Get a first glimpse at chef Cindy Hutson's Zest Miami, opening Feb. 29

Zest opens Feb. 29 in Miami.
Zest opens Feb. 29 in Miami.

Chef Cindy Hutson’s second Miami-Dade restaurant comes to life on Monday, Feb. 29. She and partner Delius Shirley will open Zest at 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., in downtown Miami’s Southeast Financial Center

The duo, who planted their Caribbean-fusion flag in South Florida in 1994 with Norma’s on the Beach, have run Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables since 1999. They’ve since expanded their “Cuisine of the Sun” concept to outposts in Las Vegas, the Bahamas, Grand Cayman and, most recently, Negril, Jamaica. Zest will be Hutson’s and Shirley’s first restaurant in the city of Miami.

“We are excited to expand upon Ortanique’s legacy with new creations and ideas, and branch out into the emerging metropolitan neighborhood of downtown Miami,” Hutson says.

Here’s a first look at the menu that Hutson and chef de cuisine Mike Fischetti will be rolling out next week. Zest will be open weekdays for lunch and Monday-Saturday for dinner; Sunday brunch will be available soon. An adjacent grab-and-go area called Zest MRKT will serve shawarma and other sandwiches, plus soups, salads, coffee, juice and more on weekdays. 



-“Peppa” Shrimp Cocktail with cane vinegar, cho-cho, pickled-onion guacamole and plantain chips. 

-Ravioli with oxtail and lobster, cream corn veloute and truffle oxtail jus. 

-Root Beer-Braised Heritage Pork Belly with vanilla-bourbon boniato foam and microgreen salad. 

-Cast-Iron Calamari with grilled lemon, blistered shishito peppers and preserved orange glaze. 

-Big Ass Meatball with ground lamb and beef, spiced tomato sauce and goat cheese ricotta. 


-Curried Octopus with golden raisin pilau and east Indian curry sauce.

-Niman Ranch Pork Tomahawk Chop with yucca cake, sauteed escarole and passionfruit chimichurri.

-Conch Scampi with shallots, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and thyme with linguine. 

-Certified Angus Beef Sirloin with king crab. 

-Lobster Rundown with shredded cassava cake and Scotch bonnet-coconut rundown sauce. 


-Zest will have a bar bites menu available from 3 p.m. with suggested wine, cocktail and beer pairings. 

-An on-site humidor will house cigars for purchase. 

-Cocktail program built on fresh-squeezed juices, housemade syrups and fresh herbs. 

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald Food Editor: @EvanBenn