It’s hard to imagine a chef whose culinary creations are more aesthetically appealing than Matthew Kenney's. The vegan master is known for nutrient-dense, deliciously fresh dishes in rainbow hues that make his fare ideal fodder for Instagram.
His newest eatery, Plnthouse, located inside the 1 Hotel South Beach, is an exercise in luxurious, eco-friendly eats — an airy, sunlit oasis tucked next to the hotel’s gym and wellness center.
Because this spot is Kenney’s second Miami restaurant — his first was Wynwood’s Plant Food + Wine — expectations were high. (He is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the Sacred Space, the landlord of Plant Food + Wine. The restaurant continues to operate without Kenney's involvement; however, his culinary academy has closed.) The new concept is more casual than Plant and has a bit of a different demographic. It's a poolside spot where anyone can pop in for a smoothie, a snack, or a full spread of protein and plant-strong options.
New Times visited on a calm Wednesday afternoon. Blazing sun pounded the relatively empty pool deck. The eatery’s interior is striking. Bright, open, and accented with greenery, it’s an extension of the 1 Hotel’s rustic-chic and environmentally friendly vibe.
Every dish was perfectly plated, and ample sunlight streamed in. The location was made for social-media-worthy food shots.
For those who stumble in after a hard-core workout at next door’s Spartan Gym, there are smoothies and bowls. Add-ins include superfoods such as reishi mushrooms, MCT oil, camu camu concentrate, mucuna pruriens, and maca. There are a variety of items to choose from, from wraps to bowls to smoothies, as well as a cocktail menu.
Colorful and fresh, the Thai rice paper wraps ($12) are topped with edible flowers and packed with red pepper, mango, red cabbage, sprouts, and herbs and accented with a tamarind dipping sauce.
French lentil pâté ($12) is a creamy mix of lentils topped with cashew-dill sour cream and paired with rice crisps.
The multicolored cauliflower falafel bowl ($15) is a hefty portion of quinoa and hempseed tabbouleh, sprouted chickpea hummus, harissa tahini, and slices of watermelon radish.
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The Golden One smoothie ($20) is a meal in itself: a golden blend of mango, pineapple, coconut meat, turmeric, aloe vera, dates, MCT oil, camu camu, tocos, cinnamon, and pine pollen.
Last, the cookies 'n' cream ($10) is a chocolate lover's dream. The vanilla bean milkshake is sweet and lightly creamy, not overly thick. The chocolate chip cookies are moist, sweet, and generously sized.
It's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying Plnthouse's light, pleasant atmosphere or the fresh, flavorful food. Here, Kenney turns healthy eating into an art form.
Plnthouse. 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-1000; matthewkenneycuisine.com/plnthouse. Open daily 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.