Food Porn Friday: Essensia at the Palms Hotel

Chef Julie Frans’ menu at Essensia is a breath of fresh air amidst the heavy, pork-laden eating excursions we’ve been on lately.

Thai-inspired lemongrass lime soup with coconut milk, heirloom tomato, mushrooms, garden greens, cilantro & shrimp.  This was my favorite course of the night. Powerfully aromatic, the steaming, hot soup was full of depth and authentic flavors. The meaty mushrooms and shrimp added heartiness, while the coconut milk and herbs created a subtle sweetness to balance out the perfect amount of spice.  The weather was a little chilly and we dined outside on the back patio, so one sip of this broth made me tingle from head to toe.  IMG_0872

Amazon Paiche with oyster mushroom, leek, and fennel sautee, celery root puree, sauteed spinach, & a lemon truffle emulsion. Paiche is, from what I gather, a sustainable version of Chilean seabass.  I wouldn’t have paired a rich truffle sauce with delicate fish, but the lemon fused them together so flawlessly that I was left wondering where this combination had been all my life. The sweet fennel maintained a slight crunch and the celery root puree tasted like the richest, creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever had. In essence, the perfect entree. IMG_0886

Caramel infused chocolate panna cotta with salted caramel nuggets, citrus foam & crispy coffee base. I haven’t stopped talking about this dish that’s worth a visit to Essensia in itself.  Pastry chef Rodney Barchi blew me away with this elegant, luxurious, trapezoid-shaped dessert.  Picture the silkiest panna cotta you’ve ever had, perched atop a homemade coffee Kit Kat bar, with tiny pieces of tangy kumquats. By far the best dessert I’ve had in Miami. I mean, look at it.  Its beautiful.IMG_0884

 
Essensia Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon

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