5 nights in Athens
Posted 22 March 2011 - 12:28 PM
Posted 22 March 2011 - 12:46 PM
The menu offered a "lunch menu" made up of one plate dishes such as chicken roasted with garlic and rosemary, Aubergine stuffed with minced veal, pasta with veal ragout etc or an A La Carte option which was a mix of local dishes and dishes from further afield (there was a pork dish with banana for example)
As it was only lunch time i opted for two starters, a great shrimp soup with chilli and pumpkin crouton and another dish of Bottarga from "greeces best producer" on lemon bruschetta
The soup was like a classic bisque with the shrimp as a garnish - beautifully cooked and seasoned, the crouton had been submerged under the soup with some cheese on it too and there was a hint of fresh chopped chilli on the top - the soup could have been a bit hotter but a minor quibble ( and i do like my soup hotter than it should probably be served) The bottarga was very soft and pretty mild, the lemon scented olive oil was a nice addition - another success
With a glass of wine, water and coffee i think the damage was about 40 Euros, not cheap but delicious all the same - At this point i became fairly confident i would eat well last week
Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:02 PM
WE ordered courgette fritters to start and an aubergine dish whcih turned out to be very simliar - oh well, we like both vegetables, we like the preparation - still it would have been better if we had ordered some tzatziki or something like taht as opposed to what we did, despite them both being good. My Mum had lamb souvlaki which she said was good and i had veal braised with vegetables and served with roasted aubfergine. The Veal was very tender and the aubergine had been slightly smoked, i would have liked a bit of tomato sauce or something ( im sure the waiter said it was cooked in tomato ) but maybe thats just me.. A couple of coffees saw the bill pushed up to 75 E in total, not bad but i had a feeling we could get better for less and saw it as a challenge.
Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:14 PM
(yes the picture is of a different spanokopita - sorry the breakfast version didnt come out - anyway it was exactly the same sans fancy lemon garnish)
Suitably sated we headed to the Acropolis and the new Acvropolis museum ( did you know the Acropolis only took 9 years to build? well i didn't) some fairly uncomfortable foot shuffling moments in the museum as they spoke of the "Thief" Lord Elgin stealing the marbles from the Acropolis (Ummm - can i pass for Canadian? Everyone likes them right?!) and then astonishingly (or not so as hours had passed) it was time for lunch...
Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:29 PM
The Gavos were the star, perfectly cooked and beautifully fresh - you really felt they had been caught that morning. The greek salad was also excellent, the tomatoes were juicy and ripe but retained some crunch and the feta was mild and not too salty.
If anyone knows what dessert was - please let me know - it was like a chilled semolina cake? Or just semolina and sugar - im really not sure but it was all we needed - they compd us coffees (a nice effect of tipping above the norm?) ands off we went
I'd really recommend this place if you are in Athens - aimple, honest food and a hard working charming owner/waiter (?) this is what i hoped for this holiday...
Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:45 PM
and i will leave you to enjoy those until i catch up with some sleep - all that eating was hard work let me tell you ;-)
Posted 22 March 2011 - 03:05 PM
Posted 23 March 2011 - 03:55 PM
The fried calamari and gavos have me drooling. I notice lemon halves or slices in many of the presentations. Are they like the ubiquitous parsley as a garnish or are they used to bring the dish together?
AS the food can be quite oily the lemon really helps break it down a bit so i would say they bring the dish together for sure..
Posted 24 March 2011 - 01:24 AM
Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:49 PM
Lunch was O platanos - again near Plaka/Acroplis in a very pituresque sqaure. Again we struck gold - simple honest well prepared taverna food. We had a dish described as fried aubergine but it was a delicous sort of slow cooked aubergine and tomato dish, the by now ubiquitous greek salad, some saganaki (fried cheese) and tzatziki. The Tzatiki was great - really thick, creamy and garlicky - something that is so easy to make but so easily messed up. The saganaki was something i'd heard of but had no idea what it actually was - i personally prefer grilled halloumi to this fried cheese but it was interesting to try ( salty like halloumi and almost the same texture) The greek salad was a little too heavy on the onion but all in all a good, well priced meal with a huge menu (lots of meat/fish dishes but we werent too hungy hence the releatively light meal.)
Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:37 AM
There was not a tourist in site, just a buzzy (crazy busy) local restauarnt where you got the impression the same people came every week - certainly many of the tables knew each other and swapped seats to . Luckily we only had to wait 5 minutes for a table to free up - this is the open kitchn - the only chef is pictured and there must have been 100 people or so sat there eating! Amazing when you think about it.
The waiter explained there was no menu just shrimp, red mullet and greek salad so we had one of each and some local wine to wash it down with.
WOW this was good - so crisp and un greasy and beautifully cooked, The mullet and salad came first and the shrimp followed after about 10 minutes. These were a revelation, juicy, plump and tender and again cooked to perfection
Dessert was fruit and halva sprinkled in cinnamon - all we needed to finish with really. Really an unmissable meal that set us back 45 euros inclusive of the wine - unbelievable value really when you think about it... i would go back to athens to eat here alone...
Edited by nikkib, 26 March 2011 - 02:42 AM.
Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:11 AM
oh - i seemed to have missed a dinner out here. We went to Gazi, a new upcoming and trendy industrial area. Mamacas is a contemporary taverna - all in white and eggshell blue (uniforms walls etc)with delicious modern greek cuisine
a delicious selection of home made breads with tapenade and a cheese dip to start off with and then roasted peppers and beetroot "salad to start" the beetroot had walnuts in there for added texture and was great and the roasted peppers were truly delicous too
followed by a rolled stuffed pork dish with cheese and spinach and peppers as well as roasted - almost pulled pork which was the stand out dish, so moist yet crispy on the outside and so flavourful - it wasnt my dish but i think i ate most of it!!!!
dessert was a pannacotta (photo didnt really come out) and complimentary local muscat. I really recommend checking mamacas out - we had a great night!
Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:21 AM
Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:54 AM
Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:04 PM
Posted 03 April 2011 - 12:12 PM
Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:33 PM
niikib...really cool to find your notes of a number of places that I have been short listing (some from the Frank Bruni piece in the NYT)..will update if they are as good as they were in 2011!
Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:23 AM
Posted 02 April 2012 - 01:29 PM
To Kati Allo for lunch at the recommendation of the lady we are renting our apartment from - had Greek salad, moussaka and Crepes filed with spinach and cheese (no, not spanakopita!). All washed down with Fix lager. Underwhelmed by the Greek salad, but Moussaka and Crepes are very good. Brilliant value as it is 20 Euros for the three of us. Very unassuming place right behind the Acropolis museum and a good introduction to the joys of Greek food.
Dinner at Strofi Taverna - just outstanding. We were offered tsipouradiko as an appetiser and also presented with some bread to be dipped (softened) in water and then eaten with Feta and a tomato relish. The Feta was like nothing I had tasted before - this was a rather loose and runny version that reminded us of Mozzarella - very complex and moreish. We also had fantastic Spanakopita and Dolmadakia. The only off note was squid which had an under seasoned batter and as a result was bland. We had two carafes of house white that had a pronounced Moscatel-type flavour minus the sweetness - very agreeable. Finished off with Ekmek(fried bread soaked in sugar syrup) and Ice Cream, Baklava and Kaffe Elleniko. Stuffed, delighted and all for 50 Euros for the three of us. Oh and it is a rooftop terrace looking on to the Acropolis.
Good way to start :-)
Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:56 AM
Two places to add for the consideration of those intending to go to Athens.
Taverna Theklas (Roberto Galli 2, road by the back of the Acropolis museum) :- By far and away the best food we ate in Athens (including at Strofi). We ate there on three separate occasions and gave the menu a real going over! Superb Greek food made by a gifted cook (the clarity of flavour was astonishing) in a charming restaurant run by three generations of the same family.
Geros Tou Maria (Mnisikleous 27, Plaka) :- Lovely location and matched by some excellent seafood - Gavros and Sardines were super fresh. Rest of the dishes were also pretty good.
Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:02 AM