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Botica's Chef Mimmo Does it Again!


Article by Grady McGill

Photography by Grady McGill

Atlantans should rejoice at the opening of Botica, a sophisticated — but fun — restaurant featuring the magic of Chef Mimmo Alboumeh, whose multi-cultural approach to cooking offers inspired flavors of Mexico and Spain. Chef Mimmo grew up in Lebanon, Italy and Spain, and he whips up dishes that are inspired by street-stye tacos and hybrid cuisine. Add seasonally fresh and locally sourced ingredients as well as a devotion to a made-from-scratch menu, in-house smoked meats, homemade dressings, salsas and sauces and that’s the recipe for a fantastic restaurant. 

Botica recently opened on Peachtree Road near Piedmont Hospital. I was excited to attend the recent opening. The restaurant, located at The Brookwood, is tastefully decorated with a Mexican party vibe, complete with a large bar and outdoor patio. There’s seating for 180 inside and 100 more on the patio (we loved the heaters!). With the 40 television sets, there is bound to be a game you want to watch, but if not, just ask the staff. They gladly turned on the Nashville Predators hockey game on for us. Adding to the festive experience was a violinist who serenaded us with a variety of music aimed to please each diner. One of the staff said on the intercom that they welcomed song requests, and they even played a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” 

Chef Mimmo

Chef Mimmo came out and greeted us at our table with a warm welcome. He made sure we were having a great experience dining there, and we all had great conversations. I loved that he cared about our experience and about the little details. As they saying goes, it’s the little things that matter, and that’s exactly what he did. While it’s obvious that great food and hospitality are important to him, he is totally devoted to helping the community and is involved with charities and signature fundraisers. A fantastic gesture of giving back!

Solid Appetizers

The portions can be filling, so you’ll want to make sure you are extra hungry, especially if you have more than one appetizer. My favorite were the mussels — without a doubt. First off, they were large, plump and favorable. Chef Mimmo said he gets them from the best source — Prince Edward Island. As one who often orders mussels, I can vouch that they are fresh and perfect. The champagne cream was sweet, and the pipuillo peppers added the needed zing. As soon as we saw how big they were and after the first bite, we knew that Botica is special. Last but not least, the garlic bread and sauce was a plus because it made dipping in the sauce extra enjoyable. 

We could have just ordered off the appetizer menu — and practically did. The crispy smoked wings were amazing. The Spanish Octopus, served with crispy potatoes and peppered aioli, was an eye-opener. Octopus is a difficult dish, but this was not only tasty but more importantly, not rubbery like so many who try to cook this dish. We also ordered oysters — four raw — and then the grilled oysters with spinach and Manchego butter. Highly recommend. The next time I go back to Botico — and I will — I will certainly again order the tuna tartar with avocado, truffle oil and plantain chips. The appetizers are worthy of a trip to Botica alone. But, we continued on with the rest of the menu — all winners!

The Food is Top-Notch

If you like good Mexican food, it is top-notch here, and I promise you that you’ll leave happy and full too. I started off with two tacos with lamb and shrimp. I had never had lamb tacos (served with garbanzo beans and salsa guajillo) and a lot can be said for trying new things! The grilled shrimp tacos were delightful, and the kale slaw was the perfect touch — and a surprise. Now for the big dish I ordered the steak fajita skillet, which comes with tacos rice and vegetables and a topping choice. I chose the steak and thought it was fantastic. Other “bigger plates” included enchiladas, quesadilla, burrito, wild salmon and a prime burger.

Fabulous Drinks 

Botica has some good solid mixed cocktail drinks, and there is not a bad one to order. I had the Aperol spritz frozé, which is a frozen champagne cocktail with strawberry. Would I order it again? Yes, without a doubt! I was really impressed and didn’t know if I would like it but you never know until you try. The cocktails I would recommend the Better Call and the Crafted Paloma. What about the margaritas too? Of course, I didn’t forget that! 

How Sweet It Is 

Believe it or not, we managed to have some sort room for dessert despite having a lot of food. I don’t know how we did, but we found a way. I had creme brûlée. If you've never had it, you’re seriously missing out. My sweet tooth was happy and satisfied. Last but not least, if you are a chocolate lover, try the Croissant Bread Pudding. Make sure to give yourself plenty of room if you want to enjoy good desserts like these. I’m excited about the addition of Botica to Atlanta’s restaurant scene. Definitely check it out!

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