El Santo Restaurant, brought to you by the team behind Kiki on the River, recently launched its new menu highlighting the distinctive flavors of true, authentic Mexican fare, inspired by regional cuisine. The hotspot is currently both a neighborhood staple and nightlife destination located on Calle Ocho as part of Little Havana’s ongoing revival. At the helm of the kitchen is Chef Hugo Mendoza whose new menu will incorporate some of his own traditional family favorites, sure to captivate the pallets of all who come to enjoy El Santo’s crave-worthy food.
El Santo’s new menu offers an assortment of shareable plates featuring small bites including traditional Guacamole ($7) made with fresh avocado, vine-ripened tomatoes, and fresh lime juice; Esquites ($6) made with roasted yellow corn, Mexican cream, chili cream, epazote, cotija cheese & chili serrano; Mexican Ceviche ($15) Shrimp and Bay Scallops made in a spicy citrus tomato sauce; Roasted Calabaza Soup ($7) made with roasted butternut squash, Mexican cream, pumpkin seed & authentic Mexican tortilla chips and Salpicon de Tuna ($15) diced sushi-grade tuna with chili garlic dressing & avocado served with chips. New main dishes include Pescado a La Talla ($24) a whole boneless Branzino with salsa verde and Roja a la Talla served with a house salad, Beef Fajitas ($22) served traditional Tex-Mex style with sautéed pepper and onions, topped with avocado, Mexican cream, spicy sauce and side of flour tortillas and well as Chicken Enchiladas ($17) served with red and green sauce, corn tortilla, shredded chicken, queso fresco Mexican cream, cilantro, and diced onions. Of course, we can’t forget the tacos! Tacos come al-a-carte in a variety of beef, pork, and shrimp including Carne Asada ($5) made with beef Asada, homemade corn tortilla, caramelized onion, peppers, queso fresco, and chipotle guava sauce; Tacos Al Pastor ($4) roasted pork, homemade corn tortilla, diced onions, grilled pineapples, and chili sauce and Shrimp ($4) grilled and served with homemade corn tortilla, peppers, Mexican slaw, diced red onion. Chipotle & vinegar sauce. Additional menu items include Alambre Skewers, a choice of beef ($17), chicken ($16), or shrimp ($18) skewers served with rice, refried beans, and flour tortillas. On the sweet side, El Santo offers Churros ($10) served with a side of ice cream and Dulce de Leche.
Cocktailing reigns supreme with sips like the Diablo made with Volcan Blanco, fresh lime juice, agave, sage, pineapple, and Cholula hot sauce; Talk to God made with Havana Club, El Santo tiki blend, lime juice & hibiscus chamomile tea reduction and The Holy Water made with 2 oz. Puerto de Indias gin, cinnamon stick, blueberries, Indian tonic, and dry fruits. All cocktails are priced at $13.
Designed by Mark Lehmkuhl’s Ghosthouse Design, El Santo Restaurant invites guests to worship at the altar of food and drink. Walking through the massive wooden hacienda front doors into the dining room feels like stepping into an abandoned church that’s now been resurrected as a stylish ode to cocktails and lively dining. A lounge is outfitted with cushy leather-studded couches with an antique chapel piano serving as the DJ booth while a gold-plated telephone booth is festooned with the words “Talk to God” in neon. Further inside are Spanish-style “ofrenda” tables outfitted with saints, candles, and Christian iconography while the formal 80-seat dining room offers banquette seating beneath a grotto-like ceiling with draping vines and greenery. An intimate private dining room is ensconced within red velvet drapes and features a crucifixion artwork. Guests can expect impromptu Mariachi’s, musical performers, and live entertainment throughout the evening.
El Santo Restaurant is located at 1618 SW 8th Street Miami, FL 33135; open: Monday – Saturday 5 pm-12 am For more information, please visit www.elsantomiami.com