Alma Cocina – Downtown
Devout Mexican food lovers, A. and I were excited to try Alma Cocina – Fifth Group Restaurants’ newest dining endeavor, even if the visit meant driving downtown. Though downtown Atlanta draws far less nightlife than other metropolitan cities, several establishments make a trek worthwhile, especially before or after an event at Phillips or The Fox. Alma Cocina, located in One Ninety One Peachtree Tower, is such a place.
One piece of information I wish I knew before I drove around the block twice looking for parking is to pay attention to One Ninety One Peachtree Tower’s “Open” sign at the parking deck instead of the closed gate. The blazing sign coupled with a closed gate confused me, so I parked in the Peachtree Center lot on the other side of the building. More proactive than I, A. drove up to the closed gate where a buzzer allows drivers to call for admittance. Remember that, fellow diners, because parking in that deck is free with validation. If you find yourself less adventurous (or more, depending on your perspective), and follow my lead, parking is $5.
Once safely inside, inhaling the zesty aromas that surrounded us, we made quick work of the menu and chose the salsa and chip sampler that is served with three salsas and an assortment of fresh made corn chips. To follow, A. ordered butternut squash soup with lamb meatballs, while I, at our waiter’s stellar recommendation, ordered the grilled little gem salad, which features smoked grapes, pickled tomatoes and charred avocado. Both dishes were excellent and perfect shared.
On to the next course, our waiter explained that most of Alma’s dishes are meant for tapas-style sharing; therefore, we shared pork taquitos and chicken mole Oaxaca huaraches (soft corn tortilla). The selections weren’t huge, which suited us fine since sampling was our goal. I appreciate that none of our choices were unbearably spicy. One can always add spice if needed.
For dessert, we chose coconut tres leches and churros with three sauces. Tres Leches was by far our fav, and a sizeable slice to boot.
In addition to flavorful cuisine, Alma features a number of innovative cocktails. We recommend Mr. Winston Salem made with tobacco-infused tequila and vanilla brandy; and The Swim-Up Bar crafted with house-infused ginger rum and a secret colada mix, and served “properly tall.” (All things should arrive properly tall, if you ask me, including men.)
Alma’s atmosphere is appropriately festive. This isn’t the restaurant for a romantic night out, but then we can’t predict the outcome of downing a few Nesting Instincts (Beefeaters gin, Del Maguey mezcal, Herradura reposado tequila)…
Go For: All dates
What to Know: The restaurant validates parking in One Ninety One Peachtree Tower. If the gate is down, buzz to be let in.
Price: $6+/small plates
Contact: 191 Peachtree St. NE | www.alma-atlanta.com | 404-968-9662
Photo courtesy of Alma Cocina