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Meraki Coconut Grove – Downtown Miami’s beloved Greek restaurant expands with 2nd location
When one thinks of Miami, Florida, you may not necessarily think of it being a “mikri ellada” – well folks, after working and living in Miami for the last four years, it is my honor to pay tribute to all the amazing Hellenic people, businesses and most importantly, the Greek communities (yes, PLURAL) of South Florida for Neo Magazine. And guess what? It’s not all South Beach and tan lines!
First up….a true hidden gem…
Three years after opening Meraki Greek Bistro located in a secret alley in Downtown Miami, Managing Partner Alex Karavias and Executive Chef Giannis Kotsos recently debuted their second location, Meraki Coconut Grove, bringing elevated yet affordable, authentic Greek cuisine and elegant coastal design to area residents and visitors alike.
“Meraki means to ‘put something of yourself into whatever you do’, and that’s exactly what Chef Giannis and I have been doing since we opened the original Meraki location three years ago,” said Alex Karavias. “‘I’ve always dreamed of opening a restaurant here in Coconut Grove, where my first encounters in Miami’s culinary scene started years ago. We are excited to expand the Meraki brand and bring our approachable and authentic Greek cuisine to the community.”
Located in the heart of Coconut Grove (aka, mainland Miami) on the bustling Main Highway, within footsteps of the restaurant you are transported to the Greek isles as you walk towards the rustic blue and white table and chairs and signature Meraki awning. Upon entering the bright and airy dining room complete with breezy white curtains, you can’t miss the Greek hospitality warmness, aka, philoxenia, of the staff amongst the traditional, to new age Greek music, long wooden tables and upholstered benches lined with blue patterned pillows and blue-green geometric tile floors. Nautical accessories including decorative life rings and fishermen’s throw rope adorn the walls.
Offering lunch and dinner daily, Executive Chef Kotsos’ authentic menu focuses on vibrant Mediterranean flavors, fresh fish and traditional Greek staples. Signature items include appetizers such as Saganaki featuring flambéed grilled Vlahotiri cheese ($11) and Marinated Grilled Octopus drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and oregano ($15); salads including The “Real” Traditional Greek Salad with tomato, onion, cucumber, olives, capers, green peppers, feta cheese, herbs and Greek croutons ($12); chef specialties such as Mousaka ($16), Aegan Bacon-Wrapped Chicken breast stuffed with spinach, caramelized onions and ricotta cheese, served with lemon potatoes and chicken gravy sauce ($19) and the Lamb Skewer Platter served with pita, Greek fries, griller veggies & tzatziki ($22); oversized sharing platters like the Kalamaki Souvlaki Platter featuring a combination of souvlaki skewers: pork, chicken, veggie, bacon-wrapped chicken, served with Greek fries, pita bread, tzatziki and Meraki sauce ($35 for 2/$65 for 4) and Seafood Opera Platter with lobster tail, prawns, scallops, fish filet, shrimp skewers, octopus, calamari ($95), all incorporating seasonal and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
“We wanted to create an environment that was casual, but also celebrated good Greek food,” continued Karavias. “We have a selection of shareables, salads, simply prepared seafood, grilled meats and oversized family platters, all incorporating seasonal and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. For those who are also looking to also pair their food with something from Greece, we also have an extensive list of Greek beer and organic wine is available.”
What else is there to love about Meraki Coconut Grove? While Meraki Greek Bistro features Saloni Lounge on the second floor, an intimate, design-driven private event space for up to 60 guests featuring sound equipment, available live music and catering menus at various price points, Meraki Coconut Grove features an outdoor Aegean-inspired terrace (fits up to 35 guests) and is an ideal hang-out for neighborhood locals to meet up and take advantage of Miami’s gorgeous ‘winter’ weather.
Mainland Miami rejoice! Whether you’re a Miami local or a visitor craving traditional Mediterranean fare, visit Meraki (at either locations) for a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a simple Greek menu that consistently never disappoints.
Further details and stay connected:
Meraki Greek Bistro (Downtown Miami) is located at 142 SE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33131 and is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. – midnight; Saturday 12 p.m. – midnight; and Sunday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. Facebook @MerakiGreekBistro and Instagram @MerakiGreekBistro.
Meraki Coconut Grove is located at 3462 Main Hwy. Miami, FL 33133 and is open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Facebook @MerakiintheGrove and Instagram @MerakiintheGrove.
For more information or to make reservations, their website is merakibistro.com and their phone numbers 786-773-1535 (Downtown) or 786-254-7079 (Coconut Grove).