28 March, 2015

Druid @ Palaio Faliro

Visited Druid cafe/ restaurant in Palaio Faliro.

It is in a residential area of P. Faliro, although it is in a short walking distance from the main street Agiou Alexandrou, and you won't never find it, if you are not looking for it. Also because it is in a converted residential building.

I found the place on internet and have been curious due to many positive reviews. I grabbed a chance to try it, when they were selling discount coupon (25 Euro voucher against 50 Euro value).

The table setting was rather basic, like at a cafe. Indeed some people around us were there for coffees, rather than a meal.

The menu was neither long nor short, and tends toward meat than seafood/fish.

Although it looked like a cafe, we were offered amuse-bouche like in a restaurant. Left side is a layered mousse of broccoli and something else (pumpkin?) which I do not remember any more and right side is home made grissini with yogurty dip.

As drink, we could have ordered wine or beer. We decided to try Argos Star beer which we have never tasted. It is one of these micro-brewery beers and tasted quite nice. 3 Euro only.

As a starter, GH ordered a tart of feta cheese (7 Euro).

I ordered a salad of avocado and prawns, 12 Euro. It included one entire avocado and prawns tasted fresh.

Here is entrecote for GH as main dish, 20 Euro. Nicely cooked, but the meat itself was usual Greek veal which is not really adequate for steak.

I ordered squid-ink pasta with cockles, 15 Euro. The shellfish tasted fresh and not from tin.

We did not order any dessert, but were offered limoncello on the house, with pistachio nuts.

The total bill of all the above should have been 53 Euro, if we did not have coupon. The food was gourmet-ish and the ingredients tasted fresh, but, in my humble opinion, the kitchen is not up to the real gourmet restaurant standard. Besides, for this price, I can think of some other places I would prefer to go.

What do you think?

Afroditis 57, 17561, Palaio Faliro
Αφροδίτης 57, 17561, Παλαίο Φάληρο
Tel. 210 984 8151

07 March, 2015

Pizzeria dei Fratelli @ Nea Smyrini

Visited a relatively new pizza restaurant in Neos Kosmos (or Nea Smyrni?), near InterContinental Hotel.

It was a very cold and snowy night and there were very few customers. Some seemed to be foreign businessmen staying at InterCon or Ledra Hotels.

The interior is industrial style. Spacious with high ceiling. The kitchen is open and you can see the food being cooked.

The menu is not too short not too long, mainly pizzas as you expect from a pizzeria. There are also bruschettas, pastas, and a few meat main dishes.

While we wait, we ordered freshly baked pita bread with a dip which tasted like mayonnaise. The pita should have been made from pizza dough, but it is much less oily than regular focaccia. It was soft, moist, and pretty nice (0.80 Euro).

We ordered a salad with veal and potato, but after 10 minutes from taking the order, the waiter (who should be one of the 2 owners) came back to tell us that they did not have potatoes and could not prepare the particular dish. I have no idea why it took 10 minutes to figure out that they did not have potato. Never mind. Strange things happen at restaurants. We ordered a chicken caesar salad following recommendation by the waiter.

The chicken carsar (7.10 Euro) consisted in lettuce, grilled chicken fillet, shaven hard cheese and dressing.

It was quite filling and chicken was soft and moist. If there were other types of lettuces or leaves mixed in, it would have been even better.

GH said he was hungry and ordered 40 cm pizza with guanciale and real mozzarella cheese (there are regular cheese ones and 'mozzarella di bufala' ones with a bit of extra, but I am not sure if the mozzarella really was from water buffalo which is quite expensive even in Italy), for 13.50 Euro. The amount of guanciale (cured meat made of pork cheeks) was quite little, but at least had enough cheese and tomato sauce to go on.

The restaurant has a proper pizza oven, but, when they bake, they put the pizza in baking tin. You don't say that it is not 'Italian' as even in Italy there are pizzerias that use baking-tin method, but to my understanding, the bottom crust does not come out as good as when baked without tin.

Still, it was enjoyable enough. Besides, I think 40 cm pizza should feed 2 people; GH ate 3 pieces and then gave up. But, do not worry. They can pack up the rest! I had an impression that most of the patrons brought home some remains. So, if 2 people order only 1 salad and one 40 cm pizza, a meal should cost around 20 Euro + drinks. It is pretty reasonable for an Italian restaurant in Athens.

I ordered a dish of penne with chicken and moscato d'Asti (8.60 Euro). Nice, but a bit heavy. Later I figured out that it was because of huge amount of butter. How I figured out? I brought a half home and observed that the sauce was totally solid after one night in fridge.

We had also 2 glasses of wine and the total cost came to 37.50 Euro. Considering that we did not really have to order so much food, a normal meal should be more affordable.

This was not my perfect pizza, but still, the restaurant is a nice and affordable place to have a pizza and a beer.

Kratitos 10, Nea Smyrni (Neos Kosmos), Athens 17121
Κρατήτος 10, Νεα Σμύρνη, Αθήνα 17121
Tel. 210 9355220

22 February, 2015

Piatsa Tylichto @ Monastiraki

After a walk in central Athens in the late afternoon, we decided to eat souvlaki somewhere so that we don't have to cook at home.

Walking toward Monastiraki station, we found a hole-in-a-wall souvlaki shop called Piatsa Tylichto. Tylychto means 'wrapped' and it is the technical name for the meat on skewer or gyros wrapped in pita, which many in Athens just call it 'souvlaki', and Piatsa is Piazza in Greek. The name and the logo looked familiar and then I realised that there was the same in central Glyfada.

This one has only some tables on the pedestrian walkway in Aeolou Street. Patrons just buy food and walk away, or have seat just to finish what they've bought.

