When we heard that Apeiro was opening in Midtown Miami, we were ecstatic. We had heard amazing things about the one in Delray Beach, and we were very much looking forward to trying out their progressive Mediterranean cuisine closer to home. The time finally came for Apeiro to open, and our first visit was… meh.
The service was off, the food was off and the experience was nothing like the awesomeness we had read in the Yelp reviews of the Delray outpost. We swore we’d never go back.
Well, that boycott was short lived. A media invitation showed up in our inbox, and we decided to give the place another chance. Big changes occurred since our visit last year — including a new chef — and we’re happy to report we’re on great terms with Apeiro Midtown Miami 2.0.
This time around, something felt different about the restaurant. Maybe it was the energy of the place. Or maybe it was the fact that the restaurant was finally running like a well-oiled machine. Unlike the confused servers of yore, our servers could rattle off details about dishes without flinching or giving us a deer-in-the-headlights look.
And the food — the bomb dot com. From appetizers to desserts, the quality did not let up. Our night began with pita spreads. Hummus, eggplant caponata and pistachio yogurt had us reaching for bread every few seconds. In fact, we had to order a second round of carbs since we could.not.stop.noshing. The yogurt was cool and refreshing, and the pita itself was warm and fluffy (and made us feel the same way — a good thing)
The second courses — grilled Spanish octopus and spiced lamb flatbread — kept the momentum going with some nice spices. The octopus, in particular, was spice heaven with red chili and smoked pepper aioli that resulted in tasty tentacles. Swirl that octopus in the sauce and never look back.
We know it’s difficult, but don’t fill up on the apps. The entrees are hefty and will require sufficient stomach space. We covered a lot of the bases with our mains: chicken, lamb and pasta. Whatever you pick, you will leave happy. For example, the Chicken Firakh is a simple dish with just potatoes, charred onions, zucchini and tzatzki, but don’t be fooled. The furtive fowl was home to some juicy, heavenly meat. No wonder it was a favorite at the table.
The roasted lamb chops let us channel our inner cavemen, but we’re pretty sure cavemen never had it this good. We were suckers for the lollipops, and we left nothing on the bone. There was no way we’d leave behind any of that deliciousness.
The only non-meat option — the housemade orecchiette — packed in a ton of vegetables, including spinach, zucchini and olives (to name a few). It may not have looked filling, but it was. The pasta is made fresh every day; ours was only four hours old. If you aren’t feeling the pasta but still want veggies, opt for the Brussels sprouts that are flashed fried and sliced in half. Sprouts are one of those things that pop up on almost any menu, but these were pretty solid.
Also worth ordering: dessert. Even though you’ll have to run a few more miles at the gym, splurge on the triple-layer chocolate cake. It sounds decadent, and it is. But surprisingly, it’s not overly rich. All-chocolate desserts like this have a tendency to be overwhelming, but we could definitely eat this whole thing on our own and not hate ourselves. Okay, maybe a little.
The Nutella donuts were a popular bite at the table, but we’re split on our feelings about the hazelnut spread (don’t kill us). With that said, the warm and sugary dough was a delight. Last but not least was the wood-oven baked apple crostada, which found the right balance between sweet and tart apple. Fused with a warm, flaky pastry, the dessert became the apple of our eye instantly.
We’ve reach the ends of the puns, and consequently, this story. While our first visit to Apeiro was not the best, this second visit turned our frown upside down. Instead of never coming back, we’re definitely going back — especially now that the restaurant is offering 50% off your check Mondays-Thursdays all month long from 4 pm to close. That is NOT a typo.
Apeiro is located at 3252 NE 1st Ave in Midtown. For hours of operation and other information, visit their official website or call 786-800-5389.