Zest Restaurant and Zest Market

4.3
88 reviews
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$30 and under
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Caribbean
Treat your senses to Chef Cindy Hutson's renowned Culinary talents at her two new restaurants - Zest and Zest Mrkt.

Zest - Cuisine of the Sun
Influenced by world cuisine and her culinary travels, Hutson will take you on a gastronomic journey without leaving Miami. The organic design will draw you in and captivate your senses.

Zest Mrkt
You can also experience grab-and-go gourmet at Zest Mrkt. Influenced by Chef Hutson's signature style, your taste buds will rejoice with artisan paninis, freshly blended juices, and smoothies, revitalizing coffees and more. Perfect for the epicure on the go.

Everyone needs a little Zest in their life!
What 88 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.0
service
3.9
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Bad service. Waiters bad humor. I wait 45 minutes the food. Bathroom ugly.

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a
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

We went to Zest to celebrate the New Year which is also our anniversary - and we should have known better and got up right away when the hostess who sat us came back to our table 20 minutes after (before a waiter had come to our table) asking if we had a reservation.

The restaurant was not crowded (only about 1/3 tables full) so it was a surprise to both of us that the service was so aweful.

As far as the food - The appetizers were good (ceviche and Caesar salad) - my dinner was terrible (steak was well done when I ordered medium rare) however my husband loved his corvina and rice. Dessert was passable - the poached pears were undercooked as bread pudding was alright.

When our waitress came I notified her of my food allergy and she never came back to the table to confirm that she had talked to the chef so eating was a bit like Russian roulette, which led me to have to take allergy meds at the dinner table.

What made this a horrible experience was after over 2 hours at our table we saw our waitress 5 times, to which she then applied an obscene gratuity to our bill and with no manager to be found - we wasted a good $200.

I have no idea how this place had a 4 star rating it was one of the worst dining experiences we’ve ever had.

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E
Miami
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food and the wine list is very good, great wine choices. definitely coming back.

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G
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was amazing as always. Our waitress was excellent. Never disappointed here.

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OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

Absolutely horrendous service the evening of 10/4/2018. While the server was good, a cacophony of errors, missteps and just plain poor service, starting from the hostess, to being seated at a table missing a chair and waiting several awkward minutes to sit while dinner companions were seated. Shared apps placed strangely on tables and had to ask for share plates and serving utensils. Empty glasses and finished plates lingered and on and on. Too bad as the food itself is and always has been quite good. Will not go back, ever.

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e
Miami
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The waiter was amazing. The place looks very cool. We wanted to love it. But, whomever was in the kitchen on Monday night was way too heavy handed with the salt. If I had been with a different crowd, I would have sent mine back. But, I didn't want to upset the group I was with. I love Ortanique, so was surprised this food was NOT up to those standards.

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G
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent, as usual. Great portions for Miami Spice, no skimping. Servers are always very courteous.

The one thing I found strange this time, is that they seemed to be fighting over who would seat us. I don't know if there's some new policy but it was a bit awkward.

Overall I recommend it highly, especially during Spice.

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OT
Mexico City
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Muy rica la comida solo la carne de mi ensalada u poco seca pero lo demás delicioso

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AS
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Reasonable price quality ratio with good offering of beers and wine by the glass. Very nice potato soup. Penne pasta was too spicy but it was taken off the bill.
Good service.

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D
Miami
48 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Sat at table and place was virtually empty. Walked out and told mgmt who does not show concern or care. Did not do anything about our poor experience. This place needs attentive, caring management that sees guests sitting there and no server attention then act accordingly.

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OT
London
4 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Food was good but the service was really slow.

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OT
Miami
20 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food love the spices!

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SC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 2ambience 2

Didn’t have tables ready for our reservation. Said they didn’t check OpenTable. Was able to accommodate us within 20-30 min.

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R
Miami
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

The service here was absolutely terrible. 20 minutes at a time without ever seeing our server. It’s a shame, because the food is great and it would’ve taken very little to make us feel better about their failures.

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MB
Miami
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Zest is a long-awaited and wonderful addition to the downtown dining scene.

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AM
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service, great food!!

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i
Atlanta
26 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Pleasant environment with nice outdoor seating. Was expecting more given the high rating. Service was good. Food was just average. Fish was over cooked and the octopus was tough. Panzanella salad was mixed greens with croutons. Prices are high but it is in downtown so that was not a surprise.

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LG
Miami
70 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Zest is our go to spot for pre-theatre or pre-concert dinner. The service is always excellent and the food, creative and delicious. We have never been disappointed. EVER!!

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OT
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My family celebrated New Year 2018. The food was OUTSTANDING. Service divine. Menu out of this world. Affordability$....priceless.

If I have to say something it would be a suggestion more than a critic. Some live music would have been the icing on the cake. The only thing missing was some form of entertainment to create a mood for celebration. Live jazz band/DJ/ music band, something!
I am looking forward to do the same next year. Hope they keep it affordable with the same quality.

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LG
Miami
70 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great creative menu and specials. Never been disappointed with the food choices and the service is always friendly and very knowledgeable about the food, preparations and ingredients. Love this place, Love Cindy H.!

