I’m not usually one for picking restaurants out of guide books - they tend to be overrun! However, I was at the Roman Agora at lunchtime, and saw a recommendation (DK’s Top 10 Athens) I fancied very close by. The guide reckoned all the places near the Agora are touristy and over priced - except this one.
I was not disappointed. The weather was a balmy 20c and sunny, so I was able to sit outside in my shirtsleeves. Wonderful on 24 December! It is on a very quiet little square, and you could easily be in a village on one of the islands!
I had a Greek salad and then stewed lamb with chorta. Chorta is a green thing like spinach - fairly bitter. It was in a yoghourt sauce. Very good. I had a glass of wine, and when I asked for a 2nd, they brought me a little carafe (0.33l, I reckon).
All pretty idyllic really, and a bit surreal knowing how 24-12 (I don’t use the “C” word) is at home....and this year, knowing it was subzero there too.
Well done DK...
Favorite Dish: Both dishes were excellent.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007.
We arrived at 12:30 for lunch, and O Platanos was already filling up. Enjoyed a tasty tzakziki salad with a 75cl bottle of local Athenian white wine (about 14 euros). Platters of moussaka and veal, no complaints.
Hungry but well-behaved cats longing for handouts from the table.
A little sad-eyed boy playing a miniature bouzouki, one tune only. I gave him a euro but I later regreted supporting this form of child abuse.
Favorite Dish: Moussaka, worlds's best. My wife voted best lunch of our 14-day tour.
"Since 1932" claims the name card of the restaurant.
I reached the restaurant on my last night in Athens (and Greece), famished and starving but determined to end my Greek adventure on a high note. It was all dark and since it was raining a couple of hours before, and wet along the streets and alleys and it was comforting to finally stumble into the tavern only to have pairs of eyes turning my way in curiosity. I was the only Asian. I could read "What the hell is he doing here?" in their eyes and I reciprocated with a "What the hell are you doing here too?" look.
Lovely place. Quite old world. Rustic. Very cosy and warm. And I thought to myself: Now, this IS a tavern.
Staff are shuffling about in white long sleeves and black pants. Was handed a menu that had both Greek and English, mercifully...and gosh, the list went on and on.....They must have very capable chefs there!
Favorite Dish: The tubby waiter of Platanos Taverna gave me a tired look, turned and whisked off into the kitchen before I could utter a second word and before I could even recover from the gruff service, a hot bowl of steaming Braised Lamb with String Beans was before me with warm bread.
I have only the "Let's Go" guidebook to curse.
The guidebook had recommended this dish, and I could only surmise the number of travellers entering the restaurant, pointed to the book and requesting for it. (Check the menu: There are plenty others)
The offered "evil eye" aside, true to its recommendation, the dish was lovely. Lamb cooked so tender it breaks apart the moment you sink your fork in. The beans were cooked till tender too and bursting with flavour, having absorbed every flavour molecules during the long hours of braising.
Platanos is a great taverna in Plaka. When I was little my father would always take me there after his concerts. It has its own little outside padio area sorrounded by old buildings. It has great food, and great service.
Favorite Dish: Yemista (Stuffed tomatoes. Good almost anywhere, but especially here.)
Well known restaurant just to the left and up the slope from the Tower of Winds. Food lives up to its reputation. Note that it's not a tavern and so closes at 5pm before opening again late at night for dinner. In other words, not the type of place to while the day away if you want to watch a sunset somewhere.
Favorite Dish: For main dish, ask for one of their signature dishes, roast lamb with eggplant (or other sides if eggplant's not to your taste). they really do a mean roast lamb! Almost melts in your mouth and very juicy!
Platano's, one of Plaka's oldest tavernas, well known for basis home cooking since 1932, was recommended to us by a variety of people. Our attitude has always been, If you don't heed advice, then don't bother to ask. This time we did.
We were starved, especially after having walked all day in the hot sun, and a quick siesta before dinner. It wasn't a difficult place to find, as every shop keeper pointed the way.
When we arrived, all tables were empty, including the tables in the courtyard. This made us pause, as we had forgotten what day it was, but fortunately our waiter (as seen in the picture) appeared.
We had no reservations, but since they were just opening, he was able to slip us into the court yard.. We laughed at this pompous response (to ourselves of course), but low and behold, within ten minutes every table was taken. The clientel was mostly locals, but with a smattering of tourists.
The waiter wasn't joking...
Favorite Dish: We both ordered Grilled Lamb, with roasted potatoes, spinach Mousaka, and a green bean vegetable, plus a huge Greek salad for two. Greek salads in Greece are fantastic. We both enjoy Feta cheese in moderation, but this Feta was the freshest I have ever eaten. Big chunks, not the obligatory pieces you begrudgingly receive in other countries, just picked garden tomatoes, and cucs and onion.
We suggest when travelling with your significant other, to share in this garlicy experience. For one to forgo this pleasure, often means no pleasure later that evening.
The house wine, a barrel retsina, is excellent.
€4.80 (one-litre carafe).
This classical tavern in the heart of Plaka is specially charmy because of its nice terrace under plane trees (platanos). Enjoy here a typical Greek meal or an ouzo drink.
Only cash, no travel cards.
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