“ManiMani” is a popular restaurant in Athens, near the Herodion where you are staying,” said our friends Erica and Doris Haralambithou. It’s near the Acropolis. You will love it.”
Pictures of Maniot houses adorned the stairway up to the main floor of the restaurant in a renovated Athenian house. Mani is famous for its tower houses without stairways. They were built because of the feuds among families for defense. A ladder thrown from the top was needed to get into the tower’s second floor restaurant.
The New York Times also recommended “ManiMani” as a go to destination in Europe.
We had wine, chicken breast with Greek cheese, homemade ravioli with feta cheese and vegetable sauce, squid and shrimp sautéed, ManiMani salad with manouri cheese and fava. They have a menu featuring the food of Mani and the Peloponnese with homemade pasta. Eating at the restaurant with friends served as a memorable evening in an authentic Greek atmosphere.
Dr. Christophoros Charalambakis, a professor of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and our friend of many years, met with us in Krouskas restaurant, a traditional Greek taverna, at Aristotelous 88, Victoria Square in Athens.
The Greek cuisine was cooked fresh to order with organic ingredients of the Mediterranean diet. Rice and stuffed artichokes with potatoes, tomatoes in olive oil and parsley and eggplants in tomato sauce with feta sprinkled was what we ordered. The bread was hot from the oven. The menu showed staples of the Mediterranean diet with vegetables ranging from three to eight euros a dish.
Mr. Krouskas, the owner, gave us a warm greeting, showing traditional Greek hospitality.
Vinsanto Espresso Bar
What is the favorite beverage in Greece? Coffee frappe with lots of foam.Greek cafes are all over Athens, acting as a meeting place for Athenians. We met Hariklia “Hara” K. Anagnostopoulou, a brilliant attorney, in Vinsanto espresso bar vineria at Mavromataion 12, Athens.
Maria, the hostess, prepared a foamy, refreshing Nescafe frappe and cappuccino. Business over a frappe is the norm among the business community.
I would like to conclude my impressions of Athenian restaurants with this quote from Theresa Yianilos ‘The Complete Greek Cookbook’: “The Greeks’ fierce pride in their heritage has kept the basic culture intact. Whether a slave under Roman rule, a captive under Turkish domination, or a newly arrived immigrant, the Greek is always aware that he is the direct descendant of men like Plato, Homer, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Aristophanes. The Greek who begins life in a new land on the bottom step of society as a dishwasher needs only to remember how Aesop left a legacy of poetry while cooking as a slave.”