Santorini has the leading role in the Greek culinary scene this year, with excellent restaurants offering modern Greek, Mediterranean and ethnic fusion cuisine, using excellent, seasonal Greek produce and ingredients. Taste, elegance, hospitality, enchanting views and romantic atmosphere, these restaurants have it all. We travelled to the beautiful Cycladic island and recommend five restaurants that will take you on a unique gastronomic journey.
Idol Restaurant Bar
On one of the busiest alleys of Fira, the modern bistro, Idol Restaurant Bar, built on three levels, with simple, elegant décor and a stunning, panoramic view of Caldera offers pleasant moments of relaxation accompanied by a carefully constructed menu created by the well-known chef Panagiotis Giakalis (Malabar, patio, Krabo, Akti). Using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, many of which come straight from the restaurants vegetable garden in Vourvoulo, Santorini, they create delicious modern Greek and Mediterranean dishes, including some traditional Greek recipes based on Loukas Katris’, the owner, family memories, like the exquisite ‘manestra’.
A simple, but rich and very tasty dish with orzo and fresh tomato, sprinkled with local hlorotiri cheese that adds freshness and a light acidity. “My father would make ‘manestra’ when they came back home from work, tired,” Loukas tells us, while the chef adds “our kitchen is run with love and passion. We want to offer people the best possible ingredients and a laidback, light meal. We respect the island’s traditions, but we always add our own touch”. The bistro is open all day with the dinner a la carte menu offering more choices and focusing on fresh fish and seafood.
We enjoyed the Santorinian salad with the cherry tomatoes, carob soil, katsouni cucumber, capers, olives and fresh cheese foam, as well as the lobster salad. The shrimp is grilled to perfection, served with roast potato and rocket mayonnaise. The traditional fried fava balls with octopus and olive salad, the aromatic aubergine, the grilled octopus with smoked, crunchy elements and the orzo, of course, are delicious. The mains include gilt-head bream with wild greens and egg-lemon sauce, seabass with kakavia soup and grilled lobster. The tomahawk, T-bone and rib eye steaks are great meat options. The cocktails and the select wine list accompany the meal very well, while the excellent service complete the Idol experience.
Address: Fira Town, Thira, 847 00 Phone: +30 22860 23292 Website: www.idolsantorini.gr
Black Rock Restaurant
Inside the charming Secret Suites Hotel in Oia you’ll find Black Rock restaurant. The amazing Caldera and Oia backdrop create a relaxed and romantic setting. Executive chef Sifis Manouselis, uses great seasonal Greek products to make Greek recipes influenced also by the French and Japanese cuisine, creating a great menu. Head chef Giannis Fintanis and his team prepare the dishes. “Quality, taste and refinement are what distinguish our menu” says the head chef. The a la carte menu includes fish, seafood, meat, vegan and gluten free options to cater to everyone.
Almost everything is prepared at the restaurant, like the sourdough bread that is made using an 11-year-old starter from Thessaloniki, Giannis Fintanis’ home. It’s served with Cretan extra virgin olive oil, fleur de sel and wild thyme. The chef’s welcome gift – breaded croquet of tender lamb, served with harissa and grilled Florina pepper sauce, vine leaf, rosemary-infused yogurt foam, lamb gravy and olive oil – is refined and a product of hours of preparation. Creative, imaginative, and mouth-watering, the beef tartar is served with aubergine, smoked eel, tahini miso paste, coriander, 5 spices and marinated egg yolk. The octopus ‘stifado’ balances sweet, sour and smoked elements to create a very tasty dish.
Juicy on the inside, with a beautiful crispy skin on the outside, the result of the perfect robata grilling, the cod fillet – a dish with lavish sauce of mussel, coconut milk and curry, with sweet earthy notes from the fennel puree – with the wild greens and asparagus. The refreshing cocktails and the great wine list match the lovely meal, while the pleasant service completes Black Rock’s vibes.
Address: Santorini Secret Suites & Spa, Oia, 847 00 Phone: +30 22860 27337 Website: www.idolsantorini.gr
Petra Restaurant Bar
Petra is part of the elegant Canaves Oia Suites hotel and has a stunning, panoramic view of the Caldera. Executive chef Tasos Stefatos and his team create a tasty, contemporary yet familiar menu with a distinct Greek identity. They interpret familiar recipes in modern ways with creative touches, constantly renewing and evolving them without losing the traditional taste of each dish. “Petra has an unmistakably Greek identity. Our menu is strongly based on traditional Greek cuisine and we want our dishes to bring homemade, familiar, favourite flavours to guests,” the chef says. There’s both an a la carte and 7-course tasting menu.
