So you’ve been tour manager for Cher, Beyonce, Britney and Gloria just to name a few. You’ve been on the road 345 of 365 days a year for the past upteenth years. You’re tired of being on the road and you’re ready to put some roots down somewhere. What do you do? Well, you open up a restaurant of course! In a nutshell that’s the story behind Mina’s Mediterraneo in Miami.

Yasmine Kotb opened Mina’s back in of August 2013 and it has been a favorite in Miami’s Upper East Side neighborhood ever since. The menu features Greek, French, Moroccan, Egyptian, Italian and Spanish favorites. If the country has a coast on the Mediterranean Sea chances are a dish is featured on this menu. I’ve visited a few times and always have my favorite, the stuffed cabbage ($7) with rice, onions, meat and a homemade tomato sauce. But on a recent trip I stepped away from my tried and true favorite and sampled a few other items. A traditional Spanish tortilla ($8) was surprisingly creamy and light. The added cilantro gives it a yummy twist. A Greek moussaka ($12) baked eggplant layered with potato, bechamel sauce and beef ragout is to die for. It’s almost like a Greek shepherd’s pie. Koshari ($8), a traditional Egyptian vegan dish, is new to the menu. It’s rice with macaroni and lentils topped with a spicy garlic tomato sauce. Loved it! It went perfectly with the lemony whole branzino ($29) Yasmine imports from Greece.

Yasmine fell in love with Miami during a Cher tour stop in 2002. Her parents own a similar style restaurant in Houston and that’s how the former concert tour manager ended up in the restaurant biz. When it was time to do her own thing she bought a rundown 3-thousand square foot building, remodeled it and brought in mom to help with the menu. Matter of fact, all of the recipe’s at Mina’s Mediterraneo are her mom’s. All 77 recipes are kept in the kitchen. This way when mom hits the road the show still goes on for Yasmine at Mina’s Mediterraneo.

Belkys’ Best Bite: Stuffed Cabbage

Mina’s Mediterraneo
749 NE 79th St, Miami, FL 33138
(786) 391-0300

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