Mandolin Aegean Bistro is the closest thing you’ll get to Greece in Miami. I was more than excited to go when a friend suggested we meet there for a catch-up dinner. Tucked away in Miami’s Design District, Mandolin’s cozy nature offers the greatest backdrop for the best Greek & Turkish food in town.
Before having gone to the restaurant, I read up on it and I didn’t realize that they actually grew their own produce in an adjacent organic garden. In an interview I read from Miami New Times, owner Ahmet Erkaya stated, “We aren’t a chef-driven restaurant. We’re an ingredient-driven restaurant.” The open plot boasts tomatoes, peppers, greens, and herbs. This fact made me love them even more.
Walking in, I fell in love with the outdoor area. While my night was meant for catching up over some fabulous sangria, this place is the epitome of a perfect date night spot. Hear that boys? I mean, if you’re looking to impress a fine young lady, look no further. The night lights up with magic here: sparks will fly over candles in tall lanterns that give off a warm golden glow.
As if I needed more reason to love the place, then, there was the food. To start, we had the grilled artichoke. This was by far the tastiest artichoke I’ve ever had. The fusion of flavors incorporated into this dish made my palate scream for joy.
The food was just fresh. Everything felt so authentic (speculating, as I have never been to Turkey or Greece. This needs to change.)
I had the chicken kebab with orzo pilaf and maroulosalata. Upon ordering, I was like what’s this maroulosalata? This new take on romaine lettuce was so simple, yet so fabulous. Want to pair it with your next chicken dish? You should! Here’s a recipe I found that I definitely intend on trying:
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 romaine lettuce, shredded very finely
- 1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped, including the green parts
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill weed
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Mix the oil and vinegar together in a bowl, add the salt and pepper, to taste.
- Combine the ingredients and toss with the dressing, and serve immediately. This salad should be crunchy, not soggy.
Mandolin truly touches all of the senses from the beautifully laid out ambiance to the exuberance of Mediterranean flavor coming out of their uniquely fused dishes. I wish I had had room for dessert. Guess that just means I need to go back!
Mandolin Aegean Bistro