One of New York’s most successful restaurants has just opened their first Florida location at the chic Estates of Acqualina, 17945 Collins Avenue. Located within one of Miami’s most opulent complexes, Sunny Isles Beach. AVRA is a luxurious, 12,000 square ft. restaurant with a stunning waterfront setting that can seat up to 350 patrons. If you wonder how they can fill this enormous indoor and outdoor space, no worries, they have been fully booked since their opening day in mid November 2022.
Everything is oversized at AVRA, from the artwork, the jumbo planters, the large trees weaving throughout the dining area, the vast light fixtures, the oversized booths to the floor to ceiling windows. Pink foliage drops from the ceiling creating a fairytale setting which is simply breathtaking.
North Miami has been looking for a new crowd pleaser and they’ve certainly found one in AVRA! Serving light, sophisticated, Mediterranean fare. Meaning ‘breeze’, in Greek, she derived its name from Greek Mythology. What is AVRA’s ‘breeze’ without being transported into a warm, inviting space that makes you feel like you could be dining in Greece. Like its New York counterpart, there is a large bottle of delicious Greek olive oil on each table, a massive display showcasing fresh fish and seafood, and an open kitchen concept and a long table of fresh vegetables.
But the main attraction here is the food and it is why people will continue to revisit. Using pure and simple ingredients like olive oil and sea salt, and not covering items with heavy sauces, they let the food shine. Seafood and fresh fish are the focus. There’s an extensive raw bar, or order a ceviche, or sashimi. You can also go up and choose your main course from an array of fish or seafood from a large icy display. But this comes with a buyer’s beware warning, fish for two, such as a fresh Mediterranean Branzino, can cost around $150. If you want to stay within budget order already priced items on the menu, otherwise the sky’s the limit when ordering market price. There are also a few items for non fish eaters, like delicious lamb chops, chicken or beef. There are also a few items for children off the menu, just ask.
Large sweet shrimp-cocktail, crab cakes and Greek salad were all first rate for us. A must order are their famous AVRA chips, which are thinly sliced zucchini and eggplants that are lightly battered and flash fried and served with a creamy tzatziki sauce. These were irresistible. The side dishes like lemon roasted potatoes, spinach and rice are all great accompaniments too. For dessert, the typical baklava, olive oil cake or orange infused pound cake are all great ways to end your meal.
They offer an impressive wine list with 1,200 varieties from around the globe, with 30 selections of wine by the glass. Or you can bring your own wine with a $50 corkage fee. There is also a wide selection of spirits and cocktails.
AVRA is inspired by seaside tavernas dotting the Greek coastline and islands. Eating here sets the scene for a place to eat, see and be seen, and will transport you to a Greek Island vacation via the Sunny Isles.