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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back To The Greek Islands

Not all that long ago the Belle of Ballast Point and I enjoyed an idyllic week in the Greek Cyclades. We stayed at a cliff side villa near Fira on the island of Santorini.


This was one of the best experiences ever - the food, the wine, the friendly people, and of course the spectacular views overlooking the caldera.


Every so often we try to relive our Greek adventure by driving over to Tarpon Springs and dining at one of the restaurants near the sponge docks. For years our favorite was Santorini's, even after the name change to Dimitri's. Sadly, over the last several visits the quality of the food has slid down into the caldera, so on this trip we decided to dine at another island-named venue, Mykonos at 628 Dodecanese.

We began our afternoon Greek dining adventure by ordering a bottle of a white Boutari wine from the island of Santorini. We consumed a fair amount of this light, refreshing wine while on the island both in restaurants and on a tour of the winery.

Nýfi̱ mou (my bride) began her repast with a Tarpon Springs Greek Salad, a bed of romaine with a vinegary potato salad, tomato, pepper, olives, feta, and cucumber. I stress "Tarpon Springs" because a traditional Greek salad, called Horiatiki Salata, is a flavorful combination of olives, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, feta cheese and sometimes capers. The addition of potato salad is an American invention.

Either way, it was declared nóstima, a delight to the buds of her taste receptor cells.


To round out her dining experience, the Belle also requested a serving of Greek Potato Cakes.


These cakes were simply mashed potatoes coated with a breading and then fried. They were similar to the Cuban beef stuffed potato balls but without the stuffing or Wow! factor.

This was an octopodi kind of day for me. I had two sensational octopus dishes. The first was a Chef's Special with a melt-in-the-mouth tender octopus sauteed with onions in a heavenly broth.


An adjacent table ordered the Charbroiled Octopus that looked so good I just had to have some. They were a bunch of poops and wouldn't share, so I requested an order of my own. This dish tasted even better than it looked, and it did look good.


One of the reasons the Greeks are so long lived has to do with their diet. They eat a lot of vegetation, and one of the must-have daily dishes is the horta - boiled field greens with olive oil and a squirt or two of fresh lemon. I cook something similar at home with collards or mustard greens, but I really prefer the authentic Greek version.


Both of us were extremely pleased with our visit to Mykonos. And, if octopus isn't high on your list of Greek delights, Mykonos has a full menu of delicacies for the less adventurous palate.

Food and wine plus a 20% gratuity came to a tad over $100. Ef̱charistó̱ to Vickie our charming server.

Mykonos on Urbanspoon

Mykonos on Foodio54

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