03 May, 2014

Mikri Venetia @ Koukaki

Visited this modern taverna on the 1st May, a national holiday in Greece. Apart from its status as Labor day, it is also a pagan-ish festive day to celebrate the spring. People go out and collect flowers to make wreath. Even if they do not make wreath, people go out to feel the spring, as far as the weather is fine. And this 1 May was very fine indeed and there are lots of people everywhere.

On such a day, the problem is to find a place to eat. As we were walking around Acropolis, I dragged GH up to Fix where a restaurant called Mikri Venetia had caught my attention.

Being an "in" place, it was full, but luckily we could still find a couple of free tables inside, while tables outside were all taken. At this point I would like to mention that Mikri Venetia on a pedestrian street (a rare thing in Athens) and many tables were al fresco in fine weather.

The indoor space is very simple and with little decoration. But this little decoration makes a good presence and well creates the ambiance.

There is nothing that reminded Mikri Venetia of Mykonos. There were some odd masks that are like the ones used in the Carnival of Venetia, but allusion to Venice stops there. I believe that I heard that the owner was called Venetia and maybe she is the origin of the name.

The overwhelming majority of the clientele were young , younger than 40 I would say. It is not limited to this restaurant, but many who were hanging around the bars and restaurants in the area were young.

The menu is neither long nor short and there is an adequate number of items for the restaurant of this size. The type of the food is modern Greek, I guess.

We ordered 5 items, because the portion size did not look so big.

Here are green salad (5.50 Euro) and kaltsounia (4.50 Euro). The salad was lettuce based mix and grated mizithra on top. The kaltsounia were described as Cretan small pies filled with white cheese and green. I liked the salad, but not so much the pies which were oily and boring.

This is something I had to order when I saw it on Today's dishes: Reggosalata (4.50 Euro). It is a paste made from smoked fish called regga and, although I have heard about it many times, I have never actually seen it or eaten it. I think it was made from, apart from the fish, bread and olive oil. As I generally like cured fish, I liked it. I wish I had boiled potatoes to eat with.

And "patatoules" (2.80 Euro). When you say patatoules in Greece, it normally refers to fried potatoes. In Mikri Venetia, they were boiled small potatoes tossed in olive oil and seasoned with sea salt. They do not look much, but were quite delicious, potatoes being very sweet and flavorsome. Cheap as well.

After a very long break, our main dish arrived: chicken fillet in cheese sauce served with mashed potatoes (7.80 Euro). They should have season the chicken better before cooking it, but overall it was hearty and tasty dish.

At the end they offered us a dessert (this is for 4 persons, as 2 other friends had arrived by then).

With a glass of beer, the bill came to slightly less than 30 Euro.

The speed and organization of the service was quite terrible, but I discount it, because, frankly, it was expected; wherever we went, it would have been the same. More importantly I was not impressed by the food. It was good, but not to the degree that I want to try it again and again. It worth trying it, though; you might well like it.

Mikri Venetia - Μικρή Βενετία
G. Olympiou 15, Koukaki, Athens
Πεζόδρομος Γ. Ολυμπίου 15, Κουκάκι, Αθήνα
Tel. 213 0259158 & 6948044254

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