Montreal, Canada is where the Greek adventure started for the Milos restaurant empire. Manhattan was the next destination after the Canadian success for the Milos’ owner Costas Spiliadis. Named after an island in the Aegean sea about half-way between Athens and Crete, Milos migrated into the power lunch of the influential in Midtown, New York. The luxurious Greek restaurant is synonymous to its dedication to quality, excellent service and simplicity. Milos has so far expanded to Miami Beach, Las Vegas, London and its culinary alma-matter, the Greek capital of Athens. Dress well and do not look at the bill, if you can.
Milos New York
Giant ancient amphoras used for millennia to store wine in the Mediterranean now call up the Greek connection at Milos in New York. The more contemporary look of Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis in Miami feels like flying on a cloud over the Greek shores. The freshness and friendly, mainly Greek staff reminded me of my recent trip to Athens and Halkidiki. It is remarkable that the high standard from its New York branch was transferred smoothly to its casual, bright Miami vibe. That is the reason why the latest opening in London shocked me. Everything from the staff’s attitude to the food was bland. The stratospheric prices cannot afford such a slip, since the abyss of connoisseurship is unforgiving.
Milos in Miami Beach
In New York the atmosphere is lively and mainly business-oriented during the week, but more relaxed on weekends. The refreshing ambiance and comfortable seating transfer you far away from the urban starchiness to silky softness. Like an embrace of the Mediterranean. Ties, shirts and high-heeled polished ladies, next to families with leather jacket clad teenagers, Asian nouveau riche in sneakers, they  all flood in to eat at Milos. The dress code was a natural evolution rooted in its business crowd – smart casual, but this is America, so if you can pay your bill anything goes.
On Miami Beach, the trendy buzz hives in the entire week and less serious than on Manhattan or London.
Finding the best ingredients has always been Milos’ main focus. You are eating nature at its best. No heavy sauces, nothing covering the quality of the fish, seafood and the crunchy vegetables. The ingredients simply shine. You must start with the MILOS SPECIAL. Ideal for sharing, the towering plate of breaded, thinly shaved aubergine and zucchini with lightly fried saganaki cheese centred around the voluptuous garlicky tzaziki. Not oily, just right. Their strained Greek yogurt dip is perfect and accompanies other vegetable plates such as the GRILLED ORGANIC BEETS.
Greek food Milos zucchini Maine sea urchin
MEDITERRANEAN OCTOPUS is charcoal broiled and sliced into thin, yet meaty slivers of joy. From the sea also try GRILLED CALAMARI stuffed with Cretan Anthotiro, feta, and manouri cheeses and chopped fresh mint. Served with fava beans and saffron, calling for a sip of an oaky, intense white wine or a juicy, smooth red in the style of Agyortiko. Grilled HOLLAND PEPPERS served with a generous pour of an olive oil vinaigrette and roasted garlic are also delicious.
From the seafood bar pick seasonal grilled Carabineros, clams, boiled Florida snow crab or raw Maine sea urchin (very light tasting in contrast to the Santa Barbara caramel-rich uni). I prefer dining at Milos in larger groups like in Greece so one can sample a bit of everything with no leftovers.
Fresh seafood selection
The main course is a straight catch. Walk to the ice-covered “market counter” where you choose from the large variety of fish from the shores of Greece, Spain and Portugal. Depending on the season, Lavraki, Balada, Pagri, St-Pierre, Dover Sole, Solettes, Lithrini, Red Snapper, Black Sea Bass, Tsipoura, and other less-known sustainably line-caught fish is grilled or baked in a salt crust. Perfectly prepared, the fish is served with a drizzle of olive oil, capers and lemon, dot. As an extra side, the TOMATO SALAD of vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumber and genuine, moist feta cheese. Perfectly boiled GREEN ASPARAGUS with sweet white onion can also healthily accompany the fish. There is meat like lamb on the menu, but from my point of view it would be a wasted opportunity not to order fish at the best, simple seafood serving restaurant in Manhattan. For more gastronomic, three Michelin star fish creations head to Le Bernardin nearby.
wine from CreteMediterranean fish
Desserts like Yogurt With Honey sound more like a breakfast, yet the dense strained Greek yogurt is a great digestive with a big dinner. The active enzymes in the artisan yogurt work their magic, while the antibacterial thyme honey from Kythera adds sweet, satisfying quality of a dessert. Also available as a take-away alongside some salads and dips from the nearby Milos Cafe. The real, full-fat (around 10%) and creamy yoghurt is an ocean apart from the commercial “Greek yoghurts” in American supermarkets. To sin, succumb to sweet temptations with Karidopita, the walnut-based cake served with ice-cream. The Baklava from Northern Greece is influenced by its neighbour Turkey. The phyllo pastry wraps around ground nuts (pistachios or walnuts) with a generous pinch of cinnamon, sweetened only with honey. A plate of Fresh seasonal fruit is the most Mediterranean choice from the dessert menu at Milos.
The wine list is very good. Greek wines are interesting. The whites are most fit for the food at Milos. From the Greek family, the Chardonnay by Domaine Gerovassilliou 2009 is a full bodied, oaky style, while Domaine Katsaros style is more crisp. A blend of Gerovassilliou’s characterful Malagousia and Assyrtico is an ideal middle ground, providing fruit but also a floral freshness. The Vidiano-Plyto blend from Crete is bright, perfect with the raw seafood and vegetable starters.
I dined at Milos in New York for over a decade, between 2009-2018, and the quality has always remained superb.
Lunch and dinner daily.
 125 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019
South Beach Miami: 730 1st St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
 New York: +1 212 245 7400; Miami: + 1 305 604 6800