“The dishes will have the roots of traditional Mexican cooking while innovating with new techniques,” Damian said.
The menu will likely include dishes such as Tostada de Cangrejo, made with steamed blue crab, hoja santa, wild arugula, papálo, avocado, salsa verde cruda, cured onions and smoked salt; Tlacoyos de Huitlacoche, a vegetarian dish made with pre-Hispanic corn masa boats, stuffed with epazote refried beans, Mexican corn truffle, crema, requesón and salsa morita; and Tacos Arábes, made with slow-roasted marinated pork, charred onions, smoked chipotle sambal and gordita flour tortilla.
The exterior of Botanico in Buckhead
Intrigued by the recent trend of using insects in food? Damian's menu will also include a few dishes made with creepy crawlies. Wagyu Tartare y Mexican Caviar, for example, will be made with cured egg, totopós, toasted sunflower seeds, avocado oil, pickled nopálitos and escamoles, ant larvae commonly consumed in Mexico. Camarones Enchilpayados will include insect aioli made with chicatana ants, chile de árbol, wood-grilled langostines and chaya leaves.
Damian has connected with an “escamales guy” who is helping him source the ingredient straight from Oaxaca.
A pastry chef is working on recipes for dessert offerings, including gancitos, a vanilla sponge cake topped with strawberry marmalade and covered in chocolate.
Dishes will rotate often, but will likely never exceed 12 at a time.
“I can’t control the consistency with something bigger than that, and I want to make sure that everything that comes out is perfect,” Damian said.
For the beverage program, Damian is bringing in a brand ambassador for Ilegal Mezcal to work on a list of mostly mezcal and tequila-based cocktails.
Botanico will be open for dinner only at first, with weekend brunch potentially to be added down the road.
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