There's something reassuringly Greek about Atlantikos in the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.
Upon entering the chic whitewashed dining room featuring tables made of blue agate, you're immediately transported to the land of Hellenic pleasures.
The menu was created by chef Anastasios Tasos Chasekioglou, who as a boy spent all the time he could in the kitchen watching his mother put together dishes that have existed for thousands of years. At Atlantikos, he marries some local flavors with the ancient spirit of the recipes and techniques from the Greek islands he's visited, but the menu is consistent with his devotion to his national cuisine.
"Simple, fresh ingredients," he say of the olive oil,
The "To Share or Not to Share" section of the menu is a great way to start your culinary odyssey. Choose from the assortment of Greek spreads ($15), branzino tartare ($19), beef and lamb meatballs ($17), or grilled octopus with fava split pea pureé from Santorini ($22).
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Specialties from the Atlantic ocean include lobster linguine ($50) and striped bass in saffron sauce ($40). For a taste of the Mediterranean coast, try the oven-baked yellowfin sea bream ($65) or champagne-salt-crusted branzino ($65). Meat lovers can choose between fragrant lamb chops ($44) and lamb manti, a traditional pasta stuffed with braised lamb ($30). Pair your meal with a glass of
For dessert, try the orange pie with Greek yogurt sorbet or the baklava ($12 each). Finish with a strong cup of Greek coffee ($6) or a glass of Roots Tentura liqueur, a blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and citrus ($15).
On weekends, Atlantikos offers a buffet breakfast complete with a Greek corner ($49). Opa Thursdays feature live music and a three-course prix fixe ($39) including a Greek salad, meatballs, or veggie moussaka tart as appetizer choices. Chickpea-crusted striped bass is offered as the entrée, and Greek yogurt with thyme honey and bee pollen is for dessert. Grilled octopus or branzino tartare may be added for an extra $9.
Atlantikós. 9703 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour; 305-993-3300; atlantikosrestaurant.com. Daily 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.