Mico: An Invitation to the Edges of Your Comfort Zone

mico restaurant
Photo credit - Jamey Price

The team behind Charlotte’s new restaurant Mico, housed inside the Grand Bohemian, ask for one small favor from their guests: be open to trying something new. Mico is willing to work with their guests on this commitment. If needed, they can meet their guests where they are, gently coaxing them outside of their culinary comfort zones with familiar twists on unfamiliar dishes and unfamiliar twists on familiar dishes. Whatever it takes to open guests’ minds and mouths to something just a little bit different.

mico restaurant
Photo credit – Jamey Price

Something Old, Something New

Mico brings globally inspired flavors—with a focus on Argentina—to the Queen City. Everything about the restaurant teeters between the local and the international. For example, the appetizer selections on the dinner menu include baked Carolina Dream Oysters (harissa creamed spinach, bacon, brown butter bread crumbs), listed directly beneath South American Dip & Spread Trio (avocado guasacaca, purée de pajares rojo, créme de aji amarillo, taro root chips). Each blend of spices, recipes, palettes, and ingredients works together for a taste explosion that is both novel and known.

Most of the mains on the dinner menu are either beef or seafood. Standouts included the dry aged prime fourteen-ounce KC strip, served with truffle blue cheese frites, chimichurri, and bone marrow tallow. The whole fried red snapper, served with ancient grain tabbouleh, olive and Peruvian pepper antipasto, house pickles, and charred lemon, is not to be missed either. Optional sides like smashed sweet plantains and coconut, yuca frita, truffle roasted mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes help to round out a delicious meal.

Mico also offers a compelling cocktail menu, where local and international elements again collide. Drinks like the Sunny in Charlotte (Bulleit bourbon, lemon juice, lime juice, Angostura bitters, and cherry juice) keep a fruity focus on the Queen City. But, again, Mico creates opportunities for more adventurous palettes to explore the globe. Take for example the Alfa Romero (Exotico Reposado tequila, blood orange juice, rosemary syrup, and lemon juice).

mico restaurant
Photo credit – Jamey Price

Bohemian Elegance

Mico’s unconventional offerings don’t stop at its menus. Inside, a bohemian oasis awaits. Bright colors and unexpected textures set Mico’s ambience apart from most of what you might find throughout Charlotte. Mico is the latest iteration of a trend that has been sweeping across American cities: the reinvention of hotel restaurants.

Sea green walls border booths upholstered with plush red velvet. Bright floral drapes line tall windows, offering pops of color that evoke Argentina’s Misiones jungle. Electric blue, velvet bar stools introduce even more Bohemian whimsy to the restaurant.

Yet, despite its bohemian pizzazz, Mico remains elegant above all. Dimmed lighting exuded by elegant fixtures subdue the electric energy of the restaurant’s bohemian furnishings. Additions like Mico’s wine “cellar,” a sparkling, tall glass case rising from the floor of the dining room, elevate the atmosphere.

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