Garden Fresh Food at Mandolin Aegean Bistro
At Mandolin Aegean Bistro, the rustic Mediterranean restaurant tucked away at the edge of the Design District, farm-to-table dining truly comes to life.
Since last summer the popular dining spot has been serving guests vegetables and fruits from its impressive organic garden located just behind the restaurant.
“We’re an ingredient driven - not chef driven - restaurant,” says Anastasia Koutsioukis, co-owner of Mandolin. “Our garden outback connects the team to what we’re preparing and you can really taste the love in the dish.”
Having a garden has always been something that has been envisioned for Mandolin since it opened its doors in 2009. Koutsioukis points out that this type of cooking, while growing in popularity in the culinary world, has always been a way of life in Greece and Turkey, where she and her husband are from, making it a natural addition to the restaurant.
The garden is looked after by Tiffany Noé, owner of Plantmatter Farms in North Miami.
In Mandolin’s garden you can find produce that is prevalent in Mediterranean cuisine such as heritage greek endive, amaranth greens, pursalne, tomatoes, radishes and a variety of herbs. What can’t be found in its garden Noé brings in from nearby Plantmatter Farms, which now grows exclusively for the restaurant.
Because of the garden Mandolin has also been able to incorporate tropical, native ingredients, such as starfruit, into its classic Aegean dishes in order to showcase the fresh South Florida offerings. The garden also helps the kitchen adequately plan for specials, Koutsioukis notes, since they already know what will be ready to harvest a few days out.
Homegrown produce isn’t the only item unique item Mandolin carries. In its growing market inside the restaurant guests can buy house made breads, Turkish coffee, salts, olive oils, and coming soon its cult-favorite hot sauce created from items grown from the onsite garden.
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