Dinner at Barbanaki Restaurant, Athens, Greece

Barbanaki restaurant is nothing special.  That’s sort of the point of this post.

From Periscope hotel (to be reviewed) in Athens, Barbanaki, a small seafood restaurant, was only half a block down Haritos Street in the Kolonaki district.  The front desk clerk pointed me in that direction when I told her I was famished and looking for a good restaurant within walking distance.

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Like almost all curbside restaurants I saw in Athens, Barbanaki has indoor and outdoor seating.

In the U.S., I’ve eaten at several Greek restaurants and attended a couple of Greek festivals for the food and performances.  Still, the Barbanaki menu was pretty unfamiliar.

With help from the english-speaking waiter, I enjoyed a large and thoroughly delicious meal.  It began with water and toast basted with olive oil that the wait staff placed on my table without ordering.

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Water, bread and tsipouro. The waiter also brought a small bucket of ice for the tsipouro.  I used the ice for the water.

A Greek salad is a good start for any Greek dinner and can be a meal in itself.

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Feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, onions, oregano, and olive oil.

A good friend from Bulgaria taught me that Greek salad must be accompanied by rakia, a traditional Bulgarian brandy.  Greece, of course, has its own version, tsipouro.

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Like rakia, tsipouro is strong (80-90 proof) and a perfect complement to Greek salad.  There are many kinds of tsipouro.  The waiter helped select this one.

The salad was fresh, crisp and tasty.  I followed it with an order of mussels.

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It was a large order.  With an entree to follow, good thing I was hungry.

I selected grilled sea bass for the entree.  Was it really sea bass?  Who knows, or frankly cares that much.  One thing’s for sure — I liked it a lot.

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Grilled sea bass.  The restaurant also serves this fish marinated in thin strips.

After the entree I thought I was done.  But the waiter had a surprise.

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Not wanting to offend (ahem), I accepted the dessert and finished it off quickly.

The bill came to a very reasonable 37 Euro or about $43.  There was no charge for the water, bread or dessert!  Many restaurants in Greece will add a small charge for bread and water and a gratuity.  I could find no such charges on the bill.  I opted for a 10% tip on the credit card statement.  According to Google searches, that is a good tip for Greece and perhaps slightly on the low side considering the water, bread and dessert.

Overall Impression

Magnifique or whatever is the proper word in Greek.  I’m looking forward to more culinary experiences with Greek food on Mykonos and perhaps Santorini.

Yassas!

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