August 29, 2012
Bienvenida a Mi Cocina eatery in Midtown
A Dallas-based Tex-Mex restaurant is now open in Midtown with a prime Peachtree location
By James Oxendine
On the menu: tongue-tingling queso, Texas-sized combo platters and the signature Mambo Taxi Margarita
A little bit of Lone Star state has now arrived in Atlanta in the form of Mi Cocina (translation: My Kitchen) in the swank 12th & Midtown development that houses STK and Cucina Asellina. And with Mi Cocina comes some of the Big D’s favorite, hand-crafted enchiladas, salsa and killer margaritas.
The Atlanta resto is part of the Dallas-based M Crowd Restaurant Group’s expanding portfolio of 24 restaurants, whose footprint now includes Oklahoma, Washington, DC and Georgia. The upscale, yet “family friendly” menu features dishes such as the Sunset Fajitas with chili-cilantro questo, Brisket Tacos, “hand-dipped” enchiladas, 30-plus tequilas, and the signature Mambo Taxi (a frozen swirl of margarita and sangria ) in a modern, elegant two-level space.
Mi Cocina’s design boasts an urban, polished feel and a warm, high-energy environment. The décor incorporates artwork from Mexican artist Luis Sottil, along with a three-dimensional mural depicting native Atlanta bird species. The M Crowd Restaurant Group spent an estimated $1.5 million to build the 8,800-square-foot space, including an outdoor seating area and mezzanine, a 40-seat bar and two private dining rooms.
In addition to its signature dishes, theTex-Mex eatery also serves salads, combo platters (including vegetarian and gluten-free options), and other tasty treats, plus a full menu of margaritas and premium tequilas.
James Oxendine’s Interview with M Crowd CEO Michael Cox on the Eve of Mi Cocina's Opening
Why did you choose Atlanta as part of your national expansion and why Midtown?
MC: We are excited to be in Atlanta because we believe that it is a cosmopolitan city with a great food scene. Midtown is an exciting place to be now; we searched carefully for a location where the restaurant would be successful and the Midtown location was chosen because it is close to downtown and Buckhead, while still being part of an established neighborhood.
How do you plan to translate your success in Texas to the Atlanta market?
MC: First, we are going to put our best foot forward. Our success has been built upon our value priced menu-- $20-25 dinner checks-- and our cocina-style menu, versus the cantina style that many Atlanta diners may be accustomed to. Second, we will hire a local staff, including the chef, in order to match our approach to the local sensibilities. And the art will reflect Atlanta and Georgia influences as well.
We hear that you are planning to open another of M Crowd’s concepts in Atlanta as well?
MC: We are in discussions to put a Taco Diner, our taqueria concept [inspired by the authentic flavors found in street markets and traditional taquerias of Mexico City], in the posh 77 12th Street apartment tower that is currently under construction as phase three of the 12th & Midtown development.
Where have you had a chance to dine here in Atlanta?
MC: I have been so busy whenever I am in Atlanta that I’ve just had a chance to check out a few places like El Escorpion, Nuevo Laredo and Jalisco, which I really liked.