Bringing the taste of Greece stateside is no easy feat, but award-winning Chef and Restauranteur Michael Mina always delivers. Inspired by a trip to Ornos Beach in Mykonos, Mina and his team – including Las Vegas’ dynamic duo Girair “Jerry” Goumroian and Chef Nikolaos Georgousis – were compelled to bring the MINA Group’s first Greek concept restaurant to Aventura Mall.
Ornos Estiatorio is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. A lunch, brunch and happy hour menu will be launched later this fall.
“The concept started to take form a few years ago. We sat in this quaint little restaurant located in front of a small fishing village, and quickly saw how it brought the community together – this is what Greece is about, its comfort through food and classic Greek kindness. We continued to uncover the freshest ingredients, the friendliest people, and we knew we had to bring this experience to the States,” said Goumroian, managing partner.
Located in the outdoor courtyard across from Apple, the 160-seat restaurant will offer traditional and simplistic yet flavorful Greek cuisine in an authentic environment that will make guests feel like they are dining at a family restaurant in Greece.
“Food is and has always been the center of our family gatherings,” said Goumroian, who grew up immersed in Greek culture. It’s why he’s made it a priority to ensure diners at Ornos Estiatorio experience the welcoming nature of his heritage. “You’ll feel as if you’re eating in yiayia’s (grandma’s) kitchen, with an elevated presentation and the hospitality that the MINA Group does so well,” he added.
Ornos Estiatorio’s menu will feature the finest Greek delicacies, including pristine family-style dishes highlighting seafood, meats and vegetables, as well as three-course lunch menus, daily specials, and a wood fire grill. Guests can also enjoy a raw bar displaying oysters, calamari, octopus and a wide selection of fresh fish. By land, the restaurant will offer several popular, traditional items, such as lemon chicken, lamb shoulder, and classic spreads like tzatziki, hummus and melizanosalata (roasted eggplant).
“At Ornos Estiatorio, it’s not just about recreating dishes that we grew up with in Greece, but pairing the right products to truly bring the Greek experience to life. Every bite counts; every ingredient has a purpose,” says Nikolaos Georgousis, executive chef.
Bringing a cultural, fun experience from the islands, Ornos Estiatorio will also be home to South Florida’s first Fish Sommelier – a seasoned professional who is passionate about fishing. The sommellier will be responsible for sourcing the freshest fish from the Aegean Sea and ensuring it’s on dinner guests’ plates the very next day.
The restaurant will also offer a special craft cocktail menu and feature a selection of Greek spirits, wines and beers.
“With a lighter fare and a deep passion that transcends so effortlessly through food, drinks and design, Ornos Estiatorio pays homage to our love affair with Greece,” said Chef Michael Mina. “We want our guests to feel as if they have stepped onto the islands by capturing the beauty and simplicity that resembles the islands through our clean and authentic recipes, and relaxed atmosphere.”
To achieve this immersive experience, the MINA Group selected Foundry Concept & Design to re-envision the 3,200 square-foot space. Inspired by nature and the country’s traditional interior designs, Ornos Estiatorio is highlighted by neutral color palettes, white wall planks and hanging modern lights filled with plants.
The restaurant also includes a 1,600 square-foot outdoor patio with a stylish, intimate atmosphere featuring wood textures, tribal patterns, airy side chairs and simple sofa designs to create a cozy and welcoming ambiance. Private dining rooms and lounge areas are also available for special events, and full restaurants buyouts are an option for large-scale parties.