Her graciousness is well known in these parts. Ask any regular and they’ll tell you that Anastasia Koutsioukis, half of the power couple behind the Design District’s immensely successful Mandolin Aegean Bistro, is as much part of dining at the charming Greek and Turkish tavern as is nibbling on olives and feta cheese or lingering long after meals have ended. It is Koutsioukis’ cherubic face and gentle voice that frequently greet customers, while her sweet decorations surround them. She designed the restaurant’s interiors herself, with gently used furnishings that harken back to another place and time. Now, Miami’s quintessential hostess is launching her newest project: a blog called Love & Feta, where she plans to share Greek and Turkish recipes, entertaining and decorating tips, gardening advice and more. “I realized that achieving happiness was much easier than I thought,” said Koutsioukis, who is Greek-Canadian. (Her husband, Ahmet Erkaya, is the Turkish half.) “By following my passion (love) and reconnecting to my heritage (feta), I discovered my voice.” You can check out her musings at loveandfeta.com, which she expects to launch by mid-April.
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