The newest entry into the scene of Greek restaurants Miami, and a welcome one at that, is Skorpios, named after the private island owned by the late Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis. Skorpios is like a Greek taverna – casual, friendly, made for socializing and sharing dishes. The floors and walls are decorated with terracotta and mosaic tiles, and the tables are rough hewn wood. Centerpiece of the décor is a dramatic 13 foot Hammerhead shark mounted on the wall. There’s outdoor seating as well.
Lovers of Mandolin will be pleased to hear that The Executive Chef is Erhan Ozkaya who helmed the kitchen of the Buena Vista restaurant for several years. The hallmark of the restaurant is quality ingredients, especially the fish and seafood, and a homestyle preparation. There’s a solid selection of hot and cold mezzes (like Greek tapas) including baba ghanoush, tzatziki, marinated red peppers and feta cheese, perfectly fried fish croquettes, and hummus with oven baked lamb.
A standout were the langoustines, among the best I’ve had in Miami. They tasted like they were just off the boat, meaty, and grilled to perfection. Also exceptional was the seabream, a whole fish butterflied to reveal the snow white flesh that was expertly garnished with ribbons of olive oil, lemon, and oregano. There’s a good selection of fish ranging from seabass and seabream to mackerel, striped bass, and red mullet. All are flown in fresh from the Mediterranean.
Another highlight is the grilled octopus, a dramatic presentation, served whole on a wooden plank, speared in the center with a knife. One of my favorite Greek dishes is braised lamb shank, here so meltingly tender it falls off the bone, and flavorful. It’s accompanied by bulgur rice (cracked wheat).
Non fish lovers can also opt for lamb or chicken kebabs in a pita and served with grilled vegetables and eggplant salad, or a selection of bean dishes.
Finish off the meal with indulgent house made baklava with ice cream, yogurt with berries and pistachios, fresh strawberry granite, or oven baked cheese pastry with kadaifi, rose water and pistachios.
Appetizers average $9; entrees in the low thirties; kebabs, $18; and desserts, $10.
Wine, a 6 ounce pour, starts at $10 a glass and $42 a bottle.There’s a good selection of Greek wines, liqueurs and even a Greek mojito with the special Greek ingredient — FOS Mastiha which comes from the Mastik tree in Greece.
This being located in Midtown with a serious happy hour crowd, Skorpios offers a good one from 4 to 8 p.m. — drinks and hot mezzes are half off, and cold mezzes are $5. There’s a very appealing lunch special as well which I definitely plan to try — $29 for three courses from 11:30 to 4 pm. (after all, in Greece they don’t start lunch before 2 p.m.)
Valet parking is offered Wednesday through Sunday; lunch, $5 and dinner, $8.
Photography by William Oberheiser