The food’s familiar, but the energy’s new at Estiatorio Milos’ new Las Vegas Strip home

Estiatorio Milos’ seafood market
Photo: Venetian Resort / Courtesy

On a recent evening at Estiatorio Milos’ new home on the Venetian’s Restaurant Row—where the Vegas Strip favorite now occupies AquaKnox’s former spot next to Delmonico—the evening’s undisputed star was a lobster trying to crawl out of its ice-packed spot in the fresh-seafood market. Delighted onlookers gathered ’round and took photos of the runaway crustacean, before a sommelier donned a pair of gloves and swiftly but gently put it back into place.

The market, located toward the back of the restaurant, should look familiar to fans of the Greek seafood restaurant, which called the Cosmopolitan home for 10 years. And while some might be eyeing a sea bass or lobster for their evening supper, the vine-ripened tomatoes, artfully stacked on the produce counter, can be just as tantalizing, hinting at their role as the centerpiece of a Greek salad amid cucumbers, olives, onions, peppers and wedges of barrel-aged feta.

Milos’ menu remains virtually unchanged, because let’s be real, it would be virtually impossible to improve upon chef and owner Costas Spiliadis’ concept, with its abiding culinary philosophy of using only the finest ingredients with minimal interference—meaning fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean might be prepared simply with salt, olive oil and lemon, or sashimi-style with a delicate ribbon of olive oil topped by herbs and microgreens, to let natural flavors shine through.

Lithrini sashimi at Estiatorio Milos

Lithrini sashimi at Estiatorio Milos

All the Milos classics are still here and just as outstanding, along with the famed three-course prix fixe lunch ($36). The can’t-miss starter is the Milos Special, and it’s named such for a reason: The lightly fried zucchini and eggplant slices sitting atop creamy tzatziki and served with triangles of kefalograviera cheese are as addictive as ever. Trust us, you’ll regret not sharing one with the table.

Likewise, Milos’ grilled octopus— prepared with capers, onions and Santorini fava—has ardent supporters; the tenderness of the mollusk is pure perfection. Other notable starters include grilled mushrooms, a chef’s daily selection that recently delivered shiitake, trumpet and oyster varieties. They’re accompanied by tri-color Holland peppers and lightly dressed with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic.

When it comes to entrees, Milos is very much choose-your-own-adventure. Browse the marketplace and pick your fish or lobster, then select a method of cooking that calls to you. Mediterranean sea bass was recently prepared with Santorini capers, olive oil and lemon dressing, served whole at the table and then expertly filleted and portioned out by the server. Other aquatic standouts include the Faroe Islands wild salmon and bigeye tuna. And the Fish in Sea Salt is always a showstopper, whether it’s for your table or on its way to your neighbor’s.

The most notable change resulting from Milos’ migration to the Venetian is the level of energy one feels during the dining experience, not just from its larger capacity, but also in its general vibe. Where the original Milos was tucked away in a corner at the Cosmo, offering a relatively subdued dining experience, its new home is a bright and expansive open space with a massive bar at its center and a bright and bustling open kitchen. One can feel the energy at the center of the action within the massive resort, which is once again seeing increased foot traffic.

It feels like a good move for Milos, and the new space is well worth visiting, not just for old time’s sake but for new adventures still ahead.

ESTIATORO MILOS Venetian, 702-414-1270. Sunday-Thursday, noon-3 p.m. & 5-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, noon-3 p.m. & 5-11 p.m.

Tags: Dining, Food, seafood
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