I have been to Essensia several times for Sunday brunch. They serve the best pancakes in Miami and offer a great family style menu to choose from.
Given that is Miami Spice I took the opportunity to try other dishes by Chef Julie Frans. If you are not familiar with Essensia’s concept, you must know that it is a farm to table restaurant located at The Palms Hotel, that serves organic and sustainable food from local farms, like Teena’s Pride and Paradise farms. They also source herbs and other greens from their own edible garden. Their wine and drinks menu also consists of a variety of organic and sustainable wines and spirits.
What can I tell you about my dinner experience? It was nothing short of amazing. I went twice because I couldn’t let this super deal of Miami Spice pass by. I took my “non-organic believers” friends with me and they were very impressed and really enjoyed the food as well.
The focus at Essensia is on local fresh ingredients, artfully presented. All the dishes are visually appealing, pops of colors from the greens and the garnishes and sauces. And everything truly tastes as good as it looks. The flavors also complement each other and everything is seasoned to perfection.
These were the choices on the menu on the first Miami Spice dinner I had:
I had the corn and leek soup, the macadamia crusted gulf caught corvina, and the flourless chocolate cake. All my my choices were also gluten free. I rarely indulge in desserts since most restaurants don’t offer gluten-free options, but this flourless chocolate cake was the perfect balance of sweet, with a spicy kick and bitter chocolate.
My friends ordered the israel quinoa salad, grass fed iron steak with herb chimichurri, and the coconut and lime semifredo. I don’t eat meat, but my friends claimed that it was the best meat they ever had: Cooked to perfection, tender and juicy.
During my second Miami Spice experience these were the choices:
I had the roasted yellow tomato gazpacho with fresh avocado, sustainably farmed Loch Duart Salmon with black lentils and beet puree and the passion fruit crème brulee. Not only the salmon was a stunning plate, but the combination of flavors with the sauce and the beets were astounding. The crème brulee was light and the crust was not too sugary or sticky as many are. The passion fruit made it refreshing and the perfect dessert to end the meal.
The restaurant is absolutely beautiful with inside and outside seating options. Since the weather is improving I recommend seating outside, plus it could be romantic to sit by the candle light.
Overall it was an absolutely amazing dining experience. Hope you make it during Miami Spice. All the dishes above are usually in the regular menu too, but it varies depending on the season, because Essensia it’s all about highlighting fresh and locally sourced, high quality ingredients.
*picture from Essensia's website