Cajun cuisine meets Tex-Mex at Dos Bocas, which opened in downtown Atlanta earlier this week.
Dos Bocas -- which means "two mouths" in Spanish -- is located at 275 Baker St. NW, in the space vacated by Legal Seafood in December 2018.
It’s the latest project from Legacy Ventures, which also owns downtown restaurants including STATS Brewpub, Twin Smokers BBQ, Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria, Glenn’s Kitchen, SkyLounge, The Cloakroom Kitchen & Bar and Game-X.
Brian Bullock, chief operating officer of restaurants with Legacy, said he initially came up with the idea for a Cajun-Tex-Mex eatery while traveling back and forth between New Orleans and Texas while working for the Houstons restaurant group.
He said he and Legacy founder David Marvin have “both always loved that food and loved that style, and we’ve just been waiting for the right opportunity.”
That came when Legal Seafood decided not to renew its lease. Legacy, which owns the space, “took the opportunity to open up the focus” and started to work on the Dos Bocas concept, Bullock said.
In late 2018, Bullock took some of Legacy’s corporate chefs and operations staff to New Orleans. The group drove to San Antonio and “ate about 40 restaurants in between,” making note of what to incorporate into the Dos Bocas concept. Bullock said he’s been to New Orleans at least 10 times since.
While the marriage of Tex-Mex and Cajun food might not be an obvious -- or well-explored -- one, Bullock said the cuisines lend themselves to a natural pairing.
“If you take the heart of Cajun country, Lafayette, and you take the heart of Tex-Mex, Houston, it’s literally a three hour drive,” he said. “It all blends well together, the flavors, the styles. It’s something that’s always been in (all of our staff), and it all finally just came together.”
Matt Deckard, who has served as a corporate chef for Legacy and has family in Cajun country, will serve as co-executive chef, along with executive sous chef Brent Dolan, who previously worked for Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth.
The menu features a variety of dishes pulling from both cultures, including blackened redfish, seafood campechana, crawfish etouffee, tacos and enchiladas.
A custom blackening top Legacy had made out a forge in Texas will allow for “authentic blackened food,” Bullock said.
The beverage program also reflects both Texas and Louisiana influences, featuring a variety of margaritas, Sazerac, Hurricanes and a selection of tequilas and beers, including a custom Mexican lager made by a brewmaster for STATS. Bullock traveled with several other Legacy team members to tequila producer Herradura in Guadalajara, Mexico, to order Dos Bocas’ first shipment of tequila.
Designed by local design firm ASD|SKY, Dos Bocas’ 8,000 square-foot space includes a patio that overlooks Centennial Olympic Park, with a cocktail bar on the first floor and a large dining and bar area of the second. Design elements include distressed wood, banquette seating and graphics that illustrate the food journey through Texas, Louisiana and Mexico, including a two-story graphic wall of a mariachi dancer. The yellow and red-dominated color scheme was Inspired by agave and saguaro plants.
Bullock said Dos Bocas’ concept, along with its location, make it the perfect spot for locals as well as the downtown Atlanta convention crowd.
He said Legacy does more than 5,000 private events a year, and event and meeting planners he consulted with “loved” the idea for the new restaurant, especially that the upstairs area can be used for private events while still keeping the first level open to the public.
“We think this is needed in downtown,” Bullock said of Dos Bocas. “In this specific area around Centennial Park, we’re missing this component. We think it’ll be a perfect fit.”
Dos Bocas will be open daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
275 Baker St., Atlanta. 404-222-9100, dosbocasatl.com
Scroll down to see the menu for Dos Bocas:
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com