ZEST, IT LIVES UP TO ITS NAME
In the center of downtown Miami next to the Whole Foods that is renowned for its choice ingredients is a restaurant and market as flavorful as its name “Zest.” Zest's menu is simple and complex at the same time — one page of dishes that are packed with a relishing flavor touching all sensations on the pallet.
Zest's website calls it, "A contemporary restaurant located in downtown Miami’s Southeast Financial Center, is Chef Cindy Hutson’s fresh spin on her award-winning “Cuisine of the Sun.” The self-coined, ethnically diverse, and seasonally driven culinary approach embraces global cuisine with nuances of Hutson’s signature island flavors." "It is ann eclectic fusion of different nations and their natural bounties creatively on one plate. Whether it is called Nuevo Latino, New World Caribbean, Carib-Asian or PanAsian, one thing is for certain: some wonderful creative mind with a passion for flavor, has melded together our Earth’s edible treasures," according to the website and we could not agree more. To start we had the Cast Iron Charred Calamari complete with grilled lemon, blistered shishito peppers and preserved orange glaze. With a savory smoky flavor and firm, grilled texture, the dish was a fabulous appetizer and my favorite way to enjoy calamari, much different than its fried version that is often squishy and contains too much breading. Well rounded with the sweet orange glaze, spice from the peppers and citrusy bite from the lemon, it is a delectable dish. For greens we sampled the Fresh Miami Mango & Burrata Salad. Fixed together with heirloom tomatoes, arugula, lettuce, pepita seed pesto, toasted macadamia nuts, seasoning pepper vinaigrette and sorrel flower glaze with juicy steak cooked to perfection containing the perfect amount of pink, it is a masterpiece. Certified angus beef brisket, chuck and short rib, manchego cheese, grilled onions and truffled aioli are the components of the Trifecta Burger and make it one worthy of choosing for dinner. Heavenly is the best adjective to describe the Trifecta Burger. It is truly an elegant hamburger complimented superbly with the side of cheesy parmesan fries. Blue Mountain Coffee & Cocoa Crusted Faroe Island Salmon, with creamy corn polenta, sautéed baby arugula & chipotle agave glaze is seafood in a new light. The wild caught salmon with flavorsome organic vegetables create a blend of natural gusto.
A proper meal is not complete without dessert. Puddings usually come off as too simple for a food review but the Chocolate Bread Pudding is so good you are going to want the dish for yourself and not split it amongst friends, trust me. Nectarous and luscious, the dessert should be put in its own category. Something that needs to be experienced first hand! Zest is open for Lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; for dinner, Monday through Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Thursday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. https://www.instagram.com/zestmiami/. Check out our page and social media pages. Thanks for being a @miamiholic