Petra’s contemporary creative Greek cuisine set opens with the divine arancini, a traditionally Italian dish, that here meets with the Greek culinary tradition of graviera cheese and ‘giouvetsi’ orzo. The Santorinian salad combines the freshness and sweetness of the local tomatoes with fruit, tomato-strawberry ice cream and extra virgin olive oil, adding acidity, while the ash bread that is served with it adds smoky notes. The beef, marinated in must and served on marrow mayonnaise and aromatic wheat rice, is very original and tasty. The traditional melekouni is presented as a parfait with a honey gel, served with a spices ice cream, delicate and light, bringing a Rhodes air to the Cyclades. Elina Dakanali is in charge of the wine list that includes great options from the Santorinian, the Greek and the international vines, while Amanda Kondinou, the sommelier, makes master wine pairings.
“Apart from the traditional Greek flavours, we want our guest to experience the warmth, hospitality and mentality of the island, and Greece in general” the chef tells us, and Petra’s staff succeeds in doing just that, following Greek tradition, offering warm and welcoming hospitality – a familiar experience for the Greeks and a very pleasant ones for international guests.
Address: Canaves Oia Suites, Oia, 84702 Phone: +30 22860 71453 Website: www.dining/petra-restaurant
Mylos Bar Restaurant
Mylos, a bar-restaurant named after the windmill around which it stretches, is located in Firostefani. The atmosphere the whitewashed windmill creates is very romantic, while the view of the Caldera, both from the veranda and the hall is enchanting. The bar, that has been added outside, offers a good variety of wines and drinks. Mylos offers four menus – two a la carte and two degustation – with emphasis on the quality of ingredients and on the treasures of the Greek sea.
The first a la carte menu, led by chef Antonis Kourkoutas, is based on Asian fusion cuisine, while the second, created by chef Spiros Asimis (Ithaki), is mostly contemporary Mediterranean with some Greek touches. The 5 and 7-course degustation menus are available with wine pairing and include dishes both from the Asian fusion and the Mediterranean list. From the Asian fusion menu, we recommend the refreshing yellowtail tartar with yuzu kosho, ponzu and nori crackers, as well as the Kobe beef A3 carpaccio, from the rolls, the California uramaki, and the spicy tuna uramaki are very good, as is the spicy shrimp tempura with salmon, spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce.
From the Mediterranean menu, we recommend the fresh lobster orzo, the gilt-head bream with mushrooms broth, zucchini blossoms, vegetables and shrimp, as well as the juicy ribeye black angus served with dauphinoise potatoes, king oyster mushroom and Sichuan sauce.
Address: Firostefani, 847 00 Phone: +30 22860 25640 Website: www.mylossantorini.com
In Akrotiri, known for its archaeological site, inside Astarte Suites hotel, you’ll find Alali, a restaurant with an amazing view of the Caldera and Santorini’s rock, and an ethnic fusion menu with surprising combinations. Executive chef Adam Kodovas (Kobra) offers a Mediterranean culinary experience infused with Asian elements, typical of his cooking. Local ingredients are paired with Asian products, like shimeji pickles, black bean paste, yuzu, and ginger, creating a unique result.
The menu includes an a la carte and a 9-course tasting menu created by the head chef Giorgos Berkakis. From the amuse bouche, the scorched shrimp, as well as the earthy, colourful Vietnamese roll with red and yellow beat, stand out. The sourdough bread that resembles marble cake is very creative, served with homemade butter and herb-infused extra virgin olive oil. Freshness and complexity with the sweet red pepper stuffed with buckwheat and local cheese, while the raspberry vinaigrette adds tart notes. The aromatic and rich rooster that includes both a fine fillet and a thigh piece is exquisitely paired with the cauliflower and black garlic puree and the mushroom powder.
The interesting wine list, curated by Aris Sklavenitis, well-known to the Athenian crowds from Oinoscent, includes wines from Greece and the world, with emphasis on the local wineries. The talented pastry chef Spiros Pediaditakis (Ourse) creates refined desserts, like the excellent pistachio cake with mastic ice cream and grapes, offering sweet pleasure after the meal. The top-notch service, the amazing view and the creative dishes offer a unique experience.
Address: Caldera, Akrotiri 84703 Phone: +30 22860 83388 Website: www.alalirestaurant.com
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