More than 30 years ago, Costas Spiliadis opened his first restaurant in Montreal with a mission to reintroduce Greece’s gastronomy to Canadian epicureans. Now, his fifth outpost (other locations include New York, Athens, and Las Vegas) has launched in the refined culinary environs of South Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.
Forget the greasy moussaka platters synonymous with classic Greek diners; Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis stays true to healthy, authentic fare by using simple, fresh, and seasonal ingredients. Hook-caught fish are shipped straight from the Mediterranean or supplied by independent fishermen in the Florida Keys, and are cooked on an oak-burning grill with olive oil and lemon juice. Milos’s collection of Greek wines is carefully selected and imported by Spiliadis’s son, George, complementing signature dishes such as the charcoal-broiled octopus with wild Santorini capers.
Milos feels like a rustic-chic Aegean taverna thanks to Pentelic marble floors, giant clay urns, and chunky wood rafters. The restaurant’s focal point, however, is the 13,000-pound marble art installation: two massive slates handcut from the same quarry used to build the Parthenon, and suspended from the rafters by industrial chains. The open kitchen offsets an in-house “fish market” where guests can choose the fish they’ll eat, just as they would on a summer afternoon at a Greek marina.
Adjacent to the main dining room, the Marketa market offers a selection of Greek spoon sweets (fruit preserves), the exclusive My Sister’s Olive Oil (produced by Spiliadis’s sister, Vivi Manolakos), as well as cured meats, fishes, and fine cheeses from around the world, such as the Spanish Idiazabal and the Greek Manouri. If Milos has its way, you’ll soon be raising a glass of Metaxa and saying, “Stin ygeia sas!” (“Cheers” in Greek). 730 First St., Miami Beach, 305-604-6800.