Elia Gourmet: Downtown's Fresh Food Spot
Elia Gourmet opened in 2012 after owner Dimitris Harvalis realized there was a need for something healthy and delicious for residents in the Downtown Miami building where he lived.
Since then it’s become a local favorite and neighborhood gourmet go-to for delicious contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. It’s owned and operated by hospitality pros Dimitris Harvalis and Mario Harvalis, brothers originally from Athens, Greece who have 45 years of combined experience at establishments such as Prime 112, Timo, Rokbar and Opium Group. Nestled in the bottom floor of 900 Biscayne Bay, across the street from the American Airlines Arena, Elia has become the perfect place for healthy eats in Downtown Miami.
In the kitchen, Dimitris, a veteran of Miami’s nightclub scene, spent years cooking with family, and is a self-taught oven master. For his Mediterranean-inspired menu, he sources fresh fare from near and far. “We don’t have a freezer at Elia,” he admits. “The kitchen is small and the design definitely plays to my approach, which is fresh is best. We use what we order, cook with love and make sure the flavors complement the ingredients rather than overshadow them.”
Running the day-to-day operations is general manager Mario. He ensures that the restaurant stays true to the brothers’ Greek roots and that guest enjoy an authentic experience when dining with Elia. “For us, it is a priority to represent our upbringing and deliver amazing food to our customers” says Mario.
In addition to their light and fresh lunches – don’t skip on the Chicken Souvlaki wrap (it’s all the classic Greek flavors you’d be expecting) - the restaurant recently debuted a new dinner menu blending classic favorites and contemporary creations.
Starters include Bacon Wrapped Moroccan Dates stuffed with goat cheese and mascarpone, dressed with a balsamic fig glaze; Atlantic Sapphire Salmon lettuce wraps with roasted sweet peppers and a dollop of house-made tzatziki sauce;
and a fresh and colorful Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Greek Salad.
Baby Back Pork Ribs with a touch of kale, ginger, apple purée and citrus-pickled portabella mushrooms; and Artisan Flatbread with blue cheese, thin sliced Bosc pears, shiitake mushrooms, fresh arugula and a drizzle of truffle oil. The Baby Back Pork Ribs are fall off the bone tender and perfectly spiced. You’re not going to want to miss out on those.
Entrees include Double Stacked Eggplant Parmesan smothered in mozzarella cheese and fresh chopped basil; a spicy Buffalo grilled cauliflower;
Atlantic Sapphire Salmon crusted with whole grain mustard and served with a brown rice spinach risotto; Crispy Panko Breaded Chicken Breast with arugula and fresh mozzarella topped with a cherry tomato salad; Pastitsio, layers of hollow pasta, topped with Greek style ground beef Bolognese sauce and homemade béchamel; and a classic N.Y. Strip served with tricolor organic baby carrots, sautéed red bell peppers and pearl onions topped with red wine rosemary butter. Chef Dimitris is an ambassador for the Atlantic Sapphire Salmon company. He’s putting his heart and soul into this dish and it shows.
These guys know exactly how to end a meal, and the way to my heart with their desserts from Vanilla Crème Brulee with fresh berries and classic New York Cheesecake with strawberry or chocolate sauce to an indulgent Baklava Creamy Cheesecake. This cheesecake is no joke, I may or may not have borderline licked the plate when finishing this dish!
Recently opened this June, (but currently without power because of Hurricane Irma), is Elia Mediterranean Products market in Wynwood, with a variety of products for sale, including freshly-made, ready-to-eat items. Jarred and bottle products from the Elia kitchen as well as curated goods; featuring amazing olive oils, sauces and an international selection of wines and beers on offer. Follow them on Facebook for reopening information.
900 Biscayne Blvd