Sunday, December 1, 2019

Mama Joon Brings Veg-Forward Mediterranean Food With a Lebanese Twist To Miami Beach

There is a new culinary destination inside the Lifehouse Collins Park Hotel. Located at 2216 Park Avenue in Miami Beach, this charming spot is bringing vegetarian-forward, homestyle Mediterranean cuisine with a strong Lebanese influence to all, and you definitely want to check it out right away.

Set in the beautiful sprezzatura atrium of the hotel, with a backyard waterfront patio on the Collins Canal, Mama Joon is a refreshingly inviting, family-style restaurant that draws inspiration from the Lebanese background of Life House Founder and CEO, Rami Zeidan. The space is decorated with Persian and Moroccan rugs sourced locally, macramé and handwoven tapestry produced by local artisans, and oversized custom hand-spun woven pendants to anchor the space. Wooing guests with the ambiance was just the beginning. When creating the menu for Mama Joon, Rami sat with his stepmom, who is like a mother to him, and handpicked some of their favorite family recipes. The new recipes, now with a Miami twist, came to life collaboratively with the local culinary team, Executive Chef Harry Capacetti from Matador Room and Bar and Restaurant Director, Hakien Pagan, from the EDITION Hotel at the helm.

But the amazing food and romantic setting is not all you can look forward to when you visit Mama Joon.  The restaurant and bar also features an extensive and contextual cocktail program with an emphasis on creative spritz drinks that will make guests feel like they’re drinking on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. For example, you definitely want to wet your lips with the Joon Collins, a delicious concoction of Gin, house made Falernum and lemon. And another favorite of the night for me was the TiCopa, featuring Mezcal, Chartreuse, Passion Fruit Liqueur,  and fire water bitters.

To start off your Mediterranean meal, Mama Joon features their signature favorite, Mama's Mezze, a mixture of authentic and modern Mediterranean dips and dishes set in colorful ceramics. This unforgettable beginning including a house Labneh, house-made Marinated Chili Feta, and Tabouli, among other delights served with Zaa’tar Manousheh.

Second courses are just exciting as the first. After savoring a variety of Mediterranean dishes creatively made with a 305 twist, I wanted to share some of our favorite menu items with you.  Let's start with their Beet Salad prepared with refreshing cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, feta, olives, then drizzled with red wine vinaigrette. 

We also loved the Halloumi, Avocado Flatbread with seasonal herb salad and the Roasted Cauliflower, a flavorful mix of delicate squash, za'atar herbs, lemon, capers, raisins, sunflower seeds, and shawarma spice.

After enjoying this course, you will be as excited as we were to indulge in their main entrees. Just take a look at this food porn:

Florida Clams
These fellas were just mouthwatering, spiced with leeks, lemon,
chili and charred sourdough

Za'atar Spiced Chicken
My personal favorite of the night,
made with chili roasted carrots, spinach, and house made
spiced yogurt

Grilled Lamb Chops
topped with cucumber, olives, goat cheese and mint

I know you're probably think there is no way I could eat any more in one sitting, but this is me we're talking about. You know there is always room for dessert. So here's some sweet decadence to get you in the Mediterranean mood if you aren't already.

When all is said and done, Mama Joon doesn't stop there. The restaurant's soulful and captivating environment spills into the hotel’s lobby, where guests can enjoy Mama’s Cafe coffee and tea creations during the day and then transforms into Mama’s Bar at night, serving up creative cocktails paired with curated programming. Mama Joon is open Monday through Sunday through from 7AM to 11PM and the lounge is open until 1:30AM. Hurry over and tell me what you think. For more information visit

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