A New Era

Botanico Hospitality Group introduces ultrachic modern Mexican restaurant PALO SANTO to West Midtown

An industrial-style building on the Westside acts as home base for the city’s must-try modern Mexican establishment Palo Santo. Once inside, you are instantly transported to a luxe, coastal-inspired eating locale complete with a lively rooftop bar for guests ages 25 and over.

After spending time in South Florida, chef Santiago Gomez joined forces with Felipe Rivera and Eduardo Rivera to establish Botanico Hospitality Group in Georgia. Palo Santo is the trio’s first restaurant in the city.

 “It’s not just dinner, it’s not just drinks—it’s a memorable dining, drinking and socializing experience,” says Felipe of their concept. “You can have an intimate date night in the dining room, a lively night out with friends on the rooftop or a little bit of both.”

Chef Gomez describes the cuisine as a twist on traditional Mexican. “We honor Mexican ingredients, techniques and traditions while using local produce and a combination of modern techniques and styles,” says Gomez. “Carne asada is paired with bone marrow, while las bravas are accompanied by black truffle.”

  To start, guests can choose from an array of delectable appetizers like the guest-favorite Las Bravas or the Wagyu Tartare with pine nuts, morita mayo, caviar and eggplant tatemada. For a main course, opt for the “A La Talla” (grilled octopus) with Guajillo sauce, crispy potatoes and shiso serrano mayo or the Bone-in Ribeye topped with Mezcal jus and truffle butter. And on the rooftop: “This is a Japanese-Mexican fusion,” says Gomez. “We focus on handrolls and tostadas—snackable dishes that are easy to grab and eat while holding a drink.”

The cocktails at Palo Santo are one-of-a-kind and carefully curated by beverage director Antonio Morales. “We are agave-focused as a modern Mexican restaurant, but it’s not just about a margarita—we experiment with modern techniques and different agave spirits to create a menu filled with distinct flavors and combinations,” says Eduardo.

With extravagant agave chandeliers by artist and designer Angela Damman hanging overhead, the interior of Palo Santo is inspired by the bustling nightlife of Mexico City. “Downstairs we wanted to keep the rustic shell and exposed industrial ceiling while adding some sophistication to the space with the accents and finishes,” says Eduardo, who worked alongside interior designer Melody Rendon on sourcing all furnishings.

As for the rooftop, the all-concrete bar channels inspiration from “architecture found in Mexican beach towns like Puerto Escondido, Costa Careyes and Cabo San Lucas,” says Eduardo.

Looking toward the future, El Santo Gallo, a taqueria-style restaurant by Botanico Hospitality Group, is slated to open this spring. Says Felipe, “We do have some other concepts in mind, but for now, we want to focus on establishing these two restaurants as new staples in the city.” botanicohospitality.com