With the coming New Year, The Palms Hotel & Spa prepares for the re-launch of its season menus, slated for early February, featuring globally inspired natural gourmet fare by Essensia’s new Signature Chef, Julie Frans. To commemorate these new ventures and ensure their success, Essensia invites revelers to experience a one of a kind New Year’s Eve Prosperity Menu by Chef Julie dedicated to customs believed to bring good fortune, happiness, health, and wealth. So don’t leave your fate up to chance! Join us and ring in 2012 with a smorgasbord of cultural good luck.

Inspired by a Chinese tradition the first course is a Tray of Togetherness* featuring an assortment of symbolic treats to ensure a sweet beginning to the New Year. Essensia’s Tray of Togetherness includes preserved kumquats for prosperity, coconut for togetherness, longans for many sons, and red melon seeds for happiness. For the second course enjoy Black Eyed Pea Fritters* served with Hot Pepper Relish, Wilted Collard Greens and a Mini Corn cake. A southern tradition dating back to the Civil War, eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. The peas can also represent coins, while collard greens symbolize money, and cornbread signifies gold. A third course combines several universal superstition into a Seafood Trio featuring a traditional Caviar Blini, Smoked Salmon on Fava Puree served with a Savory Herb Doughnut, and Herring Salad served with Pickled Beet and Apple on Endive. In the West, caviar and cured salmon symbolize prosperity; in Holland, donuts represent “coming full circle”; in Germany and Poland, herring brings abundance.

Pho-Style Noodle Soup serves as the fourth course where diners are asked to create their very own bowl of good fortune by selection from an array of fresh ingredients including mint, basil, chili, pea shoots, cubed tofu and scallions. This traditional Vietnamese soup is believed to represent the hopes of a better life for Vietnamese immigrants coming to America in the 70’s. The fifth course is an international combo of fertility and good luck, the Pomelo Date Salad* features Frisee, Marcona Almonds, Shaved Parmesan, and Citrus Sherry Vinaigrette. In China, pomelo represents abundance and prosperity; in Northern Africa, dates symbolize life and fertility; and the Romans believed almonds brought fertility and good fortune.

An Entrée Duo* will feature Seared Pork Belly Medallions served with Blueberries in Pinot Noir Reduction and a Seared Scallop served with Blistered Grapes and Vermouth Sauce. Accompaniments will include Celery Root Leek Puree and Chinese Long Beans. Several countries including Cuba, Spain, Hungary, Sweden, and Italy believe that pork represents progress and wealth; in many Hispanic cultures, grapes can help sweeten the coming year; and in China, long beans represent a long life. And last but not least, Tall Cake & Rice Pudding* for dessert.

The New Year’s Eve Prosperity Dinner will offer two seating times – 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. The first seating will feature a Welcome Cocktail followed by a five course prix fixe menu (identified by an *) for $88++ not including tax and gratuity. The second seating will feature a Welcome Cocktail followed by a seven course prix fixe menu and a Champagne toast for $178 not including tax and gratuity. Musical entertainment will be provided by DJ Lee’Or from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Exceptional indoor and outdoor seating is available. For reservations, please call 305.908.5458 or visit www.essensiarestaurant.com.

About Essensia Restaurant & Lounge

Essensia awakens the senses with natural gourmet cuisine and indulgent cocktails in a sensuous and relaxing ambiance. The menu offers patrons a wholesome and seasonal variety of light global fare with a genuine focus on utilizing local, organic, and seasonal ingredients. Essensia’s exclusive wine list is committed to being sustainable, organic or biodynamic and has been selected for sharing Essensia’s mission to being environmentally conscience. Essensia is open 7 days per week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. The Palms offers complimentary valet parking with dinner, up to 3 hours. For restaurant reservations, please call 305.908.5458 or visit www.essensiarestaurant.com.