I love food. You will probably notice this theme throughout my blog.
I had been trying to fit this restaurant information into my first post on Greece but every time I tried I couldn’t get it all in.
I decided to make a post just for this topic because it really was that good.
I Kriti – Restaurant Review
We had arrived in Athens. We were hungry. Our plan to eat at the hotel rooftop restaurant was foiled because we hadn’t made a reservation.
We stopped at the front desk to ask their advice on where to go. I always like to ask someone from the area where to go – or more importantly where would they go.
The (very friendly) front desk clerk suggested a restaurant called “I Kriti” which was very close and where she said she would go. Anne and I are pretty adaptable travellers but after a long day of travel we both just needed a good meal and no more logistics so we jumped on this suggestion.
We walked out of the hotel and followed the directions on a little business card that the hotel had given us. It had a tiny map on the back which we followed.
We walked right past the restaurant more than a couple of times as it was down a little hall and you would never know it was there if you weren’t paying very close attention. It is small and crammed, it was inside what appeared to be a shopping centre and the sign did not say “I Kriti”. We were definitely a little nervous as we walked down the hall towards what looked nothing like a restaurant. At this point though it was late and we were tired so we were going to stay no matter what.
We were greeted in the hallway by a friendly young man who offered to bring us to a table.
There were lots of people working at the restaurant. We were brought drinks and bread to start, I was already happy. There is a small open kitchen where they were preparing the food. It was busy and full of locals, which is always a good sign. An older fellow who you have to assume owns the restaurant comes over to take our order. Anne tried to order a Greek salad and he said “NO”, we were taken aback but let him explain. He said he does not let foreigners order a Greek salad in Greece, you have to try something else. I have read some reviews (most of them are great) on trip advisor that say this man is rude but we liked him and he was right. We picked other menu items that we never would have thought to order with his help and guidance, and he seemed happy with our choices.
The items are tapas style and so we ordered 4 plates. To explain how good the food was would be impossible. It helped that we were hungry and had low expectations but the food was amazing. We had (yes I am that person taking pictures of their food at restaurants):
chickpea salad with figs, stuffed mushrooms
baked potatoes with parmesan
meatballs in tomato sauce.
We were positively stuffed when desert arrived and it was beautiful and we could not bear not to eat it. It was yogurt with stewed plums (I think) and it was delicious.
The best part of the whole meal was when the bill arrived and it was only 30euro for BOTH of us. I cannot for the life of me remember when I have had such an exquisite meal for such a reasonable price. Did I mention I had wine with my meal?
Il Kritiki – Night 2
Our second night in Athens we had made a reservation for the rooftop restaurant at the hotel overlooking the Acropolis. In the afternoon we were at the rooftop pool which is next to the restaurant. We decided to look at the menu while we were there.
We both thought that the menu items didn’t look nearly as interesting as the menu from the night before. Not to mention the prices were significantly higher. So we pulled the shoot and decided to cancel our reservation and go back to Il Kriti for a second night.
Night two proved to be completely worth it!! What an amazing restaurant. It was pretty fun because when we arrived they made a big deal that we were back – as if we were regulars and came all the time.
We decided to let the owner pick our meal (mostly) that night as he had made such good suggestions the night before. We had:
beet salad, beef and potatoes (which I forgot to take a picture of because we dug into it so quickly)
feta cheese in pastry covered in honey. The Greeks love their cheese and the cheese I ate while in Greece tasted nothing like what I have eaten at home. This particular dish was such a great treat. The pastry was crunchy, the cheese warm and soft, the cheese was salty but the honey was sweet.
The squash blossoms he said were hand stuffed by his mother in the traditional Crete style.
He told us that all of the food was prepared upstairs and then they finished it off downstairs. I could have eaten those little blossoms of deliciousness all night long. I found it incredibly amusing to picture a tiny older woman, leaning on a big old table digging into a huge pot of rice mixture and gently stuffing those beautiful little blossoms. For the record I did not see any of what happened upstairs, nor did I see the owner’s mother, but this is what I pictured in my head and it still makes me smile.
So good. Great service. Great food. If you are in Athens you have to check it out!