Friday, April 25, 2014

A Bit of Greek Cuisine – Miami

A real plus for Dawn Marie’s condo in Miami is its location!  Her place is right in the middle of a number of restaurants, there is a big open green space, a number of retailers and it’s on the edge of the art district.

We sampled several restaurants in the area when we visited Miami, with both positive and mixed or negative results.

  
On this occasion we decided to go Greek…a cuisine that just doesn’t exist where we live in East Tennessee.  This is the patio where we dined at Kouzina Bistro in Miami.  

While it’s quite attractive, a very busy 2nd Avenue is immediately on the other side of those tall bushes.  For me at least, cars and trucks rushing by no more than 20 feet away doesn’t equal relaxed dining… 


The attractive and inviting décor continued inside Kouzina Bistro.  I thought that the look was very appealing…


We started out with slices of pita and some very nice crusty bread with oil for dipping.  I liked the little buckets…


Laurie and I love Tzatziki! ($6.00) I don’t care for yogurt but when it’s made into Tzatziki sauce, I really like it… Cucumber, garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil are blended into the yogurt and it’s great on bread or just about anything.  Kouzina Bistro’s Tzatziki was good but Laurie and I are used to the more pungent garlic laden version we used to get in Chicago.  Nevertheless, we didn’t leave a spot of Tzatziki on the plate!


Sorry for the blurry photo…but our server brought these cucumber sections out with the Tzatziki sauce.  I still prefer my Tzatziki on bread!


The other Greek appetizer that we both love and crave is Saganaki. ($9.00) Saganaki is fried Vlahotyri cheese that is flamed with Greek brandy.  It was very good although it seemed to be a bit pricy.  Also, we’re used to it being ‘flamed’ at tableside whereas our saganaki was delivered ‘post flame’.

Kouzina Bistro’s menu was heavy on shared plates or ‘meze’ and the number of main or larger entrees was limited.  Among the meze or small plates were such items as: Fried Keftedes ($10.00), fried meatballs stuffed with feta cheese and mint; Calamari Basil Pesto ($12.00), sautéed calamari with basil pesto and crunchy shredded kataifi phyllo, and; Pickled Octopus ($14.00), octopus pickled with Greek Vinegars and herbs, sundried tomatoes, capers and an olive salsa.  


Laurie started out with a Beet Salad. ($10.00) It consisted of mixed greens, frisee salad, beets, goat cheese mousse ‘ravioli’, walnut oil and pomegranate vinaigrette.  She enjoyed her salad very much… There are 4 other salads on the menu including of course, a traditional Greek Salad. ($12.00)


I ordered the slow roasted lamb special and it came with Greek potatoes. The lamb didn’t have a lot of flavor and the potatoes were just so so… A little 
gravy of some type would have made a big difference.  I don’t have the price as Dawn Marie paid for dinner.


Dawn Marie ordered one of the Meze plates as her entree.  This is the Fried Keftedes…the meatballs stuffed with feta cheese and mint. ($10.00)  They sure weren’t pretty on the plate and they were also a bit dry…


Laurie ordered the Santorini Chicken Breast. ($18.00) The breast was stuffed with arugula, goat cheese and red peppers, then topped with a sweet mustard herb sauce and served with a green house salad.  The salad was the best part of the meal…as the chicken was as dry as a bone…way overcooked!

Well this proves that even in the midst of a plethora of intriguing restaurant choices, one can miss the mark!  Dawn Marie had eaten here before with no complaints but we must admit that we wouldn’t be in a rush to return to Kouzina Bistro for another meal…

Kouzina Bistro is located at 3535 Northeast 2nd Avenue in Miami Florida.  Phone: 305-392-1825.  Website/Twitter site: http://kouzinabistro.com/.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by and sharing another meal with us!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


4 comments:

  1. Well, at least Laurie's salad was good. Sometimes you strike out and every restaurant has their off nights, but it's still a shame you were there during one of those nights.
    Sam

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  2. Greek is one of my favorites and hate that this was a disappointment. It seems the concept of good food is down several notches and it's why we rarely eat out.

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  3. Dear Dave, It sounds like this Greek restaurant just did not make the grade. Your lamb looks way too dry and not many potatoes to speak of. Also at least a dinner salad should be included with the meals.
    When you pay good money for your food it should be memorable and delicious.
    It is too bad.
    Blessings, Catherine

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