SAN FRANCISCO – Chef Michael Mina has closed his eponymous, Michelin-starred restaurant to open the “high-end Greek seafood spot, Estiatorio Ornos,” in the same location on California Street, SFist reported on August 2.
“Named for a beach on the island of Mykonos where Mina says he had a transformative meal, Estiatorio Ornos will be focused on seafood, and will feature different catches of the day and a choice of preparations for each — as well as both tasting menu and a la carte options, and a roving cart serving fresh breads and dips like hummus and whipped feta (tirokafteri),” SFist reported.
“Mina tells the Chronicle that he realized during the pandemic that he missed the energy of his former seafood restaurant in the space, Aqua — the place where he made his name as executive chef in the 1990s, prior to opening Michael Mina at the St. Francis, and subsequently dozens of other restaurants around the country,” SFist reported, adding that “he would later relocate his more formal eponymous restaurant to 252 California Street after the closure of Aqua in 2010, telling Grub Street at the time that it was ‘beyond exciting’ to get to occupy that space again.”
The Estiatorio Ornos team, left to right, top, Chef Michael Mina, Chef Adam Sobel, bottom, Chef Nikolaos Georgousis, and Chef Girair “Jerry” Goumroian. Photo: David Varley
“This will be the second Estiatorio Ornos in the Mina empire, the first having opened in Miami last year — a pivot for a space previously occupied by a location of International Smoke, Mina's barbecue concept that's a collaboration with Ayesha Curry, with a location in SF's Millennium Tower,” SFist reported, noting that “Mina tells the Chronicle that the new SF location of Estiatorio Ornos will be much different and ‘more elaborate,’ with a different menu, and tableside plating for some items” as well as “a ‘fish sommelier’ who roves the restaurant to offer suggestions of preparations for each fish on offer.”
“This restaurant, along with the Miami location, is a collaboration with Las Vegas restaurateurs Girair ‘Jerry’ Goumroian and Nikolaos Georgousis, owners of the casual Meraki Greek Grill,” SFist reported, adding that “Mina tells the Chronicle that the menu will reflect what Goumroian and Georgousis grew up eating in Greece, as well as what Mina himself grew up eating in Egypt — where the food has always had a Greek influence.”
“In addition to seafood, there will also be lamb chops from the grill, and a roasted lemon chicken,” SFist reported, noting that there will also be “a full bar highlighting Greek spirits.”
Ouzo prawns in spicy tomato sauce with dill and feta at Estiatorio Ornos. Photo: David Varley
“As for losing the formality of his flagship, Mina tells the Chronicle that ‘we can still do Michelin-starred food. We can still do beautiful food. But we can do it in a way where it’s not all a tasting menu,’” SFist reported.
“Estiatorio Ornos is expected to open in September,” SFist reported, adding that “the only remaining restaurant named Michael Mina, thus, is at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas” and “Mina continues to operate seven locations of his steakhouse Bourbon Steak including one in Los Angeles, though the SF location closed several years ago; and he has three locations of his other steak concept Stripsteak, including one in Las Vegas.”