Seventy-eighth Street east of Biscayne was like a rock concert parking lot last night, albeit a rock concert full of sophisticates. I’m talking a mob scene the likes that block hasn’t seen since forever. And while the crowd in question wasn’t really there to hear their favorite band, they were there to greet some of their favorite people and to eat some of their favorite food. Why? Well, because Anise opened last night, that’s why.
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Brought into being by Liza and Gigi, the couple behind the Beach’s much-missed Ouzo’s, Anise is everything the Greek taverna was and then some. Foodwise it retains all the former faves -- Mediterranean sea bass, grilled octopus, Spanish sardines -- and throws in a slew of other regional delights, all of which I was too busy carousing around to write down. They say the fare is “Mediterranean with a Greek stamp.” And a decidedly modern Greek stamp at that.
And from the wow of the crowd as Anise opened the doors, it’ll be the kinda eatery locals both wants and needs. That it’s on the waterfront, close to all the right neighborhoods, and run with the kinda hands-on attention to detail only devoted restaurateurs can accomplish means Anise will be a boon for everyone. That the two who’ve turned this joint into a cozy, cool hideout know everyone in town means everybody will be there. Add the fact that Anise is priced to eat rather than to fleece and you’ve got that proverbial recipe for success.
It couldn’t have come at a better time or to a better pair.
-- John Hood