Mandolin - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Mandolin

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It could be the most unassuming hot restaurant in Miami. Five years ago when it opened, Mandolin had 30 seats. Now it's grown into a bustling 150-seat bistro. But the restaurant is not the only thing that's bloomed; so has Mandolin's new organic garden, which is now adding an even fresher dimension to their amazing Mediterranean menu.

Spring has sprung in the Mandolin garden in the Miami Design District

Anastasia Koutsioukis: "We really have a bountiful harvest right now, so there's a lot, a lot to be excited about."

Anastasia Koutsioukis and husband Ahemet Erkaya planted this organic garden behind their über-popular Greek-Turkish taverna last year, and now the fruits of the harvest are the stars of the Mandolin menu.

Anastasia Koutsioukis: "Every day is something different."

Louis: "The ingredients tell the tale."

Anastasia Koutsioukis: "The ingredients do tell the tale."

Mandolin is known for its simple Greek-Turkish fare, packed with flavor bombs by using only the freshest ingredients around. Well, it doesn't get any fresher than picking it yourself from your own backyard. The heirloom cherry tomatoes are busting with deliciousness.

Anastasia Koutsioukis: "They have a golden color."

Louis: "And they really do taste like a burst of sunshine right in your mouth."

Anastasia Koutsioukis: "Isn't that delicious?"

Louis: "There's nothing better than that. That's delicious."

Anastasia Koutsioukis: "It doesn't even need anything.'

Louis: "That is so sweet."

Those little tomatoes are now part of one of the hottest new dishes on the menu, served with a grilled sheep's milk halumi cheese with fresh oregano picked from the garden. Ridiculous.

Louis: "So it's just olive oil, grilled cheese and oregano."

Ahmet Erkaya "There is nothing else."

Louis: "Very simple."

Simple and delicious, that's the Madolin mantra.

Ahmet Erkaya: "There's a lot of love involved in cooking those dishes."

Louis: "You taste the love in every bite."

And that is the most important ingredient of all. You taste it from the grilled sea bream imported from Greece, the grilled prawns and, one of my personal favorites, the Kefte.

Louis: "This is one of my favorite dishes here. This always reminds me of being in Turkey. This is the Kefte Turkish meatball."

Ahmet Erkaya "Grilled Turkish meatball. It's beef and lamb."

Served with a traditional Greek tzatziki sauce, it's awesome

Ahmet Erkaya: "It's as Turkish and Greek as it gets."

Anastasia Koutsioukis: "The whole reason why we started Mandolin was to really bring together the flavors of the Mediterranean and that Mediterranean lifestyle, which I think is very similar to why we love Florida so much. Warm weather, gathering with friends and, of course, eating very fresh and healthy."

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