Estiatorio Milos rolled into South Beach with a roar of pre-opening buzz this past May. Costas Spiliadis, who has four other Estiatorio locations in his global den, spared no expense in creating a splashy restaurant elegantly clad in white marble, rich woods, and pressed white linens. Glass windows fronting the room soar to a lofty ceiling, a blue-tiled open kitchen tracks along the back, and gauzy white curtains help to divide the restaurant into two sections (one of which includes a boldly backlit bar).
To the left of the dining arena is a 20-seat communal table in a gleaming "Marketa" of imported charcuterie, prepared foods, and Greek delicacies. Taking up the rear is a lovely library-style private dining room (where even the books on the shelves have been shipped from Greece).
If Estiatorio's loudly trumpeted entrance into the SoFi neighborhood created a stir, so did the sudden departure of head chef Sean Bernal after the establishment had been open only two weeks. Milos, it turns out, is full of surprises.
The first minor one comes when the waiter brings a small potted oregano plant and a pair of shears to the table and proceeds to snip the herb into a dish of Greek olive oil, which is meant to accompany slices of grilled, crusty country bread.
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Diners are then encouraged to take part in the "Milos experience," as our waiter put it. This means getting escorted to an area in front of the kitchen where a bevy of iced Mediterranean seafood is displayed; guests may select their dinner fish at this time if they choose.