From the Mastermind Behind 'Fonda' Comes 'La Botaneria': Small Plates, Big Flavor

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Photo by David Hagerman for The New York Times

Twitter: @Stefadook

If the name Roberto Santibañez doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps your tastebuds will recall his mouthwatering dishes from the modern Mexican restaurant, Fonda. Since opening two successful locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan (and let us not forget the pop-up in South Street Seaport), Roberto found the time to publish not one, not two, but three highly acclaimed cookbooks including ‘Truly Mexican‘, which made the ‘Best Of’ lists for Food & Wine Magazine, Epicurious and The New York Times.

The latest culinary venture for Santibañez and his dedicated team has us salivating over more Latin American dishes. After the success of Park Slope’s Fonda, a space opened right across the street and Santibañez leapt at the chance to make a restaurant solely focused on botanas, aptly named La BotaneriaBotanas are snacks offered alongside drinks in the homes and bars of Santibañez’s native Mexico City, and far more contemporary than many of us know. La Botaneria’s seasonal, ever changing menu currently offers top-shelf Spanish cured meats like jamon, chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), pickled veggies, imported cheeses and freshly baked breads from Sullivan Bakery.

Santibañez recommends that La Botaneria virgins try Albondigas con salsa de jitomate y jocoque: Spanish-style meatballs enriched with chopped hard-boiled eggs and served with mild yogurt and mint.

Other recommendations include the Tortilla Española, a potato omelet served with smoked pimenton aioli and teardrop tomatoes. Wash it down with any of the specially curated selection of  local beer, wine, and both classic and modern cocktails made with local spirits. We’d recommend the la paloma which mixes el buho mezcal (Brooklyn made!), basil, fresh squeezed grapefruit and tonic. Yum.

“At the end of the day, there are only two kinds of food: the good and the bad,” says Santinbañez. We have a feeling La Botaneria belongs to the former. For updates, you can follow La Botaneria on instagram: