MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s safe to say the ingredients speak for themselves at Mandolin Aegean Bistro, just north of The Miami Design District.

What started out as a 30-seat Mediterranean style eatery, four years later, now seats 150 diners who pack-in the restaurant both day and night.

Mandolin was opened in 2009 by a young couple with Turkish and Greek roots.

Owner Anastasia Koutsioukis shows off the latest addition to the restaurant; The Mandolin Garden.

“Part of Mediterranean cuisine is ingredient-driven food and we want to celebrate those fresh ingredients. It doesn’t get fresher than this—than pick and harvest in the morning and create a special that afternoon,” said Anastasia.

The garden is filled with great greens like kale, spinach, arugula, edible flowers and more.

The menu is both healthy and delicious.

CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo was served her favorite: Grilled Prawns seasoned with paprika and oregano with a side salad of everything from the garden.

“My prawns are back…” said Petrillo. “I’m in the Aegean Sea. It tastes sweet with a pepper kick.” Petrillo described the salad as, “fresh from garden, not heavy on the dressing. It’s a lovely salad.”

Next up for tasting was a grilled cheese from Cypress called Halume served with home-grown sun gold tomatoes.

“This is a great, great combination of the sweet from the tomato and the salt from the cheese–I love that,” said Petrillo.

Using the fresh ingredients from the garden, the baker whips-up Mandolin’s signature flatbread. This time served with spinach, kale and melted feta cheese.

“It’s like a yummy delicious pizza but lighter with veggies,” said Petrillo.

Mandolin Aegean: organic, original, and totally authentic. It’s a place to visit and escape from life. Walking through the blue gates Petrillo describes almost as an instant-transport to the Mediterranean, to the Aegean with the freshest of ingredients, integrity of food. Mandolin is a great place to celebrate breaking bread with friends and family.

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