BarMeli69: Mediterranean Restaurant & Wine Bar
Welcome to MIAbites guest contributor, Lilia Temple. A professional food stylist, Lilia enjoys exploring the diverse food scene in Miami and scoping out the hidden gems popular with locals.
It's not often that you come across a restaurant that has you thinking about making your next reservation even before you’ve gotten through your appetizer course, but BarMeli69 Mediterranean Restaurant & Wine Bar is certainly one of those.
Located on Biscayne Blvd in the space that used to house Michelle Bernstein’s Michy and then Cena, BarMeli69 has transformed the space into a colorful and fun spot with a great vibe.
From the moment you enter this lively, unpretentious restaurant and are greeted by BarMeli69's gracious owner, Liza Meli, you feel transported to a welcoming Greek taverna full of lively chatter and the mouth-watering aromas of Mediterranean delicacies that float past (sometimes, as in the case of the Flaming Saganaki cheese, in an eruption of theatrical flames). Come on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night and you’ll be treated to live music which only further enhances the upbeat atmosphere.
The menu at BarMeli69 begins with a wonderful array of “snacks” and tapas-style offerings which include several gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, each generous enough for sharing.
To get the evening started, the sweet and savory Prosciutto Wrapped Dates, an order of marinated Mediterranean olives, Rustic Greek Salad and the 5 Dip Combo Platter consisting of White Bean Hummus, Melitza (a grilled, smoky eggplant dip), Whipped Feta cheese dip, Tzatziki and Taramosalata served with a basket of warm, grilled pita bread are the perfect accompaniment to your first sips of wine while you contemplate the rest of the menu.
There are no wrong choices when deciding what to order but be sure to try the soul-satisfying Mama Lucy’s Lentil Stew (rich with exotic flavors and spices)
Grilled Octopus (served with a citrusy chic-pea salad), Baked Lamb Filo Rolls, and Moroccan Merguez Lamb Sausage (served warm and accompanied by a cold giant lima bean salad). The Grilled Whole Sardines are reminiscent of the islands of Mykonos and Santorini,
and the fresh, Wild Cod “a la Greque” Casserole (baked with tomatoes, olives and tangy feta cheese) is another seafood winner.
Meli’s Lemon Chicken (chicken thighs baked with tangy lemon, wine, mustard, capers, artichokes and orzo) and the hearty traditional Moussaka (baked in its own casserole dish and topped with a layer of bubbling cheese) round out the main entrees and easily shareable.
Last, but not least, save room for one of the deliciously tempting desserts. The Baklava is a favorite; crisp layers of filo with a luscious chopped pistachio and walnut filling, drizzled with a honey syrup…the perfect finale!
BarMeli69 is reasonably priced with shareable offerings ranging from $6-$12 “Snacks,” $7-$20 Meze-Tapas, to $19-$40 “Mains.” Its wine list offers a nice variety of wines mainly from Greece, Spain and Italy. BarMeli69 serves a Happy Hour Menu from 5:00-7:00pm Tuesday-Friday evenings and they have free parking behind the restaurant.
6927 Biscayne Blvd.