June 10, 2013
The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas
Originally started in Montreal, Estiatorio Milos is a Greek restaurant franchise also found in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. For what it’s worth, I consider The Cosmopolitan to have one of the best collections of on strip restaurants, also including Scarpetta, Jaleo and the secret E by Jose Andres.
Milos’ is famous for two things, octopus and its lunch special. This was my 4th time (Camille’s 3rd) having lunch here, and as always, we opted for the $22.13 three-course lunch special. This is an amazing value anywhere, especially center strip.
However, some of the courses incur a supplemental charge, including the grilled octopus ($10), the lobster pasta ($15) and a few others. That said, you MUST try the octopus, it’s mind-bottling awesome.
We started with a pair of wines by the glass, one Assyrtiko and one Assyrtiko-Sauvignon Blanc blend. Both were very good, with the straight Assyrtiko being full bodied with pronounced stonefruit, apple and minerality. The Sauv Blanc blend was bright with crisp acid, gooseberry, citrus, and mineral flavours. The blend paired perfectly with Camille’s Lavraki (sea bass), while the straight Assyrtiko paired best with the lobster. Both paired well with the grilled octopus.
Aside on Assyrtiko: This is an indigenous grape to the Greek island of Santorini and is quite phylloxera resistant. It is used to make Retsina and other Greek white wines. It is medium-full bodied (think Chardonnay) and maintains good acidity and minerality.
We both started with the grilled octopus ($10 supplement) as our appetizer. Flown in daily from Portgual, the octopus is tenderized (AKA beaten back and forth in the sink) and then oven poached in red wine vinegar, olive oil, bay leaf, peppercorns and sea salt. It is then removed, cooled to fridge temperature and portioned. Before serving it is grilled over a high heat flame, basted with olive oil and tossed with red onions, capers and lemon. This results in amazing flavour and a texture not found in any other octopus that I’ve had. Quite simply, this is a MUST EAT IMMEDIATELY dish!
For our main courses, Camille chose the grilled Mediterranean bass (Lavraki), while I went with the lobster pasta ($15 supplement). Seared, salted and served simply with capers, olive oil and lemon, the Lavraki was rich, fresh, and buttery. Bass is a delicious but neutral fish, and generally will not whack you over the head with flavour. This was no exception.
The lobster pasta is composed of spaghetti served with one pound of fresh lobster meat, plus the entire crustacean carcass on the plate, which looks awesome. The lobster had a rich, meaty texture, and was amazingly tender (better than Per Se) while the al dente spaghetti was topped with a light tomato sauce. An excellent combination and great value considering the amount of lobster served.
For dessert there are three options, Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and walnut cake. Having had all three in the past, I decided to re-visit the yogurt while Camille chose the fresh fruit. The yogurt is uber-thick and topped with an apricot drizzle, a very good full fat Greek yogurt. The fresh fruit was fairly standard with a few cherries, raspberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes and blueberries. The desserts are decent, but definitely the weakest point of the meal.
Overall, the Estiatorio Milos lunch is one of the best in Vegas, both from a quality and value perspective. While it does ring in at $47 if you order both the octopus and lobster courses, many 3-course options can be had for the $22.13 price. The room is beautiful, service is solid and the octopus is killer. If you haven’t been, add a Milos lunch to your next Vegas visit.