Modern Garden Miami Marvels

Miami’s culinary game continues to flourish as Modern Garden Miami is taking it to scrumptious new heights. An intriguing new concept from Seaspice, Modern Garden Miami is helmed by Chef Benjamin Goldman, a quarter century old prodigy Chef who was previously sous chef at the now defunct Shikany. Almost the entire talented team  from Shikany moved with Chef Goldman to Modern Garden, including Chef Jill Montinola, one of our most beloved pastry chefs. Chef Goldman possesses an old soul which emanates creativity and an intense affection for the purity of ingredients. He and his team have delivered exquisite and artistic cuisine with Grand Canyon depth of flavor.

Modern Garden

Modern Garden is an intimate and sensual venue nestled on the Miami river. The dining area is dominated by two large, wooden origami-like trees with branches canopying across the ceiling with teardrop lights dangling from them. The menu offers a crudo (raw) bar as well as marquee raw meat, like muscovy duck and Miyazaki Kobe beef, that is cooked at the table on 850 degree volcanic lava stones. These stones are stored in a special oven that is never turned off.


Not only does the fare introduce you to a whole new spectrum of flavors, but the cocktail menu is equally enlightening. Our favorite was the heavenly Garden Passion, which introduced us to a delightful new liquor called Chartreuse and blended it with fresh mango, passion fruit, starfruit and ginger. The Shedonist was IN LOVE with Zacoco, 23 year old Ron Zacapa served in a fresh coconut.


The meal was beyond phenomenal as we tasted brand new items, flavors and experiences that had us literally moaning in Food-ecstasy at the table. We ordered the tasting menu and trusted the chef to take our mouths on an epic journey. We always strongly suggest you take a moment to smell your food before consuming it, as it enhances the flavor and your experience of the meal, but it in this case, it really should be mandatory.

The most riveting dish of the night was the Kanpachi – with candied pecans, coffee bean paste, coconut, thai vinaigrette, Flowering Chive, and dehydrated blackberry. This was not umami — it was was like umami on steroids activating every particle of our mouths. The Shedonist made me promise not to lick plates at nice restaurants anymore, but that magnificent sauce beckoned me and I could not help myself.




The Salmon Rosettes employed premium Faroe Island salmon coupled with candied shallots, salmon roe and sudachi (Japanese citrus). It was so distinct with multilayered sweet, sour and savory flavors dancing in concerto.




The next plate was an incredibly special dish that we actually took time to appreciate prior to eating. Geoduck is a giant 100 year old clam from Japan and that can be found in Miami only at Modern Garden. Chef Goldman cuts out the belly to be deep fried. We imagined the centuries of energy that this clam absorbed over its existence, making it a truly special dish that lingered in our blessed and grateful mouths.




Muscovy Duck Breast with purplette onion, umeboshi (Japanese salt plums), maple tamari & basil buds was the next dish that graced our table. The duck is cooked on the table on 850 degree lava stones with Hawaiian salt.  The scent, experience, purity and taste of this special duck made it truly captivating




The Scarlette & Mushroom was an intoxicating side composed of wild mushrooms, scarlette runner beans, pine nuts and dried mango that could really stand on its own.




The Forbidden Rice – organic purple rice, coconut & gooseberry was an epiphany. Every last celestial grain was slowly savored, eaten and adored.




When dessert rolled around, it was time for Chef Jill Montinola to radiantly shine. The first of the wondrous confection trifecta was the aptly named Garden of Eden with poignant passion fruit cremeux, seasonal tropical fruits, braised pineapple and coconut granitè. The vibrant dish was light and sweet the coconut was intense and addictive.



The Bambolini are freshly fried bengients with banana coriander cream, hazelnut crumble, bruleed senorita & blackberry compote. New Orleans can definitely learn how to amplify their signature treats from Chef Jill.


The Guanaja Chocolate Cremoso was another splendid dish with cocoa nib crumble, seaweed snow & toasted rice mousse. The ingenuity, execution and flavors were quite a treat.


Modern Garden Miami is one of those select restaurants that will educate your palate and raise your dining expectations. The rare ingredients, sultry vibe, artistic composition, as well as the passion & diligence the team imbues into the cuisine culminates into an extraordinary experience.



About Ari Kane

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Bouncing around the globe sharing the best pleasures, restaurants, hotels, tours and festivals...

3 Comments on this post

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