Monday, August 3, 2009

farewell to Greece

This is the last Greece post :( But it’s a good one!

The last dinner I had in Greece was also one of my favorites!

So here’s what happened- the New York Times gave a place called Strofi a good review. Gorge view of the Parthenon, good food. What better for our last night in Greece, right? So we go. And.

THE NEW YORK TIMES RUINED THE RESTAURANT WITH A GOOD REVIEW! It was packed with Americans, the food was grody and they said straight up most of it was thawed frozen (in a country with the most beautiful fresh produce I’ve ever seen), and there were all these random taxes attached to things. UGH! So instead, we went here!

ambrosia dinner cafe

Fortunately, I’d gone for a rambly stroll through our neighborhood earlier in the day (my sister and mom were having an argument, hahaha), and spotted a block of charming outdoor cafes, wishing we had time to stop in on one. So we went there!

The place we ultimately went to was called Ambrosia, also known as the nectar of the gods, and it was great!

 ambrosia dinner kalakithopita

This is kolokithopita (squash pie). Typically this is quite a sweet, eggy dish (and quite delicious, I might add), but this one was actually really savory, and most of the flavor was of the summer squash itself, along with fresh dill (mmm). And of course, the phyllo was flaky and crisp and lovely!

ambrosia dinner beans

More heavenly summer beans! These were fresh and flavorful, and the sauce was rich and robust with tomato, onion, and olive oil.

So those were the veggies. Now for the Friday night goodness!

ambrosia dinner calamari

Calamari :D Because is there anything better than fried food on a Friday night? The Greeks actually seem to take deep frying really seriously- none of the fried food I had in Greece was at all greasy, and this batch was hot, crisp, and well seasoned, especially with a squeeze of lemon.

ambrosia dinner bread

Bread beautifully crisped up on the grill! I have to try this ASAP.

ambrosia dinner feta pepper dip

Finally, for dippage… tyrokafteri. OH MY GOD. The name literally means “spicy cheese”, and from what I can tell all it is is feta, hot peppers, and a little bit of olive oil.  But what happens when you combine those things… absolutely magic. Creamy and tangy and zesty!

To accompany?

ambrosia dinner wine

Krasi! Otherwise known as wine. GREAT wine. I actually had a ton of delicious wine in Greece, but this is the first time I managed a picture.

Anyway, for all intents and purposes, Greece has no drinking age limit (my relatives, when pressed, thought MAYBE the official age MIGHT be 16). Wine is just a part of the culture- they start moderate drinking, with food and company, at a very early age. And, while obviously this is not a scientific study, at no point did I see anyone in Greece who had overindulged. I think moderation is the way to go.

And that refers to everything. Work and do your job, but save energy to rewind at a fabulous outdoor cafe with your coworkers and friends on a Friday night! Eat fruits and vegetables (in Greece, they’re perfect anyway!) but there ain’t nothin’ wrong with some fried food and spicy cheese from time to time.

Aah. Greece. I need to remember Greece, particularly when I’m getting too type A! Hope everyone has enjoyed my recaps as much as I enjoyed writing (and experiencing!) them!

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