It is also the time when Signature Chef Julie Frans re-designs the menus to feature what will be growing locally in our Winter Season. This includes Essensia’s own Organic Chef’s Garden, which was freshly replanted to produce some of the ingredients for Essensia’s new menus, including mizuna and mustard greens, kale, arugula, tomatoes and edible flowers.
Since Essensia is truly an ingredient focused restaurant, it is imperative that we use the best quality ingredients available. “I get really excited about creating the Winter menus that can utilize a mix of our own, home grown garden items and those we obtain from the local farms”, says Chef Julie. “Using fresh, farm grown produce ensures that the food is grown with care, by farmers who are practicing sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. The food is always picked at its peak, full of live nutrients and bursting with bold flavors.”
While ingredients are primarily sourced locally, the inspiration for Essensia’s menus is global, ranging from Mediterranean to Asian to Modern American influences. With each dish, Chef Julie strives to highlight the natural flavors of the ingredients, playing on how the flavors balance and contrast with one another, to create very bold and flavorful fresh dishes. “I want guests to enjoy interesting, global tastes, but also to feel really good after they have eaten”, says Chef Julie.
A few of past seasons’ favorites have stayed on the menus, but have been adjusted to use as many seasonal, local ingredients as possible. These include our Gaucho Ranch Grass Fed Filet with Paradise Farms oyster mushrooms, traditional Seafood Paella, Coffee Braised Natural Short Ribs with chocolate ancho chile demi, and Local Yellowtail Snapper with tomatoes, olives, and capers. New favorite menu items include Sea Whistle Salmon, served with a coconut miso turmeric broth with green tea soba noodles and garden grown mustard greens, combining some of the most nutrient dense ingredients in one plate. Very colorful and fresh, the Harissa Marinated Free Bird Chicken with beet puree, roasted butternut squash in Zhatar spices with hazelnuts, green beans and vanilla oil is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and can be enjoyed without any substitutions by Paleo diners. Gnocchi with brown sage butter, roasted butternut squash, shitake mushrooms, and brussels sprouts is a delicious vegetarian item that tastes very rich and “Fall inspired” but is, at the same time, simple, healthy, and fresh.
Essensia Restaurant follows a farm-to-table philosophy, offering a seasonal selection of wholesome global cuisine with emphasis on premium local and sustainable ingredients. Essensia’s exclusive wine list is committed to featuring predominantly sustainable, organic or biodynamic wines, and Signature Cocktails are based on organic and small batch distillers combined with all-natural ingredients. Essensia is open 7 days per week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. For restaurant reservations, please call 305.908.5458