Eating Local at Essensia

Essensia restaurant at the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach has a new chef with over 20 years experience under his belt. Chef de cuisine, Ilde Ferrer, has brought with him his farm to table philosophy. The menu is seasonal with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients. Dishes feature ingredients from his on-site organic Chef’s Garden.

We chose to start our meal with the day boat ceviche. Made with fresh caught fish, leche de tigre, aji amarillo, celery, red onion, canchita corn, mango, papaya , yucca chips and cilantro from their garden. You could taste the freshness in every bite and I loved the addition of the yucca chips.

For main entree my husband chose the spaghetti all’amatriciana made with La Quercia Guanciale (domestic pork cheek bacon) , San Marzano tomatoes, red chili flakes and pickled shishito peppers sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The sauce wasn’t overly spicy, it had just the right amount of kick and the pasta was cooked al dente.

I chose the pan seared Florida snapper for my main dish. It came with pineapple fried rice made with sweet Chinese sausage, grilled gulf shrimp , Thai basil and other freshly picked herbs from their garden. The fish skin was crispy while the flesh was deliciously flaky. I loved the fried rice, I would eat that by itself were it an entree.

The evening ended on a sweet note with their passion fruit key lime pie. I love key lime pie, it’s one of my favorite desserts. Their passion fruit version did not disappoint. They added just the right amount of passion fruit so that the lime flavor was the one shining through.

If you’re looking for a nice date night spot with a beautiful outdoor setting, I recommend you visit Essensia.

FYI: The Palms Hotel & Spa was just ranked #3 in Travel & Leisure’s “ Top 10 Greater Miami Beach Resort Hotels” 2018 World’s Best Awards.

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