It ain't easy to open an eatery on South Beach, much less on Washington Avenue, a whirl of wandering tourists and traipsing whack jobs. But despite common misconceptions, it is possible to maintain a level of culinary integrity while setting up shop in the Wild West (South, whatever).
Just ask the Pyliotis brothers, the duo behind Poseidon, a newly launched Greek bistro. They're also behind the nearby Zesto Pizza & Subs (a favorite SoBe haunt for the late-night set). But for the siblings, Poseidon is a whole new world, one of classic Greek dishes, unique ingredients, and local patrons.
Last night, Short Order was invited to sample their goods. Check out what we noshed on after the jump.
The blue-and-white décor is an obvious nod to Greek tradition. And the brilliant azure landscape of Santorini hanging over the bar makes Miami Beach look like the Jersey Shore -- post-Sandy.
In addition to its American efforts, the Pyliotis family owns 3,000 olive trees in Kalamata, Greece. Brothers and co-owners Vasilios and Demetrios (also the head chef) use their family's products in their recipes and hope to one day import their olive oil in bulk to the States.
The oil itself is impressive -- rich, flavorful, fruity, 100 percent organic, zero percent acidic, and made with the cream of the crop of the family's harvest.
In addition to their own homemade olive oil, they employ a little-known Greek ingredient, "masticha," in some of their recipes. Used as a chewing gum, a base for liqueur (known as Skinos) and a flavoring, the white resin has a flavor reminiscent of anise. Added to their lobster bisque, it creates a unique, slightly sweet and almost celery-like aftertaste.
On our evening visit, we sampled the following:
Saganaki, $8: Piquant, rich Kefalotiri cheese pan-seared and flambe'd with Greek koniak Metaxa.
Mediterranean Octopus, $15: Delicately roasted octopus bites with lemon oil sauce.
Wild Greens (Chorta), $6: Silky, braised swiss chard and native greens.
Masticha Lobster Bisque, $8: A creamy, slightly sweet and uniquely flavorful soup.
Moussaka, $17: Eggplant, zucchini and potatoes topped with beef and a basic bechamel cream.
Pork Souvlaki, $16: Tender, lemon-oregano marinated pork on skewers.
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Galetobureko, $8: An impossibly moist, custard filled phyllo dough paired with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and fresh strawberries.
The brothers are also about to roll out some new menu items, including a variety of different saganaki options, some new fishes and various other additions. Check 'em out on their website, or stop by and say hi at 1131 Washington Ave.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.