Just spent the last 6 days eating at the hotel restaurant and could not have been happier with most of the food. I was really amazed by the meals we had, so much so that we did not eat at any other restaurants while we were in Miami.
We usually average two good meals a day and fill in the rest with grazing. I'm happy to say I limited the grazing to nuts and fruit for the entire stay. OK...we did have some cheese popcorn but it was calling me....
Here is how we ate:
We enjoyed the dinners the most. Lots of seafood and tropical fruits. The standouts were littleneck clams in saffron broth, crabcakes with english pea puree and sauteed rapini, yellowtail w/favas and the coconut dusted mahi. After discovering boniata I may never go back to regular old sweet potatoes
Grilled caesar salad was an experience. I had multiple orders for dinner one night and still stayed under 500 calories. It was a simple grilled wedge of romaine, light & lemony caesar dressing and a slightly poached egg in a crouton "basket" that just blew my mind. After spending so many years in kitchens I just never thought to grill the salad! So good.
Average dinner price (2 apps, 2 entrees, 2 sides, 2 desserts & 2 or 3 glasses of wine) was around $120. I thought dinner was a good value.
Lunches were not as exciting and I found them to be rather small. Tiny sandwiches were inventive but not enough to fill us up. Salads were good but I felt like I needed something carby to round out the meal. The soups were tasty but the selection did not change from lunch to dinner. Also, it seems that slaw comes with everything. There was a real lack of choice in the sides department regarding lunch.
The standout for me was a simple grilled cheese w/tomato soup. Earthy bread toasted super crisp, sliced heirlooms and gruyere made up the full sized sandwich. Herb infused tomato soup was great for dipping purposes. Thinner than a cream soup but thicker than a broth with clear tomato flavor. Very good.
Average lunch price (2 apps, 2 entrees and a shared dessert) was around $45.
We had breakfast on 2 days. I got the American twice because it was the best value on the menu and there was plenty to share with my husband. All of the other entrees seemed small so I knew he would be hungry - letting him finish my "too big" breakfast seemed easier than convincing him he needed more than one entree.
Everything seemed alacarte on the breakfast menu, which drove the price up a bit. The New Yorker (bagel, lox, onions, cream cheese) consisted of 1/2 a sprouted hemp bagel, about 3 ounces of quality nova lox and maybe 2 tablespoons of cream cheese. Great if you need a lox fix, bad if you're hungry. The American was your general room service type of breakfast elevated to greatness by including a small fruit plate, organic eggs, chicken sausage and big, chunky, herbed breakfast potatoes. This meal did not come with toast which we ordered on the side. I also doubled up on the potatoes and sausage (for sharing purposes).
Average breakfast price was $55. Expensive. We did not order beverages with this meal as there was an in-room pot with excellent coffee.
Beverages were an issue for me. Iced tea $5 or $6 a glass? $10 coffee for two? $14 rum and coke? Gimme a break already. Yes it's an expensive hotel, yes we can afford it, NO we don't like being ripped for an ounce or two of rum and 8 ozs of soda.
All of the sodas are hand mixed, old fashioned affairs. Really interesting flavors and light on the sweetner (agave nectar is the natural sweetner of choice here). I love iced tea and these are all full of fruit and herbs and are totally delicious. The smoothies are probably worthy of professional athletes in training. I just cannot bring myself to order a $12 banana shake.
Best beverage was the watermelon mint iced tea. Like a mojito without the kick...but I didn't seem to miss the kick. Pricey at $6 bucks with tax. Crazy drink prices I just can't get past.
Would we go back and try to stick to the healthy diet plan? Absolutely. I would probably try to make time for 3 meals a day and order less at each meal. Or stick to a late breakfast and earlier dinner. I would definately stock my beautiful room with tasty beverages and healthy snack options from the publix accross Collins.
We did not buy the inclusive (european) meal plan as it did not include most beverages and seemed a little high to me. After doing the math we saved about $150 paying for our own meals.
Finally, we noted that there were not many locals enjoying the healthy cuisine. I urge you all to make a trip to North Miami and just try dinner once. If I had this resto near me I know I would go at least once a week. Even my fried shrimp po boy lovin' husband admitted that he felt super healthy and lost 3 pounds while we were gone.
OK...now I think he wants Popeye's for dinner (first night back to NOLA and all that) so I have to run! Happy eating!