Baku: Eclectic Atmosphere - Exquisite Tastes!
A timelessly stylish and warm ambiance complements every dining experience here.
The restaurant is taken its name after the capital Baku of Azerbaijan. The Azeri carpets in the restaurant are of extreme beauty, they are hand woven and rare, but the dishes here have nothing to do with the cuisine of this country. Prices are reasonable and certainly worth giving it a try.
AMBIENCE:Be prepared for an inviting and eclectic atmosphere. The open style bar is a prominent feature in the space upon entering the restaurant. Custom made furniture, warm woven fabrics and the crystal sconces create a pleasant and romantic ambience. But still this is not all. The ivy-clad courtyard, complete with a fireplace adds to the magic of this place.
CHEFF & CUISINE: Ever since the new award winning culinary Chef Panagiotis Giakalis has undertaken the cuisine of the Margi, the kitchen is taken to another level. I have heard much about him but never met him in person. I am not to meet him this time, but as a Food Critic I am here to comment on the cuisine of the Baku in general and probably arrange to meet Panagiotis on a coming visit. What I know for sure is that locally produced Greek products are used and all dishes are prepared with virgin olive oil. Read on to see how I comment on the dining experience I recently had.
SERVICE: The perfect intimate atmosphere, the staff were the right balance of friendly and attentive. Elpida was there for us and eager to know how we liked everything. Stefanos, being the sommelier proved a great help recommending the right wine pairing with what we had. Discreet and professional, both Elpida and Stefanos are an asset to the restaurant.
STARTERS / SALAD:
All 3 types of homemade baked bread were without exaggeration the best I have had for years. Still warm, the bread comes with fish roe mousse (taramosalata) and a world class extra virgin olive oil. I can’t remember in any other review giving emphasis on the bread, -a brilliant way to start a promising meal. €3.00.
The Salmon tartare was my pick, and it was heavenly, while my husband had the French salad with shrimps. The marinated gravlax tartar of salmon was beautifully presented and was of exquisite taste and flavor. €14.00.
The French shrimp salad mixed with avocado and rocket leaves did not impress me, -the taste was fine though, but too many greens for just 4 little shrimps the portion, I found it poor. €14.00.
BEVERAGE: Karipidis Sauvignon blank paired our starters. An excellent bold wine, great fruit flavor and a nice refreshing finish. €6.00 glass - €27.00 bottle.
MAIN COURSE: (Tried 2 out of 10 dishes on the list)
My pick, the specialty of the restaurant the so popular here, Prime Angus Rib-eye. A savory dish with succulent divine taste. Béarnaise and steak are a match made in heaven! The homemade potatoes were out of this world…crunchy and extremely tasty. I even tried one or two with the béarnaise sauce and they were super yummy too. This is a dish I highly recommend. €33.00.
The Salmon was a superb dish presented with split peas (fava) from Santorini and was my husband’s choice. A divine dish, crispy skin, cooked to perfection, tender and succulent. The flavor of freshness totally blocked in the fish. The fava puree complements the tones in the spread of the salmon flavors and nicely supports the fish. €19.00.
BEVERAGE: ‘Anemos’ Palyvou, Roditis, paired well with the salmon dish. I liked its soft mouth-feel, refreshing acidity and fruity aftertaste. €5.00 - €19.00 bottle.
Stefanos recommended I try ‘Rapsani’ Grande Reserve. A Tsantali wine that matches well with dark meat, roasts and poultry, so I paired my prime Angus Rib-Eye with this dense purple wine, which was great, with firm tannic structure, leaving an opulent and voluptuous finish on the palate. €6.00 - €28.00 bottle.
DESSERT: (Tried 2 out of the 4 on the list)
The Citrus fruit Lemon mille-feuille is out of this world! It comes with orange slices and grand-marnier ice cream. I could use lots of words to describe the taste, but my tip to anyone who tries it, is to remove and eat each layer separately instead of cutting it in pieces, so as to get the full flavor of each and every piece out of this super delicious dainty morsel, -perhaps the best mille-feuille I have ever had! €9.00.
