Mediterranean modernity and Asian tranquility tell a new flavor story at Mila.
A look at Mila’s dining room and the wall carving by Etienne Moyat
Restaurants in Miami seem to fall under two categories these days: hole-in-the-wall delicious or over-the-top spectacular. With its access via elevator and multimillion-dollar buildout, it’s clear Mila is aiming for the latter: a hot spot with culinary cred. Its opening dinner certainly proved so. On a frigid night (by Miami standards anyway), the professionals, philanthropists, socialites, creatives and how-do-they-make-their-money? types that make up the city’s social set all came out (in long-stored scarves and furs) to see what all the fuss was about.
They all wanted to know the same things: What is the deal with dapper owner Gregory Galy, who hails from Cannes? What will those much talked-about (and expensive) interiors and rooftop garden look like? And just what exactly is “MediterrAsian” cuisine?
“It’s been intense,” says the ultrapolite Galy, the kind of French man black skinny suits were made for, “but we’re here now.” Truth is, hype and buzz on Mila started back in September when word of the restaurant first got out... then there were the delays that seem inevitable in Miami. But those labor of love pains are now in the past. Mila is here and ready to show what it’s got.
sea bream tartare
The wow factor hits visitors with design aesthetics first. Galy and his wife, Marine, are avid world travelers, so they tapped interior designer Olya Volkova to incorporate their jet-set memories into the restaurant’s dining room, which is marked by reclaimed woods, unpolished floors, untainted stones and handmade linen and cotton fabrics. Volkova was inspired by the “minimalistic Cycladic islands [of the Aegean Sea] and Japan’s wabi-sabi philosophy of embracing life’s unpredictability and accepting imperfections as beauty.” That communion of the Mediterranean and Asia is further emphasized by a wooden wall carved by Etienne Moyat into an intricate pattern that resembles roots. Outside, at the rooftop space dubbed V by Mila, cabanas atop a large reflecting pool complete with stepping stones continue to proffer the modern tranquility that was desired.
rosemary and loup de mer dumplings with ponzu butter
In terms of taste, Mila’s experience begins at the bar with any of the cocktails by Jennifer Le Nechet and Mido Yahi, two Diageo World Class award-winning mixologists who know their stuff when it comes to spirits and flavor combinations. This is not a place for a vodka soda, but rather complex concoctions with names like Tamago and Sun Salutation that make the most of ingredients such as smoked honey syrup, black walnut bitters and beeswax. The food is executive chef Nicolas Mazier’s domain, whose approach was to, as he says, “deliver a cohesive culinary story that marries health and nutrition with sensorial textures, flavors and beautifully plated dishes.” Translation: peekytoe crab daikon roll with lobster bisque and osetra caviar, Colorado lamb chops with shiso-cilantro pesto, big-eye tuna tataki nicoise salad and rosemary and loup de mer dumplings with butter ponzu.
“Mila appeals to inquisitive people and explorers who have an appetite for discovery,” says Galy. “It’s the ideal place for those who appreciate luxury and refinement and define themselves by their experiences.” 800 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 786.706.0744Venencia mezcal cocktail
Photography by: photos courtesy of Mila