By Captain Dimitrios Flokos
As many of you know from my last post or from meeting me on board, I was born in Volos and have called Athens home for a long time. In my last post, I shared some suggestions on how to enjoy the country as the locals do and really soak up the culture. This time, it’s all about one of my favorite topics – Greek food. Read on for my favorite dishes, drinks and local restaurants.
EAT LIKE A GREEK
One of my all-time favorite dishes is called Gemista, which is a dish of vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini and green peppers stuffed with rice – this is really traditional, along with moussaka, a delicious layered eggplant and meat dish. Of course, one of Greece’s most famed dishes is the Greek salad, and this you will find on every family’s table in Greece and in every restaurant. We really do love it. This simple dish shines with tomatoes, feta, olives and cucumber, usually a sprinkle of oregano and is always drizzled with some local extra virgin olive oil. I am also a big fan of dolmades, stuffed grape leaves or cabbage leaves – depending on the season.
Of course, no Greek dish is complete without a delicious glass of wine. If you are in the north, I suggest you try a nice red wine from Naoussa or Nemea and if you are in the south, of course you should go for a fresh white, like Assyrtiko on Santorini – one of the best in the country. Also keep an eye out for Tsipouradikos, especially in Volos and Crete. These traditional spots are known for tsipouro, which is a traditional pomace brandy typical in rural and island villages. In these locals’ spots, with each ouzo or tsipouro you order, the waiter will bring out a small meze for the table to share. It’s the perfect way to sample the local cuisine and culture – but beware, tsipouro is potent!
AN UNFORGETTABLE EVENING
If you are looking for an evening you’ll never forget in Athens, make reservations at Dionysos. This modern Greek restaurant is an Athens institution and has become known around the world for both its iconic views of the Acropolis and its delicious Greek cuisine. About 12 years ago, the founder of Oceania Cruises, Frank Del Rio, and his wife, Marcia, came to Athens and this is where we dined with evening views of the Acropolis. Try the lamb with the potatoes, the moussaka or the catch of the day. Pair it with a good glass of Greek wine and you can’t go wrong. This is simply one of the most exquisite ways to close your visit in beautiful Athens, the world’s ancient capital, and end your journey on a high note.
I hope you’ll include Greece in your spring and summer travel adventures this year!