Fort Lauderdale, FL

Mykonos-inspired Ya Mas! opens off Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale

Best of South Florida

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Shelby Cooper

Las Olas Boulevard is growing yet again with the recent opening of Ya Mas!

While 2021 was a year of recovery for many restaurateurs, for Memphis Garrett – founder and President of Garrett Hospitality Group (GHG) and Big Brother reality star – 2021 signaled a year of growth.

With multiple outposts of his Point Break Poke House and Blue Wave Sushi concepts, followed by the highly-anticipated opening of cocktail parlor and eatery No Man’s Land, Garrett already had a number of new concepts under his belt in 2021.

Now, just one month into 2022, the hospitality guru welcomed his newest establishment, Ya Mas!, a Greek-influenced taverna showcasing fresh Mediterranean fare. The indoor/outdoor eatery officially opens today, Tuesday, February 1, at 1103 East Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Meaning "cheers" in Greek, Ya Mas! hopes to live up to its name by transporting guests to a lively taverna the likes of which you'd seek out on cities like Mykonos or Santorini, says Garrett, where an upbeat vibe, friendly service and superb cuisine prevail.

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Shelby Cooper

Seating 85, the cozy 3,000-square-feet indoor and outdoor space was designed by Garrett himself. Situated on the east end of Las Olas Boulevard, the spirit of the Mediterranean beckons diners with a bougainvillea covered patio, white-washed banquettes, and a pergola roof. Inside, natural and organic elements blend effortlessly with shades of white and pops of color to create a stylishly-minimalistic modern aesthetic. A honed quartz bar, blue and white ceramic tiles, and a long communal natural wood table work together with rattan and beaded chandeliers, teak and wicker chairs with caning details, and an accent wall depicting Greek God statues to create a rustic chic ambiance.

Under the direction of GHG executive chef Austin Blake, the dinner menu at Ya Mas! will reflect the flavors of the Mediterranean, showcasing classic dishes and modern interpretations from countries like Turkey, Greece, and Israel.

Small plates include artichokes served with vegan tzatziki and oregano breadcrumbs; crispy falafel; fried feta with local honey and pistachio; and Turkish muhammara, a sweet and earthy dip made with pomegranate molasses, red bell peppers, and walnuts. Flights of hummus and tzatziki will also be on offer, perfect for dipping the house fresh-baked pita.

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Shelby Cooper

Sharing plates include mussels with nduja, white wine, and sundried tomato; a farro salad with sundried tomato and herbs; lamb meatballs with feta crumble; and Harissa Buffalo wings. Large dishes spotlight whole Branzino with sauce bourdetto and Greek potatoes; pan-seared salmon with tabbouleh and herbed yogurt; or guests can curate their own mezze platter with an array seafood, meats, spreads and sides for enjoying family-style.

For drinks, find a vibrant array of cocktails supported by a wine program curated by beverage director Chevy Farrell. Guests can find creative cocktails inspired by summers on the Mediterranean, including the Fig Old Fashioned (fig-infused bourbon, Demerara syrup, Angostura and orange bitters) and the Santorini Sour, a rum and basil concoction served in a coupe glass with a frothy foam head.

Ya Mas! will also feature an array of spritzes such as the Sevilla Sunset (Tanqueray Sevilla Orange, Ramazzotti Amaro, and Pellegrino Blood Orange) or the St. Tropez (Ketel One Grapefruit Rose, Pamplemousse Grapefruit Cordial, and sparkling wine). Spritzes and sangrias in red, white, sparkling, and rosé will also be on offer in large format pitchers perfect for sharing amongst the table, along with beers and wines inspired by the region.

Ya Mas! 1103 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; open daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and serving cocktails to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday; visit @yamastavernaftl or garretthospitalitygroup.com.

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