I recently traveled to Greece with a good friend, and the trip was a result of a whimsical Groupon purchase. Given the price we paid for our travel package, I had very little expectations of our vacation, and although we were excited, all we really desired was a change of scene. Well, we got that and more!
As a pescetarian, my measure of any city is now by its seafood. Before the trip, I knew little about authentic Greek cuisine (other than the usual Greek Town fare I had tried in Chicago), and believed it to be a meat-intensive cuisine. Well, I was wrong! And I’ve never been happier to be wrong!
During my vacation, I discovered that seafood was readily available in Greece and also delicious. Sometimes ignorance is truly bliss and leads to pleasant surprises. While I got to try several restaurants, one that left a lasting impression was Adrianos in the Placa neighborhood where we stayed.
We went into the restaurant with promisesthat we would get to break a plate and yell Opa! (a Greek tradition). The restaurant staff were so kind, which is typical for most places in Greece, but always adds a great tone to the dining experience.
We ordered some of our staples such as, the Greek salad and the Tzatziki , with one small exception of replacing our favorite Saganaki (flaming cheese) with the Fried Feta. This was a bold step for me given my love for Saganaki, but the decision paid off!
A juicy, salty, fried block of feta coated in crispy, golden-brown sesame seeds and drizzled with sweet honey was placed on our table. Wow! That combination of salty cheese with sweet was simply extraordinary and didn’t get old.
I also want to mention the Greek Salad I ate there, which was above par than other salads we had eaten on our trip. The dressing was tangy in good proportion and for someone who doesn’t like raw tomatoes, I was gobblingthem with no reservation.
Now let’s get to the seafood. Both my friend and I were craving fresh fish that day, and that is exactly what we got. I ordered the Grilled Prawns, while she the Baked Sea Bream. Both came with a medley of the most yummy zucchini and onions.
The fish was brought out whole but filleted in front of us and the prawns also with head on. The Sea Bream (tsipoura) was prepared in a simple Greek-style baking method andwas so steaming hot that the meat flaked right off. The fish had come drizzled with an amazing sauce of lemon , olive oil and oregano. The Prawns were jumbo sized and a stunning dish in presentation. Simple ingredients like lemon and garlic made sure to retain the freshness of the prawns, and were also delightful.
Plus there was plenty of homemade, crusty Greek bread to soak up all the residual sauces on both our plates. Needless to say, we ate to our hearts content.
Everything was perfectly cooked and seasoned at this restaurant and we were two happy Chicagoans at the end of the meal. With our cheque, they also brought out two shots of the traditional Ouzo (Greek spirit made from Anise) and Mastikha (Greek liqueur made from the pine tree). Both served as the perfect aperitif to the fine Greek meal we had just had. And.. we were so fascinated by the delicious food that we forgot to break our plates! I guess we’ll just have to go back!