31 August, 2014

Museum of Greek Gastronomy @ Psyrri

So. Museum of Greek Gastronomy. Mmmh.

We visited this place in the beginning of August. I did not bring myself to write about it for long because of mixed feelings toward it.

Let me explain what happened.

The place is very close to the Iroon Square of Psyrri. It is housed in a nice Neo-Classic building and has an exhibition space, small shop selling Greek food products related to exhibition, and restaurant.

The restaurant is open in the evening, and also for lunch on request (so I was told). Closed on Mondays.

I booked the restaurant for a Sunday evening, calling it on Tuesday, if I remember well. The guy on the phone - I think it was the chef - explained me the menu in detail and I was told that there is one menu with fish/seafood and the the other with meat. The menu consists in 4 courses and priced at 20 Euro (which is supposed to be introductory promotional price, so at some point, it might change).

And we - GH, I and a friend from abroad - arrived there Sunday evening, at 8 o'clock.

The girl at the reception did not seem to have the record of our reservation and the table was not ready then. It was not a problem, because we could take a look at the exhibition, which is currently dedicated to the alimentary culture in Greek Monasteries. The theme is going to change in early next year.

We were seated at around 8:30.

And here came a bad surprise. We were told that there was no seafood menu, so virtually no choice in dishes. The reason was that there was no fresh fish in the market and their policy was to offer only fresh products from it (here I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that the Varvakio Market is very close).

Besides, the meat menu was totally different from the one I was explained on the phone.

It is good for them to have a principle, but there are people do not want to eat meat and I do not believe that frozen products are always inferior choice. In my opinion, they should let the guests choose what they prefer, either to pick fresh meat or frozen seafood.

If we were only GH and me, we would have left, telling them that we'd come back on another day, but unfortunately (for her), we brought a friend from abroad and could not change the plan.

Let;s see what we ate.

Here is fava from Santorini (on the house).

Nice, but maybe not the best I have ever eaten. It lacked in sweetness.

And here I add another complaint. About wine. When we requested red wine, the waiter/owner just brought us a red bottle of wine which he recommended without telling us the price. Only when I asked , he explained to us that there are 3 choices, 17 Euro, 20 Euro and another one much more expensive (40 or 50?). Now, the 20 Euro wine was Metohi and 20 Euro is normal price at restaurants, but, the price issue should be clear from the beginning. I don't think he was acting in bad intention. Still, it was not quite correct.

The theme of the course was Crete and the first course was Dakos.

I like Dakos, but not at restaurants, because it tend to fill the stomach quickly.

The second course was fried rabbit.

OK. It was a bit lukewarm.

And the third and main course was pork fillet with sauce which I do not remember. I am not a fan of pork fillet, because it tend to be dry and this one was not an exception. The potatoes were really nice, though.

The dessert was a mixture of mizithra and yogurt, served with jam and biscuit crumbs. When the waiter/owner served us this, he said that this was probably the best of the day's meal. "You should not say that", I thought.

In addition, this was different from the dessert which was announced at the beginning (it should have been ice cream).

Each dish was fine, but personally I did not like the combination due to lack of vegetable. I do not digest meat very well, if I do not eat it with vegetables.

The total bill came to about 80 Euros for 3.

Although the ambiance was nice and the food also was OK, I left with the place mixed feelings. Several things - mainly service issues - were definitely wrong. Maybe it gets better in time, hopefully.

Museum of Greek Gastronomy (Μουσείο Ελληνικής Γαστρονομίας)
Agiou Dimitriou 13, Psyrri, Athens
Αγίου Δημητρίου 13, 10554 Ψυρρή, Αθήνα
Tel. 210 3211311, 694 8749161
(At the moment of writing, the website is only in Greek, but the people here do speak English).

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