn.

Guests on the celebration night we attend are also treated to a bespoke cocktail masterclasses with Las Iguanas’ cocktail guru Rich.

One particular highlight is trying a taste of Brazil with a Caiprinha or two, made from Las Iguanas’s very own cachaça distilled near the Brazilian capital. The drink is just as delicious as the food.

This summer is Olympics summer when the focus of the whole world will be on Rio for nearly three weeks and Las Sanguas couldn’t have opened at a better time.

Complemented by the sunshine décor, cosy booths and relaxed ambience, future guests at Las Sanguas can look forward to long summer evenings, sitting outside, sharing cocktails or a meal and enjoying people-watching on one of Harrogate’s hottest streets.

And, if the sun doesn’t shine on John Street, there’s always the shelter of a wrought iron canopy!