Gambling, debauchery and other deviant activities may be the main attraction for most when visiting Sin City. For me, Vegas is nothing more than a culinary sampler platter. So, when I find myself in Las Vegas, I jump-start my eating agenda with a lunch at Milo’s in the Cosmopolitan.
Greece stirs up thoughts of crystal clear coastlines, dotted with stuffed fishing nets. I imagine seas fished by the same salty characters generation after generation. Ancient customs and traditions left unchanged. And when I think of their food, the same qualities come to mind; purity and simplicity. Whether it be a green, grassy olive oil or a plate of sardines with lemons and capers; Milo’s is the epitome of Greek cuisine: fresh, clean flavors, pure ingredients and nothing overly complicated. The dish that exemplifies this beautifully is their octopus.
The charred, smokey quality of the octopus, combined with olive oil, lemon juice, capers and shaved onions is an exercise in restraint. The ingredients shine. It’s a dish I can’t stop dreaming about. And Milo’s offers an excellent opportunity to try this and some other quintessential Greek dishes. During the week, they offer a $22.13, three course menu for lunch. The octopus is a $10 supplement, but worth every penny. For a main, try the whole bass and finish off the meal with either the Greek yogurt parfait or a fruit plate.
While the octopus is extraordinary and the setting is a peaceful reprieve from the normal hustle of Las Vegas, the proverbial icing on the cake has been that for the past two visits (one year apart), I’ve had the same server. It felt like I was surprised by an old friend. This time when I saw him, I received a gratuitous smile and a hug. We chatted the first time I ate there about his journey from Bulgaria, what it was like living in Las Vegas and the things he missed about home. He pointed out that Bulgaria was quite a different place than Greece. And while they are unique countries that reside on the Mediterranean Sea, the warm, sincere conversation and genuine hospitality of this man, mirrored the purity and integrity of the food.
Go to Milo’s. Sit out on the patio. Order the octopus. Relax. Simplify your life. And enjoy.