Arguably one of New York’s most successful restaurants has unveiled its first Florida location. Avra Estiatorio, which originally debuted in New York City nearly 22 years ago and has since expanded to larger locations in both Manhattan and Beverly Hills, has debuted its chic Greek dining room in the Estates at Acqualina.
Unlike its other locations, this restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the beach and pools. Situated in one of Miami’s most high-end residences, it offers visitors a rare window into the opulence of this Sunny Isles complex with its Karl Lagerfeld-designed lobby. The 330-seat restaurant itself is done in understated sand and white, with foliage streaming from the ceiling, oversized booths, a massive light fixture above a 360-degree bar, and stone sculptures on the walls.
A collaboration between Marc Packer, known for New York and Las Vegas juggernauts like Lavo and Tao, and restaurateurs Nick Tsoulos and Nick Pashalis, Avra has developed a large social following but is still recognized for its taverna-inspired Mediterranean fare.
Greek salad is a crisp mix of tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, and feta; vegetables come grilled, or in the case of broccoli rabe, sauteed with feta. Appetizers include classics like octopus and saganaki, an extensive raw bar, and caviar service.
Like many Greek spots, it will display its fresh catch on a table so diners can select their choice of imported fish, such as Dover sole and branzino, along with local offerings like red snapper. Seafood generally gets either the minimalist treatment of a light brush of proprietary olive oil from Peloponnesus, searing on the charcoal grill, and a splash of ladolemono, so the quality shines through. Fish can also be ordered raw, as sashimi or crudo, or baked in a salt crust. American Wagyu ribeye and grilled lamb chops are on the menu for those who prefer meat. Food is light enough to leave room for desserts, which include baklava and olive oil cake with bruleed figs and lemon Chantilly.
Avra Estiatorio is now open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., – lunch and brunch to come. The Estates at Acqualina at 17945 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles Beach,;theavragroup.com