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Bringing the Simplicity of Greek Cuisine to South Florida with Award-Winning MINA Group First Greek Concept, Estiatorio Ornos
Estiatorio Ornos Transports Guests to the Greek Islands with Warm Hospitality, Approachable Environment and South Florida’s First Fish Sommelier
by Laura Neroulias
Not traveling to Greece or Cyprus this summer? Looking for the next best thing? You no longer have to travel too far for warm, heartfelt Greek hospitality. Now boarding….South Florida!
Back in September 2020, award-winning MINA Group introduced its first Greek concept to South Florida, Estiatorio Ornos – bringing to life the sensory pleasures similar to a trip to the Greek Isles. Since then, it has continued to serve their guests delectable fresh fish, beloved Mediterranean specialties, and genuine Greek hospitality, in an approachable, friendly environment everyone can enjoy.
Led by award winning Chef Michael Mina and Las Vegas’ dynamic duo – Girair “Jerry” Goumroian and Chef Nikolaos Georgousis, the 160-seat neighborhood restaurant sits in Aventura Mall’s (Aventura is part of the Miami metropolitan area) outdoor oasis and marks the first-of-its-kind restaurant opening in the area offering traditional, simplistic yet flavorful Greek cuisine.
“The concept started to take form a few years ago when Chef Nikolaos and I took a trip to Greece and visited Ornos Beach in Mykonos. We sat in this quaint little restaurant located in front of a small fishing village, and quickly saw how it brought the community together – this is what Greece is about, its comfort through food and classic Greek kindness. We continued to uncover the freshest ingredients, the friendliest people, and we knew we had to bring this experience to the States,” said Girair “Jerry” Goumroian, managing partner. “Growing up and having the Greek culture as part of my everyday life, food is and has always been, the center of our family gatherings. Estiatorio Ornos brings us back to traditional cooking techniques where you’ll feel as if you’re eating from yiayia’s (grandma’s) kitchen, with an elevated presentation and hospitality that the MINA Group does so well.”
Inspired by the laidback charms and warm hospitality of the Greek Islands, the welcoming restaurant creates a true authentic Greek experience by encouraging those to feel comfortable to put their elbows on the table, dip their bread in the fresh olive oil, dance along and laugh out loud with family and friends. Guests can escape to paradise through the restaurant’s unique experiences, such as pristine family-style dishes highlighting seafood, meats and vegetables, as well as three-course lunch menus, daily specials, a wood fire grill and a Mykonos-inspired soundtrack.
“As we continue to evolve, our travels around the world and rediscovering cities is what inspires us for our next concepts. With a lighter fare and a deep passion that transcends so effortlessly through food, drinks and design, Estiatorio Ornos pays homage to our love affair with Greece,” says Chef Michael Mina. “Launching this restaurant is our opportunity to give a new meaning to travel by bringing authentic products from Greece, coupled with fish from our own shores, to create a laidback ambiance that transports you to the Mediterranean without having to book a ticket. We want our guests to feel as if they have stepped onto the islands by capturing the beauty and simplicity that resembles the islands through our clean and authentic recipes, and relaxed atmosphere.”
Bringing a cultural, fun experience from the islands, Estiatorio Ornos is home to South Florida’s first Fish Sommelier allowing diners to experience the taste of a simple grilled fish. The seasoned professional’s passion for fishing is hard to miss, as they are responsible for sourcing the freshest fish from the Aegean Sea that is delivered overnight, to finding hidden gems located within Florida’s local waters. Accompanied with an exclusive onsite fish cart to educate guests on finest specimens of the sea, the Fish Sommelier’s knowledge paired with Chef Nikolas’ expertise of Mediterranean flavors brings the fish forward restaurant to life.
“Greeks are passionate and proud, everything we do has heart, soul and meaning. As a Greek Chef, our philosophy is to gift guests with delicious food that has the best and most authentic ingredients,” says Nikolaos Georgousis, executive chef. “At Estiatorio Ornos, it’s not just about recreating dishes that we grew up with in Greece but pairing the right products to truly bring the Greek experience to life. Every bite counts, every ingredient has a purpose.”
Guests will feel as though they have just jumped right into the crystal-clean blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and traveled throughout the land of Greece, for dine-in, Estiatorio Ornos’ menu features the finest delicacies from Greek waters’ such as a lavraki (imported Greek sea bass), fagri (Mediterranean Snapper), astakos (lobster), and includes a raw bar displaying oysters, calamari, octopus and a wide selection of fresh fish. By land, the restaurant offers several popular, traditional items such as lemon chicken, lamb shoulder, and classic spreads such as tzatziki, hummus, melizanosalata (roasted eggplant). For those looking to order for takeout or delivery, the experience travels seamlessly to your final destination offering a curated menu including avgolemono soupa (traditional egg-lemon soup), grilled octopus, grilled filet mignon, and more. For wine and spirits enthusiasts, the restaurant offers a special craft cocktail menu and feature a selection of Greek spirits, wines and beers.
The MINA Group tapped Foundry Concept & Design, the award-winning full-service design firm, to bring a simplicity and openness feel to life. Inspired by nature and Greek’s traditional interior designs, Estiatorio Ornos features neutral palettes, white wall planks and hanging modern lights filled with plants. The 3,200 square-foot interior space will include splashes of vibrant blue, a symmetrical wall mural and touches of limestone-inspired titles to create a warm, rustic look. A nod to Greece comfort and coastal style dining, the restaurant features 1,600 square-foot outdoor patio with a stylish, intimate atmosphere featuring wood textures, tribal patterns, airy side chairs and simple sofa designs to create cozy and welcoming ambiance. Private dining rooms and lounge areas are available for special events, and full restaurants buyouts are an option for large-scale parties.
Welcoming all guests from every generation, Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant is located in Aventura Mall at 19565 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 946 Aventura, FL 33180. The restaurant is open for lunch on Tuesday’s – Friday’s from 12 – 3 p.m. and again for dinner from 5 – 10 p.m. on Tuesday’s – Sunday’s. On the weekends, Estiatorio Ornos offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 – 3 p.m. The restaurant also offers take-out and delivery.
For more information, follow the restaurant on Facebook at @estiatorioornos or Instagram at @ estiatorioornos. To make reservations to dine-in, you can visit SevenRooms or call 786.697.1681.