“You know, Jim Agate buys his tomatoes, here.” This nugget of wisdom about one of his poker-playing pals, is what my dad tells me whenever we meet for dinner at Estiatorio Milos, the venerable restaurant that opened on The Venetian Resort’s Restaurant Row, this spring, after a decade feeding Chef Costas Spiliadis’s take on Greek cuisine to guests at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. I’ve never met the aforementioned Mr. Agate, but I not only commend his taste in botanical fruits that are better known as culinary vegetables—Milos does, in fact, have the most wonderful tomatoes in town—I also applaud the chutzpah and wherewithal required to procure his produce at one of the Strip’s spendiest eateries.
A recent dinner at Milos with my pals Melinda and Tiffany began with the Milos Special (a tower of lightly fried slices of zucchini and eggplant, with a big slab of kefalograviera cheese, and tzatziki), though, to be honest, as I’m a fan of neither zucchini nor eggplant, I stuck with the wonderfully flavorful kefalograviera—a hard, nutty, yellow Greek cheese made from the milk of both sheep and goats with a flavor that falls somewhere between those of the saltier kefalotyri and mellower graviera cheeses; which explains its etymological origins—that I paired with the creamy tzatziki.
Our Calamari (lightly-fried squid with lemon and parsley) came next and was exactly what you want from this dish. In other words, its delicately seasoned crispiness covered nicely cooked—read: not at all rubbery—pieces of squid. Far simpler to write about than to prepare, I’d imagine. There was also the particularly delicious Maryland Crab Cake (fresh, hand-picked jumbo lump crab, piazzi beans, and mustard aioli) that was so fantastically flavorful that I’d eaten half of it before I remembered to take a photo of it. Apologies.
Milos is one of those restaurants where you can have a fantastic meal consisting only of appetizers, and while this was not one of those meals, we really loaded up on our starters. The procession of hors d’oeuvres continued with the Tasting of Raw Fish. Whether referred to as “sashimi” or “crudo,” I’m a fan, so it’s no surprise that I went HAM on this dish. I also got down with The Greek Salad (pieces of vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, bell peppers, and barrel-aged Greek feta, topped with extra virgin olive oil and Kalamata olives), which, in addition to hearty chunks of those tomatoes of which Mr. Agate is so fond, comes with a generous slice of feta among the onion-y and bell pepper-y goodness.
When it finally came time for our entrée, we decided to share the Grilled Whole Fish (served with Santorini capers, and olive oil and lemon dressing), in this case, Dorade Royale, also known as Gilt-head Bream. Simply prepared, with a drizzle of the ladolemono sauce I enjoy so much, this was one tasty fish, which is kinda what Milos is all about.
Finally, it was time for dessert, though it’s rather surprising we had any room left. There was a rather gargantuan slice of Baklava served with a scoop of walnut ice cream; as well as a nice serving of house-made Greek Yogurt with a healthy drizzle of honey. I’ve always enjoyed baklava but had only seen it served in small, square pieces or individual servings. This was a large wedge that appeared to have been cut from a larger pie, and it was wonderful. So, too, was the Greek yogurt and honey. I’ve gotta admit that there’s something nice about ending a meal like this with something natural that is served “as-is” and requires little to no gilding of its lily. Yamas, y’all!
Restaurant Row | The Venetian Resort
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