UPSCALE DINING EXPERIENCES WITH A VIEW IN ATHENS
After our fantastic experience of dining out at Spondi and The Atrium at the Herodian hotel, we thought we’d continue with the impressive view fine dining theme. We tried two well-known restaurants, which both feature roof garden restaurants providing the perfect backdrop of a view of the Acropolis, whilst you dine. Both restaurants were recommended to us by our hotel concierge and rank pretty highly on our all-time dining experiences.
THE PREMIÈRE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE BAR AT THE ATHENAEUM
The Premièr Restaurant has snapped a great location (and awards for its cuisine) with its restaurant and bar area having a landscape view of the Parthenon. It specialises in creative and innovative French influenced dishes with a Mediterranean twist but using Greek produce.
As our visit was in the winter months we were seated inside so made use of the Premièr bar where we enjoyed some pre-meal cocktails. Whilst we sipped our cocktails it was evident that this establishment was decorated to a modern, slick style with a spacious and airy feel. The restaurant walls adorned art pieces which were in keeping with the theme of modernistic flair.
We dined on a weekday evening in the winter season and I have to admit the atmosphere wasn’t the best as there were only two tables including us dining. However, this just meant that the service was more focussed and every little detail had been taken care of even down to the fact that our waiter had the time to discuss our travel itenary and points of interest pre-meal with regards to local foods and sights. This is always a nice touch as you feel you are getting a personalised service.
Our table was the perfect position to get a lovely unobstructed view out of the window of the Parthenon. We started with a selection or pre-meal bites including some steamed breads and croquettes, followed swiftly by some Greek red wine produced in Santorini. Our waiter insisted, that to accompany our mains we try some local wines, which were offered to us as complimentary.
We skipped on the starters and went straight for the mains. I chose the sea bass, which was cooked in butter with smooth cauliflower puree, coconut thins, pickled lemon and a mild madras curry consumé. It sounds like it shouldn’t work right? But as expected the fish was beautifully cooked and the other ingredients didn’t over power the subtle taste of the fish.
Dr C’s mains was lamb saddle with kale, artichokes, tomato confit and olives. The lamb was cooked medium rare just as it was requested and the confit provided just the right amount of liquid to stop any signs of the meat drying.
Following our mains, it was inevitable that we had to go for the dessert as we missed the mains. Both Dr C and I thought, dessert was a no-brainer and went for the restaurants signature sweet, The Tube. The tube is a modern plated concoction of Guanaja chocolate, cashew nuts strategically placed to complement the flavours with caramel-miso ice-cream.
The Premièr Restaurant at the Intercontinental hotel Athens is definitely one for a special night. The food is quite the French fare and the service is second to none; that view of the Acropolis, well I’ll leave that for you to experience and move onto the second restaurant…
The Premièr Restaurant
The Intercontinental Athens
Syngrou Avenue 89-93
Tel 0030 210 920 6000
THE ROOF GARDEN AT HOTEL GRANDE BRETAGNE, THE LUXURY
Ok, so if there’s one hotel you just go in and have a quick nosey peek in Athens, then please make it this one. As the name suggests it is uber lavish and decorated in the most opulent rich style. Think cream and golden drapes and attention to the minutia!
On arrival, you are whisked up to the top floor of the hotel, where lies the Roof Garden Restaurant. Upon entering, this place has a real buzz about it. You notice to the left, floor to ceiling glass windows and an outdoor terrace, which provides a perfect view of the Acropolis.
We were seated inside once again, due to the winter season and were given a lovely booth in a quiet spot. The scene was set perfectly for a romantic meal for two. The lighting was dim, almost candle resembling candle-light and the waiters were attentive but not too impending.
After a short stroll as recommended by our waiter on the terrace to look at the views of the parliament building and Acropolis we were bought our cocktails. Obviously, it was time to try out the Espresso Martinis, which incidentally were made to perfection!
As the menu had a very Italian theme, Dr C and I decided to go for pasta and it was the penne with tomato sauce for me and he linguine with mince in a tomato sauce for Dr C. Obviously both were devoured within minutes accompanied by my old favourite a glass of the good old Argentinian Malbec.
Now, lets skip to my best bit, the dessert. This is the part that I was really and truly here for. The hotel had collaborated with multi-award winning French pastry chef, Arnaud Larher. This guy is the creme de la crème of desserts, well he did start training aged 12! He is quite literally the dogs (whoops, am I allowed to say that? Well there I said it anyway!!). He is amongst the top ten chocolatiers of France and I was about to eat one of his desserts, now do you understand the excitement? My dessert was entitled Rêve and it was heavenly and that’s all I’m going to say.
Dr C ordered the Tiramisu, which was also a fine choice and both desserts came highly recommend by our waiter! He was right and I can confirm we were not disappointed with our choices although I argued all the way back home, mine was the best!
Again, I could not fault the service or the food and the ambience as I said was absolutely idealistic. This restaurant is where you take your lady or man to impress, when it comes to views and fancy cuisine coupled with impeccable service.
The Roof Garden at The Grande Bretagne
Vasileos Georgiou A 1
Athens 105 64
Tel 30 21 0333 0000
I hope that whet your appetite somewhat to the luxe dining scene in Athens and please do kiss and tell what your favourites dining places are in city, in the comments below
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