My friends Norma and Phil were in town and I was not sure where to take them to lunch. They love Greek and Turkish food, so why not Mandolin Aegean Bistro, the best place in town?
The surroundings were spectacular yet serene. We sat in a charming courtyard full of trees and orchids – it was easy to forget that one was actually in Miami.
We began our Mediterranean feast with the Turkish Sampler – Hummus – Beet Purée – Tomato Dip, the beet being my favorite. It was served with Turkish bread that came in little paper bags; so cute and very delicious.
The Marinated Grilled Octopus was simply lovely: nice and soft and gently charred, the best octopus I have ever had.
The Grilled Tiger Prawns With Paprika were also excellent. They were presented heads-on, ideal for sucking the delicate insides.
Chicken Kebab With Orzo Pilaf & Maroulosalata was Phil’s dish. Maroulosalata is a classic Greek Romaine lettuce salad. Phil was very pleased with it, the chicken was tender and juicy, he just wished for a stronger accompaniment, maybe something made with onions?
The Grilled Lamb Chops Over Orzo Pilaf were delicious! These meat lollipops were just spectacular. I literally could munch on these all day. All carnivores in Miami should check this dish out.
Fresh Whole Grilled Sea Bass With Olive Oil, Lemon And Oregano was Issa’s plate. She is very fond of whole fish, the head being a particular obsession and this version did not disappoint her – only bones were left when she was all done. The head was devoured, teeth and all.
I had the All Natural Grass Fed Skirt Steak served with Sautéed Spinach With Garlic And Lemon. I took two or three bites of this and took the rest home. My intention was to have it for dinner while I watched my Brazilian novela, La Guerrera. What a treat to have two of my favorite things at the same time: rare skirt steak and telenovela drama. I was as close to heaven as I could get.
For dessert we shared the Baklava and the Chocolate Cake, both very good.
Tanya was our hostess and she made us feel at home, she went out of her way to make sure that we were happy and full – she succeeded brilliantly.
Mandolin Aegean Bistro simply rocks. This place is the bomb. The best restaurant I have been to in 2015.
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
4312 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami FL, 33137