Nine steps below street level, dimensions beneath the tourism hustle of Breckenridge’s main drag, and a globe spin away from typical ski town menus lies Mimo Fancy Tapas. The 60-seat tapas bar is folded away in its own hallowed, romantic nook, reminiscent of Spain’s best-kept-secret cellar haunts.

Head downstairs (and back in time) and let general manager and master mixologist Alberto Puebla—always clad in his crisp white button down, green tweed vest, and golden suspenders—pour you a house sangria ($9). You may just nod along with the regulars calling the homemade recipe of brandy, oranges, apples, dried peaches, lemon, vermouth, sugar, sherry, and merlot the best sangria you’ve had in your life.

The vision behind Mimo—courtesy of owners, restaurateurs, and Spain natives Borja Cortina and brothers David and Victor Menendez—was to bring a slice of the country to the States. The trio decided to open their first U.S. venture in the mountain town after years of enjoying Breckenridge ski vacations. The name, slang in Spanish for “cuddling,” is a touching sentiment that equates to a mother’s loving caress, says executive chef Eric Seltzer, who hails from Los Angeles and met the restaurateurs in Breckenridge.

As for the menu, Seltzer brings authentic Spanish small plates to life, encouraging sampling and exploring while letting go of inhibitions through patatas bravas ($12), jamón ibérico ($30) and a succulent 12-hour red-wine-braised oxtail ($26). The team imports Spanish cheeses, meats, olive oil, saffron, paprika, and other crucial spices to create winter menu highlights that include a signature seafood paella ($32), which is freshly made upon order with mussels, clams, shrimp, and calamari.

“In Spanish culture, the whole family gets together and you share everything,” Seltzer says. “So you can try five or six different dishes. Small plates doesn’t mean you’ll leave hungry. The plates aren’t actually small.”

Flavors are developed in stages and the chef stays true to Spanish culinary traditions. For example, Spanish rice is layered with lobster stock for eight hours—and texture and balance are considered in every bite. Spanish croquetas ($14), the most popular dish with Breck locals, are formed in a delicate two-hour process that results in a divinely creamy béchamel sauce wrapped in a perfect crunchy sphere. Finely sliced octopus carpaccio ($18) is dressed with the faintest dash of olive oil and a chimichurri rojo drizzle.

The elevated ingredients and plating comprises the “fancy” in Mimo Fancy Tapas. “The term makes people wary of what’s going on in here,” says Seltzer. “But when you walk in, it’s comfortable and authentic. It’s not expensive fancy.”

Mimo’s decor matches the menu’s elegance with signature deep green and gold touches played out across polished silverware, bathroom fixtures, and cloth napkins. A small cellar holds more than 30 imported Spanish wines hand-selected from small European family vineyards. Plush emerald and navy blue rounded-back chairs invite thirsty guests to gather around the bar and witness Puebla’s intricate cocktail presentations.

“When you sit at the bar, you get a show,” he says. “It’s calculated and consistent.” There are some serious eyebrow-raisers on the cocktail menu, too. In A Ticket to the American Dream ($16), Puebla shakes and strains Breckenridge Distillery Bourbon with cheddar cheese cream, barbecue sauce, onion syrup, and lemon juice, and serves the drink with a nostalgic red and white striped box of popcorn. Simpler options reside in a strawberry cheesecake vodka martini ($14) infused with manchego cheese and the house Cuba libre ($14) with lime, cola, and nutmeg.

The next time you’re bopping around Breckenridge, descend down the stairs and tuck into a corner at Mimo Fancy Tapas to swap ski stories and treat yourself to a mini Spanish culinary tour.

216 S. Main St., Unit 4, Breckenridge

Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake
Lisa Blake is a freelance writer and children's book author living in Breckenridge. When she's not writing about food and mountain adventures, she can be found on the river with her son, pug and husband.