3.5 stars for pristine seafood at Milos on Miami Beach

 

3.5 stars for pristine seafood at Milos on Miami Beach

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Victoria Pesce Elliott

Milos, the South Beach outpost of a Montreal and New York seafood temple that set up shop a few months ago across from Joe’s Stone Crab, represents simple old-school, Greek-style decadence. The kind where exotic ingredients are Fed-Exed from faraway locales and described poetically by servers in floor-length black aprons who have spent hours studying the details.

Guests choose their dinner from a grand, three-tiered display of seafood that rests, clear-eyed and sweet-smelling, on a mountain of ice. John Dory, Dover sole, fagri, tsipoura, milokopina, sargos, skorpina, scallops, anchovies, shovel-nose lobster, soft-shelled crab and more are shipped in from Morocco, Tunisia, Portugal, Nova Scotia and, of course, Greece, joining a stunning row of black grouper from Florida waters. Is all that effort, expense and fossil fuel worth it? Mostly, yes. Seasoned with nothing more than a splash of olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, a squeeze of lemon and a shower of fresh parsley in most cases, each bite is bliss.

Ambience: As pretty as the space is, it has the stark feeling of a museum. Two vast, white-on-white rooms and a well-stocked market are decked out with gray marble, industrial wood beams and sparkling globe chandeliers. Mini-bar-sized amphoras, double-laid white tablecloths and classic Greek music contribute to the stiff atmosphere. This is still Miami, and servers are not as polished as their New York counterparts. Ours stumbled on the names of fish, had us over-ordering and brought a single wedge of lemon for our perfectly fried slips of sardines.

What Worked

  • An amazing prix-fixe $20.12 lunch special
  • Gorgeously charred and tender pink charcoal-grilled octopus tentacles  tossed with a tangy, vinegary dressing and dotted with bits of red onion and briny capers
  • The Milos special - a tower of thinly sliced zucchini and eggplant coins fried until barely gold and served with a refreshing tzatziki dipping sauce
  • A stunning heirloom tomato salad with only a slight assist from salt and oil
  • A crunchy, emerald green side of broccoli drenched in butter
  • Sweet and perky prawns gently scorched in their shells and served with a hit of lemon and oil
  • Sweet, white-fleshed and velvety Lavraki (aka European sea bass, loup de mer or branzino)
  • A gorgeous rack of Colorado lamb chops beautifully seared and served with lemon and oregano
  • A straightforward, a la carte menu
  • A wine list of more than 300 labels, including many unfamiliar but well-worth-exploring Greek bottles
  • A silken dollop of house-made yogurt with golden honey (pictured)
  • A slice of walnut cake
  • Baklava

 

What Didn't Work

  • Exceedingly high prices - it’s possible to pay as much for a piece of fish as a pair of the Gucci loafers that seem to be required footwear
  • A bit of pretension Over-the-top pricing (seafood is $49-$90 a pound)

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