By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s an escape to the Greek Islands at Estiatorio Ornos, located on the outer east side entrance of Aventura Mall.

It’s the brainchild of celebrity Chef Michael Mina.

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The elegant yet relaxed restaurant seats more than 160 diners between their contemporary indoor space with eclectic art and the relaxed, spacious patio for outdoor dining.

“The experience is super easy, we’re right outside the valet so people can just park and come in. You don’t have to go into the shop if you don’t want to,” said Matteo Giacomazzi, operations manager of the Mina Group.

As for the look.

“I feel like that it looks super sophisticated but rustic at the same time. We have this beautiful chandelier that simulates a constant state of sunset, just like in Greece, lots of blues and lots of orange warm contrast,” said Giacomazzi.

Estiatorio Ornos is Greek to the letter.

“It starts with the food, we source the best ingredients, a lot of them from the Mediterranean and then it’s a combination of very high end ingredients and Greek cuisine,” said Giacomazzi.

Chef de cuisine Danny Galvez said it’s about keeping it simple and sourcing from the best. In fact, they have their own fish sommelier who orders the freshest seafood from the Aegean Sea that’s delivered overnight.

“You source something great, you don’t mess with it too much, and it’s going to be very tasty,” said Galvez.

Just like this sea bream fish served with steamed wild greens

“We have these fish baskets that are flat and we place the fish in the basket and they just get thrown on the grill,” said Galvez.

“It’s light but it also has heft, lots of flavor, a taste of citrus in there right?” asked Lisa Petrillo.

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“We do top it off with a little bit of a lemon vinaigrette, Greek oregano, some parsley, some capers,” said Galvez.

“Excellent,” said Petrillo.

Petrillo then sampled the authentic Greek Salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, capers, and sheep’s milk feta cheese before moving onto a truly addictive side dish – zucchini chips with Tskaiki dip.

“What I do is dip them in water and flour and fry them, nothing else,” said Galvez.

“A perfect appetizer, it’s addicting be prepared, you can just dip on it all day, that is really special,” said Petrillo.

“It is pretty addicting, yeah,” said Galvez.

The last dish served, an Ornos favorite, grilled octopus sitting a top of a bean salad

“This is moist, tender, lemony, a really really high end fantastic octopus,” said Petrillo. “The perfect octopus if you ask me.”

Estiatorio Ornos is a true trip to the Greek Isles with no jet lag at all.

The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, they also serve brunch on the weekends.

Estiatorio Ornos is located at 19565 Biscayne Boulevard in the new outdoor restaurant area of the Aventura Mall.

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Lisa Petrillo