Essensia's Conscious Bite Out: A Recap

Conscious Bite Out_Dining Area Before_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
The dining area before dinner.
Last night, Conscious Bite Out's monthly dinner took place at chef Frank Jeannetti's Essensia at the Palms Hotel. The event was hosted by  founders Marcela Andron and Veronica Menin. They stressed choosing restaurants that support vegan- and vegetarian-friendly diets, as well as using local products.

The hourlong cocktail reception was held on the airy loggia, where two bartenders prepared "spa cooler" cocktails, an organic blend of Veev açaí spirit, fresh lime juice, seasonal cucumbers, and mint. Sporadically served throughout the mingling of about 40 guests were sweet-potato/pumpkin croquettes, portobello satay, and eggplant caponata.

People sat at communal tables of ten while Chef Jeannetti explained the tomatoes used in the chilled vine-ripened tomato soup were from Paradise Farms in Homestead. The black pepper was the only nonorganic product in the dish.

The salad was a universal favorite. It consisted of red and yellow beet carpaccio with shaved fennel, organic arugula, Maytag blue cheese, candied walnuts, and dark cherry balsamic vinaigrette.

Guests had a choice between pan-roasted local hog fish -- served with smashed sweet plantains, charred sweet-corn edamame succotash, and orange-yellow pepper cumin sauce -- or the vegetarian alternative of truffle-scented spinach and wild mushroom risotto with aged Parmesan and white alba truffle oil.

The dessert was a fresh strawberry panna cotta made with organic berries from the Redland.

The dishes were plucked from Essensia's regular menu, and the dinner cost $85 per person.

Conscious Bite Out_Spa Cooler_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
The Spa Cooler cocktail, made with Veev.
Conscious Bite Out_Chilled Vine Ripened Tomato Soup_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
The chilled vine ripened tomato soup.
Conscious Bite Out_Red and Yellow Beet Salad_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
Red and yellow beet salad carpaccio.
Conscious Bite Out_Pan Roasted Hog Fish_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
Pan roasted local hog fish.
Conscious Bite Out_Panna Cotta_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
Fresh strawberry panna cotta.
Conscious Bite Out_Dining Area_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
The gathering.
Conscious Bite Out_Marcela, Chef Frank, Veronica_John Zur.jpg
John Zur
Marcela Andron, Chef Frank Jeannetti, and Veronica Menin.
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Location Info

Essensia Restaurant at the Palms Hotel & Spa

3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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Great write-up on this fun event, John!

Huge fan
Huge fan

It was an amazing dinner. I can't wait until the next one. Congrats on a successful concept!

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