If you’re in tune with the local dining scene, you’ve surely have heard recent buzz surrounding a classically trained, former Strip chef opening a venue in a suburban strip mall. But this isn’t about Sparrow + Wolf. South of the 215 on Eastern, Boteco recently debuted with far less fanfare, but it’s just as intriguing as its new Spring Mountain peer.
Executive chef Rachel LeGloahec, formerly of the Robuchon restaurants at MGM Grand, has crafted a precise and concise menu to accompany a healthy collection of libations, primarily focused on wines by the glass. Offerings traverse the world and showcase LeGloahec’s diverse skills. The Singapore chili crab dip ($14), served with shrimp crackers, is flavorful if not as spicy as its name might indicate, while the Sloppy José gorditas ($11) skillfully infuse a staple of youth with Mexican influence, topping thick masa gorditas with seasoned ground beef and dollops of avocado crema. It’s a fun snack.
Drawing upon her culinary background, escargot croquetas ($12) are LeGloahec’s interesting take on a French bistro classic, encasing snails and a white wine bacon cream sauce within crisply fried exteriors. With garlic aioli substituting for traditional garlic butter, it’s an approachable take on these sometimes challenging gastropods. The chef is obviously willing to take chances.
She’s also not afraid to tackle prominent flavors. Botequito sliders ($12) are intense and deliciously messy, runny quail egg yolk dribbling over a petite beef patty hinting of smoke. Equally flavor-forward is the bacon jam with blue cheese fondue ($12), delivering sweet and savory with each swipe of a house-made kettle chip.
The best dish on the menu might be the braised beef and Piedmontese rice ($14). The hearty meat is infused with a complex red wine reduction and provided a sharp foil via crisp pickled onions. Paired with a cheesy risotto, each bite offers a variety of textures and flavors. It’s a true destination dish.
Boteco 9500 S. Eastern Ave. #170, 702-790-2323. Wednesday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.