Whenever I am visiting Miami I try and eat lunch or dinner at Mandolin Restaurant. The food is great, but even more so there is something about this historic 1940’s restored house that I find charming. Located at 4312 NE 2nd Ave, in the Buena Vista neighbourhood just north of the Design District.
The food captures the flavours of both Greek and Turkish cuisines helmed by a husband and wife team. She is Greek, and he is Turkish.
We love to dine alfresco on a warm evening under the twinkling lanterns. In in inclement weather you can dine indoors in a little house in the back. This place is perfect for a romantic date night or with a large group as it had such a lovely ambience.
As soon as we are seated we order a pitcher of white Sangria or a bottle of Rosé. Then we dig into a Turkish and Greek sampler of lovely dips. I always enjoy their fried calamari, especially when they serve them on the smaller side rather than the larger size calamari (more tender this way). Their octopus is also a winner.
Some of their other items are inconsistent. The lamb chops on orzo were tasty but SO salty. The chicken kebab can be dried out occasionally. The Branzino was full of bones and a little fishy the last time we tried it. The lamb meatballs weren’t bad and were served with tzatziki.
For dessert there was a choice of chocolate layered pudding cake or baklava.
If you are looking to get away from the madness of the beach and try some rustic cuisine of the Mediterranean you will enjoy Mandolin. It has the feeling of a village restaurant on the Mediterranean coast.