Funky Gourmet – Athens, Greece
I am SO glad this restaurant was recommended to me. I feel like it’s one of the best kept secrets in Athens although it’s not-so-secret seeing that it just received it’s first Michelin Star. Funky Gourmet is owned and run by Nick Roussos, Georgianna Hiliadaki and Argyro Hiliadaki, the first two mentioned being the head chefs. Both were in the house the night we ate there.
The whole meal was absolutely incredible! So fun and playful…it was enjoyable from start to finish. Favorites for me included the “picnic”, pesto pasta that we got to make and cook ourselves (not really but I love that they let you think you’re doing it:)), and Greek Salad sorbet – that was nuts! I was hesitant to try the foie gras truffle (simply because I don’t care for the taste of fg) but I was pleasantly surprised. It truly tasted like a chocolate truffle!
At the end of the meal I have to say, I was shockingly NOT stuffed but 100% satisfied. If you’re in Athens be sure to check this place out. It’s a special experience that you’ll never forget. Hats off to the chefs!
Lucky’s Souvlakis – Santorini, Greece
While researching where to eat on the island of Santorini, there was one spot that just kept coming up – Lucky’s Souvlakis in the town of Fira. It was actually so good that my husband ended up ordering a second one! He first went with the traditional pork gyro while I chose the chicken version. Considering he ordered the chicken for his second, I think that says something about mine:) Both were tasty and full of Greek flavor. Do yourself a favor and go here if you’re in town!
The Belvedere Club – Mykonos, Greece
I found out about this restaurant from the chef himself, George Calombaris, whose restaurant The Press Club I went to in Melbourne back in March. Our first night in Mykonos we decided to stay at the hotel and try The Belvedere Club out. What a great first dinner! The setting was beautiful and serene with tables set out by the gorgeously illuminated pool.
We started with the truffle pita (I can never ignore a dish that involves truffles) as well as the saganaki, crispy calamari chips (too curious not to try them:)) and the traditional horiatiki Greek salad. All were wonderful! The calamari chips were especially interesting – they resembled thinly shaved and fried onion rings but were much lighter and were very pleasing. Because we splurged on our appetizers, we ordered the fresh fish of the day to split which ended up being plenty of food. And of course we saved room for dessert! The warm chocolate pudding with hot white chocolate sauce didn’t disappoint. Perfect ending to a delicious Greek meal!
Grilled pita bread with truffle oil & black salt
Crispy calamari chips, garlic mayonaise and lemon
“Horiatki” Greek salad
Fish of the day
Warm chocolate pudding with hot white chocolate sauce
Sakis – Mykonos, Greece
While strolling around the island of Mykonos we came upon Sakis, a very popular gyro spot to both locals and tourists. The fact that it was packed was a great sign! I’m not sure if you know this but in Greece, traditional gyros have fries in them…kind of like a California burrito…amazing! How come we don’t do that in the states? I opted for the authentic “pita gyro” made with pork and topped with tzatziki, tomatoes, onions and fries…SO good! This place is busy for a reason. By far the best on the island! And you can’t beat the price – €2.50 euro – cheap!
Alegro – Mykonos, Greece
Alegro was the first restaurant we tried when we arrived in Mykonos. It was suggested by our hotel and being that it was on the water front, it sounded like a great place to grab small bites and a drink before dinner later that night. The setting was perfect – situated on the waterfront with front row seats to all the boats and cruise ships nearby. Beautiful!
Our choices were pretty easy to make. Saganaki, made with Metsovone cheese, ended up being one of the best we had our entire trip to Greece! Wrapped in delicate filo (phyllo) and drizzled with honey…it was perfect and not heavy at all while lots of other versions have a tendency to be. The calamari was fried, however it was the lightest I’ve ever had. There was definitely WAY MORE calamari than breading and it was cooked perfectly and in large rounds. Very good! Last was the zucchini balls which were amazing! I wish I could go back and order those again. Formed into cakes, they were soft and moist with hardly any filler allowing you to taste the ingredients really well. Yum, yum, yum…go here!
Our beautiful view along with some local white wine and Mythos beer
The Press Club – Melbourne, Australia
Something I didn’t know about Melbourne until I went there is that it has the third largest population of Greeks. Works for me! Chef George Calombaris opened The Press Club in 2006 and has since opened two other restaurants, one in Melbourne (Hellenic Republic) and the other at the uber-excluxive hotel The Belvedere Hotel on the island of Mykonos, Greece (The Belvedere Club). *My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece this fall so hopefully we’ll be able to make a stop on Mykonos:)
I didn’t know what to expect with The Press Club but all I can say is that it was a fantastic night start to finish! Chef Calombaris was in the house which I now know was a treat since he spends 7 months out of the year filming MasterChef Australia in Sydney…quite the commute! We chose to do the Symposium degustation menu along with the paired wines. In addition to the 8 courses, Chef Calombaris treated us to an extra 2 ensuring that we would leave STUFFED! But in a good way:) Everything was PERFECT! The flavors were so clean and well presented. Each bite was an explosion of flavor. It was hard for me not to clean every plate but I knew there was a lot coming so I had to pace myself. If I went back and could only order one thing off of the a la carte menu it would have to be the salmon but seriously, you can’t go wrong and you won’t be disappointed. Sit at the chef’s table if you can…it makes for such an entertaining meal. Thanks George!!!!
Amuse Bouche – Kasos “Tonos – Tuna”
Helleniko “Domata – Tomato”
Nemea “Kouneli – Rabbit”
Larissa “Kotopoulo – Chicken”
*Special extra dish from the chef – beef short rib
Kolonaki “Psari – Salmon”
Naoussa “Moschari – Beef”
Rethimno “Fraoules – Strawberry”
*Another extra dish from the chef – chocolate!