The Pearl officially welcomed its latest restaurant, Botika,
inside the space formerly occupied by Arcade Midtown Kitchen. But you wouldn't know it based the facelift the space underwent with the help of Courtney + Co. Design.
The aesthetics are understated and most major changes are hardly noticeable. The big wire divider is gone for starters, and the bar has moved across the way. There's a new sushi bar where the open kitchen once stood, and a handful of Peruvian wares fixed throughout the location from textiles to baskets and these fun pom-poms I couldn't get enough of.
The music was lively and even though the restaurant was on a wait for most of the evening, the chatter was never an issue.
On the food front, I sampled a chifa (ginger, green onions, sesame oil, sweet and sour tiger's milk, wonton strips) and lomo saltado (beef tenderloin, siyao soy sauce, tomato, red onion, crispy fries, fried egg and sweet plantain), while my dining pals opted for the tuna tartar and chifles (ahi tuna, wasabi homemade mayo, green onion, sesame seeds, aji amarillo and green plantain chifles or chips). All dishes were priced between $6 and $16. My chifa was an excellent way to cool off during the heat. My lomo was a bit tough, but the crisp fries and creamed sweet plantain dollops that dotted my plate were dreamy.
Full disclaimer: Chef Geronimo sent out a onigiri trio roll. Though I couldn't make out what my server described, the two-bite roll was almost too precious to eat. Plated on a Botika-branded wooden board, charred on both sides and topped with a dot of red roe, the spicy crab salad-stuffed roll made for a truly impressive bite.
303 Pearl Pkwy., Suite 111, 210-951-9393; 5-11pm Mon-Sat