Habitat by José Mendín Serves Up Spanish-Inspired Fare with a Twist

Chef José Mendín  — is at it again, opening yet another knockout restaurant in Miami. His latest venture called Habitat, is his newest concept with his newly formed Food Comma Hospitality. The Spanish-influenced restaurant respects the elements – fire, earth, air and water – and honors simplicity. The menu is divided into straightforward categories: Sea, Land, Fire and Air and we got a first taste.

We started the meal off on a light note with the a few seafood dishes like the Cobia Sashimi with brown butter soy, samphire, lime and “sea water” along with the Hamachi Aguachiles with watermelon, guajillio, radishes and cilantro. Those dishes were then followed by a standout Burrata dish that is grilled and topped with pumpkin and brown butter along with the almost too pretty to eat Wagyu Beef Tartare with creme fraiche, raspberries, and pistachios along with the Miami appropriate Yellowtail Snapper “Chicharrónes.” Yes, you read that correctly.

Moving onto the more decadent dishes, the tasty Habitat Egg made with a 63 degree poached egg, truffle, crispy prosciutto and plenty of manchego foam was quickly devoured by the table. Then it was time for the main courses. The dish that caught everyone’s eye when we sat at the table was the Stone Crab Fettucine, served in a miso citrus butter, with plenty of stone crab, bok choy and jalapeño. The other showstopping dish – whole Monkfish served on a table-side charcoal grill. All the dishes came with a bevy of sides include Asparagus with garlic soy, and Black Truffle Risotto with dry shiitakes, wild mushrooms, and soy jus.

Just when we though we couldn’t eat anymore, the dessert cart of Petit Fours arrived and it was time to devour some sweets by the ever so sweet and talented Maria Orantes. Along with the confections on the cart like chocolates and macarons, we also devoured the Apple Pie Ningyo-Yaki, which are basically apple pie poppers, along with the Barba-Papa made with ginger cremeux, various pineapple “textures” and coconut foam, along with the seasonal Bread Pudding made with sweet potato custard, caramelized miso, chai tea, vanilla and black sesame.

To wash it all back, Habitat serves a bevy of cocktails with favorites including The Queen is Dead with gin, sage aperitif, and jalapeño; The Fifth Element with avian blanco, pineapple, cilantro, avocado, agave, lime, egg white, and citrus salt; Chai Sour with Jim Beam Rye, chai, lemon, egg white, barrel-aged bitters, cardamon, and flower petals; and the B&B with Jim Beam Bourbon, lemon, blackberry, mint, beer, and sugar cane.

Make sure to check Habitat by José Mendín out for yourself — which also boasts an impressive tasting menu coming in at under $100 a person — and until you do, check out the tasty pictures below.

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