Time is an interesting concept. It seems as we get older, times goes by faster, or maybe it's the technological advances that are speeding up the way the world works. Though two months once seemed like a lifetime, August and September have gone by in a blip, and fall is here. You know what that means? You have one week left to experience Miami Spice, and if that means going to only one restaurant, we recommendEstiatorio Milos
. As formerNew Times
food critic Lee Klein mentioned in his review when the SoFi establishment opened, the eye-poppingly high checks are avoidable only during the two-month restaurant promotion.
Costas Spiliadis, who founded the original Estiatorio Milos in Montreal, is an interesting man. At 70 years old and with a culinary empire under his chef's coat, he's as meticulous about the attire (the hostesses wear matching Grecian blue and beige dresses) and décor of the restaurant (the window treatments and dining room separators are made of cheesecloth) as he is passionate about the fish they serve.
That fish is brought in daily -- multiple times daily. And they never know what they're getting until it arrives at the airport. Sometimes executive chef Joshua Whaler doesn't even get his fish wish list fulfilled. The Hell's Kitchen alumnus has been with the Greek restaurant since December, so this is his first Miami Spice, and he's already done something special.
Charcoal-broiled Mediterranean octopus with oregano, wild Santorini capers, red wine vinegar, and olive oil can be found on the regular menu. The Miami Spice promo features a spin on the dish, adding sweet Holland bell peppers and a gigante bean purée. The star here isn't the octopus (although it's cooked to utter perfection and not overly charred) but the purée and pepper combined with the mollusk. Bet you never thought bell peppers and octopus would go well together. And now you will be able to have the gigante puree after Miami Spice, because Joshua is so pleased with it he's adding it to the original octopus dish.
There's also a raw bar tasting with fresh Raspberry Point and Pickle Point oysters, a bigeye tuna, and lavraki sashimi. Accompany it with a white wine for Spice -- we suggest a Malagousia from the Epanomi region ($10).
Moving into entrées, you're given the difficult task of choosing between fish and meat. It's even more difficult when the meat is Colorado USDA Prime lamb chops. Milos is a seafood restaurant, though, so go with the fish -- a loup de mer -- and let your dining companion get the meat and eat from his/her plate. The Mediterranean sea bass arrives in a beautiful display. Be careful, though, there are plenty of spines -- a good thing. There's also plenty of flavor in this fish, which has been very delicately seasoned and almost melts in your mouth.
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The lamb chops are cooked to a perfect medium-rare, without the server even asking for temperature when taking the order. I guess this is the way that chef thinks all lamb chops ought to be cooked. Can't fight him on that one. Soak the fries in the juice from the chops.
Have you ever had real greek yogurt? Milos offers it for dessert as part of Spice. "The Real Greek Yogurt" is sweet like honey. Maybe because it's loaded with honey. There's also a seasonal fruit platter or a karidopita -- greek walnut cake. Can't make it to Milos before Miami Spice ends September 30? It also serves a a four-course dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 5:30 to close. The lunch alternative is $24.07. That's just a dollar and seven cents more than the Miami Spice lunch price. Turns out good Greek seafood doesn't have to always result in eye-poppingly high checks. Avoid walking past the fish display, or your wallet will seriously suffer. If you do, though, your palate will thank you.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha.