Cuba is undoubtedly a popular new travel destination, so it makes sense that its food would follow travelers home. Which is exactly what happened with Madelyn Markoe and Jessie Barker, who took that inspiration a step further and are opening Media Noche, a fast casual Cuban restaurant in the Mission.
Markoe and Barker have worked at plenty of places around town, including Tacolicious, Boxing Room, and Nopa, and they’re now distilling that experience into their own spot, set to debut next Thursday, March 9. The ladies consulted with chef Telmo Faria (Uma Casa, Tacolicious) and brought on Juan Martinez (Tres, Matador) as chef de cuisine for the menu — in full below — which focuses on casual, quick fare.
“We’re not looking to do any traditional, direct Cuban cuisine,” Barker said. “We’re lightening it up and making sure we’re honoring and paying homage to Cuban food in Cuba and more specifically Miami.”
With that goal in mind, of course the headlining item is the media noche, a popular late night food in Miami consisting of a hot, pressed Cubano with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on brioche. There are four versions of the sandwich — including two that pay homage to Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan! — as well as rice and black bean bowls with your choice of meat, snacks such as croquetas and yuca fries, and ice cream pops from ormer Delfina pastry chef Jessica Sullivan for dessert. La Ventana Cubana, a local Cuban-run company, is also providing traditional Cuban pastries. Drinks are beer and wine, with a focus on sangria developed by the Wildhawk bar team.
As for the 1,500-square-foot space, it’s almost all done, and you can see some details on the restaurant’s Instagram account, which shows some sneak peeks at cool tiling, bright blue and coral shades, and banana wallpaper. There will even be a flamingo mural outside from SF street artist fnnch. Hannah Collins (Flores, Barzotto, Beretta) is behind this project, and polished feminine touch shows. Stay tuned for interior photos to see it all.
Media Noche opens on Thursday, March 9, and it will be open Wednesday through Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with hours extending to midnight shortly after opening.