By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
A new restaurant is bringing the Caribbean to downtown Miami, no airfare required.
Zest, the latest from chef Cindy Hutson and partner Delius Shirley of Coral Gables stalwart Ortanique on the Mile, opened on Leap Day (February 29) at Biscayne Boulevard’s Southeast Financial Center.
Serving Hutson’s signature “cuisine of the sun,” which draws from Caribbean and South American culinary traditions, Zest presents an opportunity for Hutson to reimagine and add to the menu for which she’d become known at Ortanique – something which Shirley says the 17-year-old restaurant’s regulars, who often order the same thing every time they visit, would likely have resisted.
“Diners will recognize familiar ingredients and flavors from Ortanique, but at Zest Cindy has been able to express herself in a new way and to go off on a different culinary tangent. So we have things on the menu like our new 50/50 meatball made of lamb and Angus beef; curried octopus; a tomahawk pork chop with chimichurri sauce; and country fried chicken, alongside favorites such as jerk chicken pasta.”
Currently open for lunch and dinner, with happy hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Zest will start serving brunch on Mothers Day, May 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shirley promises a sumptuous ceviche buffet and a plated feast (including Jamaican favorites oxtail, curried shrimp and ackee and saltfish), plus all-you-can drink mojitos and Bloody Marys and live reggae music.
Hutson and Shirley also own Ortanique at Camana Bay in George Town, Grand Cayman, and operate the restaurant at The Cliff, a boutique resort in Negril that opened in December 2015.