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LG
Miami
70 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great meal again at Zest. Cindy Hutsen (Sp) the owner/head chef never disappoints. The Miami Spice menu was so fresh, farm to table with Pumpkin and Burrato and the Corvino fish was delish as well. Everything is always great and the service is always friendly and in tune with her husband and the chef always around to ensure everyone is happy with their meals and service.

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L
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We were expecting better quality food from the celebrity chef restaurant. We ordered lobster & scallop quesadilla and it was very rich & oil was dripping. Salmon was good. We ordered 3 different flavor scoops of ice cream & it came all the same flavor. They told us it s different. I m not sure how it was different. It was same color & same taste.

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L
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Love this place. They definitely don't skimp on the food, even during Miami Spice. Amazingly creative dishes. Everything I have ever ordered has been well worth it.

I've only gone for lunch but want to try and come back for dinner with my fiancé.

Thumbs up!

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OT
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Their secret is the freshness of the seafood.
Unforgettable bacalao, delicious tangy/spicy calamari, outstanding fish, and a unique chocolate cake with a salty ice cream! Will definitely return

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j
Miami
19 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We had the Miami Spice menu and it was outstanding. We shared so we tried 4 plates, the fish fritters were the best I ever had, the ceviche very good.The pork with an asian sauce and the fish were both very good. The white chocolate bread pudding was marvelous as was the watermelon sorbet.

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OT
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Service was marginal. Server we had needed better training Gave us menus and almost immediately asked for our order. We were talking and hadn't immediately looked at the menu. Then she disappeared for a long time when we did want to order. We had to grab someone else to order a bottle of wine. Then finally we were able to order. Once we ate, we wanted a check. We waited pretty long for it too.

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D
Miami
48 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Inconsistent restaurant. Latest visit we had to return the food: cold, unappetizing, slow server to notice diners stopped eating. This place just does not seem to get it together. Owner better pay attention otherwise, risks decline in patrons. Just cannot go back there anymore. Shame too..it is nicely decorated, friendly managment but it suffers from inconsistency and quality control.

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OT
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Limited menu with only four entrees. My wife had red snapper and she said it was excellent. I had skirt steak and was not as fortunate the steak was okay but the risotto was thick and starchy. Like other reviews they did try to bring us someone else's order. I would not recommend

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SH
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I can't believe I can't find the card of the manager, but I believe his name is Reggie and he was incredibly helpful and personally greeted us, in addition to checking in on us regularly. I definitely plan to come back, maybe even this Monday, with my family, simply because I enjoyed the food and the experience so much. I found the restaurant on Yelp and as it turns out one of the two ladies, with whom I dined, had been there numerous times and also loved the restaurant...it was a real find for me. Great job Reggie.

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S
Miami
35 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

A real find in downtown Miami. Food is very good Cuisine of the Sun type and great outdoor seating

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M
Miami
9 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had another incredible lunch at Zest. Cindy Hutson is always on top of her game. Mike prepared a perfectly cooked trout for lunch. The "business lunch" varies daily and is very well priced. Seating is either outside in a lovely downtown setting or more intimate inside. Happy hours are also great fun. I recommend both Zest and Ortanique, the sister restaurant in Coral Gables.

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GL
Miami
38 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Outdoor dining on Fridays includes a DJ untill 10:30pm

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KW
Cincinnati
15 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2017
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

This is definitely just a place to go for drinks after work. The restaurant is in the middle of office buildings. Service is slow and they tried to serve us someone else's food twice. We saw them bring out our calamari appetizer and walk around to 3 tables asking if it was their meal. Then when all those tables said no, they brought it back to the kitchen. Then we finally got it 5 minutes later when our waiter saw what was happening. Very loud atmosphere too as there is a DJ.

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OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great drinks and vibe with live DJ outside . Also very nice indoor seating.

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SC
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2017
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Food took a long time. Lots of wait staff but no one seems to be doing anything other than walking around. My empty plate was in front of me for about 6 min before someone actually picked it up. Not a big deal but it's odd when people walk by and look at it and keep walking. Guess it's not their job.

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OT
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Service could have been better, but the prices were perfect. 120 for a good bottle of wine and a three course meal. Will return soon!

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JC
Miami
22 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I have been here several times. We were the only table in the restaurant and were informed that the kitchen would close at 8 PM. I like the place, but I am worried it will close.

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LT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Weren't sure what to expect of a Caribbean themed restaurant attached to a typical boring downtown office building, but was pleasantly surprised. Tuna tataki and nightly ceviche fresh and popping with flavor. Salmon with coconut coffee rub unique and yummy. Hot cheese dip with plantain chips addictive. The host, who also explained the menu and took our orders, was charming and explained the dishes clearly. Two thumbs up!

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OT
New York Area
69 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Sadly the has been a significant change to the menu. And although most things are gone with more of a bar menu everything is delicious. I only wish them luck and more patronage so we have more choices

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OT
Miami
19 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great experience at Zest, just for a simple dinner while waiting on someone attending a business function at a nearby hotel. Lucked into half price wine night, and paired it with a flatbread. Sat outside on a beautiful Miami night.

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