The Roasted apple is another yummy temptation, presented on a white stone marble board just like the dessert above. The apple comes in thin layers and is flavored with salt caramel cream and fresh vanilla ice cream. I tried it, it was ok, but it was not my piece of cake! My husband who has a sweet tooth loved it though, but certainly, tastes vary and it is not possible to like everything can’t we? €10.00.
BEVERAGE: The Mille-feuille paired perfectly with dessert wine. (Moschato Alexandrias) Its intense aroma of citrus harmoniously coexists with the palate of fruit, flowers, honey and raisins. €7.00 - €25.00 bottle.
The Samos Vin Doux dessert wine paired well with the Roasted apple. This sweet soft muscat white wine has an excellent flower fragrant and ripe fruits taste. €7.00 -€23.00 bottle.
IN ALL: Baku is a classy restaurant that stands out for its cuisine, the fresh raw materials, its excellent service, style and atmosphere. I would recommend it to anyone with a Taste for the Good Life.
- Spa and Resort
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Kastelorizo: Kastelorizo Continues to be a Steady Value!
We happened to be staying for the night in the nearby area of Vouliagmeni so to be sure that we would definitely have an amazing dinner outing we thought to eat here since we have done it in the past and we were totally satisfied….but is the cuisine still yummy? The question I felt I had to answer.
I have never been here in summer, only because I try to keep away from crowds and noise, but coming here in the middle of winter even with snow outside, I believe the feeling is the same. It is like having your meal on a Greek island due to the breathtaking view and excellent tastes.
The first impression is that prices continue to remain competitive while tastes are great. Kastelorizo justly ranks 1st out of the 10 restaurants in Varkiza. If this does not tell it all ….go on reading.
LOCATION: It is not difficult at all to spot this very popular restaurant as it is right on the main coastal road overlooking the picturesque harbor of Varkiza.
CUISINE: Inspired Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of summer feeling the year round. It has a tradition in this and demanding customers like myself know this well.
ATMOSPHERE: Pleasing….Perfect! The space is divided in two different halls and levels. The one on the side of the garden we chose to sit overlooks the breathtaking little harbor and the bay of Varkiza. The interior room and patio in overwhelming colors of sand and touches of blue brings you closer to the sea sensation. The 2nd hall with the fireplace, the huge mirror and the many ceiling pendant lights give the feeling of the coastal countryside.
STAFF / SERVICE: Impeccable service, extremely friendly staff and very attentive. The people behind have something special in the way they approach guests, to assure that nothing is missing and that their guests will leave totally satisfied. I always like to give such people the chance to recommend dishes and I am never disappointed. It is obvious that they are a bunch of professionals and through this report I wish to thank the entire team with a special credit going to Vasilis.
BEVERAGE: The wine list is long and quite interesting covering a big choice from Greek wineries with prices very competitive….something to count on. To complement our meal we had a bottle of the home’s white wine (Moschofilero) for €11.00. A dry white wine that matches well with seafood.
Look out for the welcoming starters, the bread (cakes) with sesame and rolls. They are way too tasty!
SALAD: The Mixed greens with browned almonds, parmesan flakes & vinaigrette of pomegranate & cranberry was a dish full of color and taste €8.50. Very refreshing and super yummy!
APPETIZERS: Sea food fried with goat cheese, colored peppers, small tomatoes & greens for €13.50 was what followed. The contrast in color of the dish presentation was outstanding, the gravy sauce was for me too much though as I am after genuine tastes especially with seafood. My husband who loves dipping bread in sauce and having mixed tastes, the dish was excellent.
Sea food Dolma for €6.00 wrapped in leaves (seskoulo) is another interesting starter, staffed with raisins and flavored rice. The taste was ok but I did not say ‘wow’!