Most of the tylichta cost 2 Euro, except for veal gyro wrap for 2.80 Euro. It has gyros, but not kalamaki (meat on skewers) and, instead, it has grilled fillet of pork or chicken.

We ordered 1 chicken gyros wrap and 1 chicken fillet wrap. Rather small in size and lack of fried potatoes surely made them light, too. The meat wasn't bad.

Not a memorable meal, but it is good to know where we can find a souvlaki in a light snack version.

Piatsa Tylichto - Πιάτσα Τυλιχτό
Aiolou 18C, Monastiraki-Platia Irinis, Athens
Αιολού 19Γ, Μοναστηράκι-Πλάτεια Ειρήνης, Αθήα
Tel. 210 3254638

21 February, 2015

Magevma @ Drapetsona (Piraeus)

Visited a modern Greek taverna called Magevma in Drapetsona part of Piraeus.

It is situated in a not-particularly-attractive residential part of town.

But the place is very nicely renovated.

We checked on the phone if any table available. Sunday afternoon is most busy time for many restaurants in Greece, so it is wise to check and indeed it was almost full. There was live music as well.

Menu is not very long, but has enough variety so that you have pleasure to wonder what you'd choose.

From the salad section, we chose baby spinach, beets, orange and hazelnuts combination. I don't particularly like hazelnuts, but did not want heavy salad with cheese or meat. It turned out to be a right choice. It was light, and the unusual combination was pleasant and enjoyable. 6 Euro.

This is melitzanosalata. Aubergine was mixed with red, yellow and green peppers. No mayonnaise, not too much oil or garlic. A light and refreshing dish. 3.50 Euro.

These are fried dumplings (like Chinese wan ton) of pastourmas. 5.50 Euro. The filling, I think, contained potato and tomato. Good execution. (I don't particularly like them, because I do not like fried dumplings, but it is just personal; GH was very happy).

As main dish, we ordered a pork kondosouvli (12 Euro). We observed that practically all the tables ordered either pork or chicken kondosouvli.

It is a bit expensive for one dish, but I think it was intended to feed 1.5 to 2 people. It was served with a pot of sauce, fried potatoes, pita, and tzatziki (the last is hidden in the photo). Pretty good, except for the potatoes which seemed to be left under heating light for some time.

At the end we were offered 2 shots of mastiha liqueur and cheese cakes. I don't like mastiha much in general, but the cheese cake was delicious.

Including a half kilo of red wine, the total bill came to 32.50 Euro, which is quite reasonable for this type of food. The problem was that we did not get fiscal receipt (and to be honest, I did not notice the piece of paper they gave me was just a order memo).

We were satisfied, except for this nasty trick. Next time, we should be more careful.

Magevma - Μάγευμα
Spartis 130A and Fotiou Korytsas, Drapetsona
Σπάρτης 130A & Φωτίου Κορυτσάς, Δραπετσώνα, Πειραιάς
Tel. 210 4627832


07 February, 2015

Iodio @ Palaio Faliro

We visited Iodio in a inland part of Palaio Faliro one Friday evening.

Iodio is a gourmet fish/seafood restaurant near a shopping street of Eleftherios Venizelos. I go to the street to buy sports wears from time to time and have been aware that Iodio was there, but never had a chance to visit.

It is not directly facing to any major street, so you won't find it if you don't look for it. Well, Achilleos street is a major street, but after Eleftherios Venizelos, it becomes less frequented.

The place is not large, if not small. When 10 tables are occupied, you'd feel that it is almost full. There was only indoor space in the winter, but I guess they arrange tables outside in a better season.

We went there without reservation at 8 o'clock and found only 1 couple eating. Then, by 9 o'clock, I think there were 6 or 7 tables occupied.

After having taken our order, a waiter brought us a plate of rusks and olives, a basket of bread, and a bottle of water.

Bread basket contained white and black bread.

The cost of the above amount already to 6 Euro.

This is green salad. It costs 7.50 Euro, but the portion was generous. Pickled artichokes gave a nice accent.

I wanted to order ceviche of scallops, but they did not have any on that day. The waiter recommended us to order a plate of marinated barbounia instead (9 Euro). I expected it to consist of fillets, but actually came chopped. Not bad, but I don't think barbounia is suitable fish to be eaten raw, because it smells.

Grilled calamari with truffle oil was excellent (10.50 Euro). The calamari was soft and juicy. The combination with truffle was surprisingly good.

Here is a plate of grilled sardines (8.50 Euro). It was good, but probably you don't have to eat this at Iodio, as you can find the similar staff for much less in other fish tavernas (in my neighbourfood of Peiraiki, the price of grilled serdines is currently 5 or 6 Euro, if you are interested).

Fried potatoes (3.50 Euro) came toward the end of the meal. We were about to cancel it, because we did not want eat potatoes at the end of the meal. It was not because the waiter forgot about it, but evidently it took a while to heat the oil as we were ones of the first diners of that evening. I think they should have delayed other dishes, too, so that we could eat potatoes with the main courses.

When we asked for the bill, they left us a bottle of mastiha liquor with it. It was drink as much as you like. Good service for those who like mastiha. I am not particularly a fan, but still a bit of sugar at the end of the meat is pleasant.

The total bill came to 49.50 Euro, including a half kilo of white wine, which was not in the photos.

Not cheap, but not expensive either for fresh fish in Greece. I have to return, when they have scallops.

Iodio - Ιώδιο
Achilleos 119B, Palaio Faliro 17563
Αχιλλέως 119B, Παλαίο Φάληρο 17563
Tel. 210 9884258

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