Essensia: The Essence of Taste

‘Twas a lovely morning for brunch this past Sunday.  I was lucky enough to share the moment with my cousin from Venezuela and my mother.  Knowing about CaptivEATing, my mom found this place in Miami and thought it would be a nice little treat.  Well friends, it was.
Essensia is right on Collins Ave in Miami Beach, Florida within The Palms hotel.  The atmosphere is an upscale beach resort with palm tree fixtures and palm tree paintings, very South Beach if you will.  It was a bit dark inside when we were walking towards the restaurant due to the layout of the lobby, but once we walked outside to our table there was plenty of sunshine.  We had a pool view, right under a fan, and not too many people around us so it was fairly quiet.
Essensia Menu There was a great sharing deal which we had to take advantage of consisting of 2 small shares, 1 large share, a salad or soup and two complimentary Mimosa’s or Bellini’s.  Perfect for the three of us with an extra salad (which we never got but we’ll get into that later).
For the 2 small shares we ordered the “California Scramble” and the “Tortilla Española”.  For the 1 large share we chose the “Whole Wheat and Coconut Waffle”, and for the salad that came along as well we ordered the “Mamey ‘Caprese’”(pronounced mah-may).  We also asked for a side “Mango Mint Salad” to complete our order.
The flavor of the food was delicious.  Presentation was also nicely done at this restaurant.  When the food was served, immediately the dishes looked very appetizing.  I have to throw in here that our server was a good man also.  He was a little on the slow side service-wise, but very friendly and helpful when it came to asking his opinion on a few things.
Let’s talk food now.
Mamey Caprese
The first things that were brought to the table were the Tortilla Española and the Mamey ‘Caprese’.  YUM and YUM.  Tortilla Española is probably one of my favorite things to eat on this planet and this one was amazing.  I wish there were a few more pieces on the plate!  The tortilla came with roasted garlic aioli, cured ham and marcona almonds.  The taste of the aioli meshed effortlessly with the taste of the ham and tortilla.  The almonds were sweet and gave the dish an extra delightful touch.  Great dish but like I said, I wish there would have been a littttle bit more.
The Mamey Salad was extremely refreshing.  Mamey reminds me of papaya.  It is sweet, subtle, and really the word that sticks in my brain is refreshing.  The salad included local mamey and local burrata (another top favorite of mine), arugula, garden cinnamon basil, crispy prosciutto, pistachio oil and aged balsamic.  Each flavor in this salad was unique, but it came together well.  The crispy prosciutto provided the salad with a surprising but necessary crunch, while the burrata and mamey played with the tastes of sweet vs salty.  Mm.
Surprise Fake Out SaladWe got a surprise dish that we didn’t order, but it looked good, so I took a picture.  Didn’t get to taste it but it was something we almost ordered!
California ScrambleThe California Scramble was next on our chopping blocks.  This was the one plate that I was a little disappointed about.  When it came out it looked like I was going to enjoy it.  I took the first bite, and flavor was good, but texture not so much.  Because of the vegetable selection in the scramble (spinach, grilled peppers, fresh tomato) AND the salsa on top, the eggs were too watery.  I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t like my eggs, nonetheless my scrambled eggs, watery.  I had a few more bites but honestly was pretty dissatisfied with the egg scramble.  It’s a shame too because like I said, it was really flavorful and I had such high hopes!  I probably wouldn’t get that if I went there again.
Whole Wheat and Coconut WafflesAlongside the scramble, the Whole Wheat and Coconut Waffles sat, staring at me, waiting for me to take a bite out of it.  Divine strawberries mixed with yogurt atop of this lovely waffle bed made for an excellent brunch choice.  The taste of the coconut was buried a little bit amidst the yogurt flavor, but it was still there.  Maybe whipped cream wouldn’t have hidden the coconut flavor as much?  Hm.
We had ordered a Mango Mint side salad which we were all excited about, but it ended up never coming to the table so that will be what I try if I ever go back here again.  I was really excited for a picture of it too!  Just wasn’t meant to be that day.
Espresso BiscottiTo finish off the entire meal my mom and I got espressos and my cousin got a latte.  All of us finished brunch extremely satisfied and the coffee hit the spot.  I think it also helped us avoid food comas.
Overall Essensia was a good experience.  There were a few things that would have allowed for the entire experience to be smoother, but if you’re laid back and understanding, a few mishaps shouldn’t ruin your day, or eating!
‘Till next time, amigos!

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