The following two dishes indeed tempted my palate:
‘Kritharoto’ with shrimp, caramelized onion & feta cheese from Epirus. Very reasonable cost (€10.00) I loved it! Be sure to count in the Flavored Risotto with shrimps, ginger & lime. (€9.50). A simple recipe with not too many ingredients, but the taste is an eye-opener! Both Kritharoto and Risotto are dishes relying on much more than sparklingly fresh seafood, and it is a triumph in the art of pasta making: just right degree of bite and creaminess and wonderful flavor and textures. The taste in both was heavenly.
PASTA: The very last dish I tried was Spaghetti with Fresh Crab for €10.00. The taste was superb while the presentation was eye catching but we struggled to take the crab meat out. It became SO Annoying that we left the crab in the dish in the end which was unfair. We had to be brought 2 wet towels each to wash off and extinguish the traces of smell and food from our hands. The best would be part of the crab to be cleaned and mixed in the pasta with just a leg and claw left in the shell for the absolute presentation. I hope this is taken into consideration. The pasta was cooked to perfection but the rest was a scene to be avoided.
DESSERT: I had no intention of spoiling the taste of what I had earlier so I asked for some urchin salad to complete my meal. My husband who admits that he has a sweet tooth was totally satisfied with his Crushed puff pastry (millefeuille) which I find way too sweet for my palate.
ECONOMIC OPTIONS: The a la carte menu is one option. Fresh fish is way too expensive throughout the country, but the amazing with this restaurant is that it offers entrées for all budgets with price fixed on a variety of menus that customers can choose from.
TO MENU TIS PAREAS: A nice economic option. It is advisable to ask for the dish of the day. What is included is in unlimited consumption but the whole group has to have it otherwise the offer cannot count. The offer is not valid in collaboration with other offers as well. Besides the dish of the day, the menu includes a Seasonal Salad, homemade Dolmades, Smoked Aubergine (politiki) salad, Small Shrimps lightly battered in corn flour, Mussels simmered in flavored vegetable broth & wild oregano, and Spaghetti with crab. Wine or raki and for dessert (Halva semolina with “glyko koutaliou” a traditional dessert. All these for €16.00 per person! If this is not a treat…..then what?
THE SET MENU: The other option is for €24.00. This includes a Fish soup, Kastelorizo salad, 'Kritharoto' with shrimps, Squid, Fried Red Mullet or Grilled Sea Beam. Choice of Dessert from main menu, White or Red Wine.
THE OVERALL IMPRESSION: Standards are kept high like always and finally it is just what customers expect out of the traditional and historic Kastelorizo Group of Restaurants. Fresh raw materials is the secret of their success, the excellent service, its amazing location and the competitive prices contribute in a way making it extremely popular. I long to be back on a sunny spring day this time and try perhaps a grilled fish dish to enjoy more authentic tastes!
- Business Travel
- Food and Dining
Loizidis' Taverna Vouliagmeni: By Far the Best and Most Authentic
If you want to know which restaurant or 'taverna' in Greece is the best, just look for the most crowded one with Greek customers! Loizidis Taverna in the main square of Vouliagmeni has been for years THE place for locals to have a real Greek lunch or dinner. The covered veranda is clean and comfortable in all weather. Eventhough there is not a great sea view, the consistent high quality and prices are worth the tradeoff.
Favorite Dish: The menue is filled with local dishes, some of my favourites being Mousaka (the BEST), Pastitsio (macaroni and ground beef cassarole with thick bessamel sauce) Stuffed Tomatoes and Green Peppers, Youvralakia (meatballs with rice) served with a choice of spaghetti or chips, Kokkinisto (Beef in Red Sauce) served with potatoes, rice or spaghetti. In addition, you can order Fresh Fish which is in season, Steaks and other meats from the grill. Last, but not least, you must order the fresh cooked 'Horta,' which may be of any in season boiled greens. All prices are more than reasonable and you will have enough left to go down the street later for a coffee or an icecream...if you have room.
Kali Orixi; Bon Appitite; Cheers!
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
There is a restaraunt at the lake.
I did not eat at the restaraunt because we were on a mission to get to Soniou. Maybe next time we will eat there.
- Adventure Travel