Πέμπτη, 15 Αυγούστου 2013

L'abbuffata, Tasty Discovery at Trikala Korinthias!



L’abbuffata opened in 2011 and it’s located at Trikala Korinthias which is the closest winter destination in Athens. The last years many people invested in the area with new hotels openings and luxurious Chalets. Gastronomy wise though the location still suffers a lot, most of the dining options are old style Greek tavernas with very bad approach in what a restaurant should offer to its clients. Sorry but I’ve had enough of Chicken fillet, pork steak, tzatziki and house wine, do you have anything new to propose? When I found out through my favorite Food and Leisure guide (http://www.fnl-guide.com/) there was a new opening of an Italian restaurant I knew this was my next thing to do when I visit the area.

The restaurant is dominated by mrs Despoina who is the heart and the soul of it. She welcomes you and makes you feel like home immediately. Menu is small and changing everyday based on what’s fresh. The hall of the restaurant is really warm and cozy with a big fireplace. Once you enter there is a small table with free Italian Cheeses like Parmigiano regiano and Pecorino accompanied by a fruit glace. You can cut the amount you want and put it in a small plate. Can you really think a better way to start or maybe finish a dinner?
We started with a smooth Sicilian Caponata with Katiki Cheese and a really fresh vegetable salad with a perfectly balanced Balsamic dressing.
I was happy to see they were serving the real Carbonara and since it is so difficult to find it in Greece I decided to go with it as my main dish. Pasta was perfectly boiled and the result was exactly what you get in Italy. We also tried a Rigatoni with chicken and sun dried tomato which was also really well cooked.
The wine list is the only problem as it lucks choices especially in the white wines.
We will be back for sure and try more dishes!

Cuisine: 7/10
Wine List: 4/10
Service: 6/10
Atmosphere: 9/10

www.labbuffata.gr

Τρίτη, 6 Αυγούστου 2013

Garden of eden (for wine lovers)



Yesterday I visited with some friends the restaurant “Gefseis me onomasia proeleyshs”. Last time I was there 2 years ago and dined in the inside building of this 19th century mansion. We had a really fancy dinner but it was way overpriced despite the 50% discount we had through a wine magazine. Lately I was reading more and more bad reviews about their prices and this probably made them rethink so I decided to give it one more chance when I saw they changed their policy. This time we decided to try the newly added tapas menu in their lovely garden and the first shock was the wine list. Most of the white wines were charged for 13-15 euro while buying them from a wine merchant it would cost around 8-9 euro!!! On top of that we had a 20% discount due to the athinorama club card!!! On the 200 wine choices of the list you can still find bottles like a chateau Petrus 1986, residues of golden age I guess, for almost 2000 euro but I guess this will stay there for while.We accompanied the 2 bottles of wine with 7 different tapas, all were big portions and really fresh ingredients. The total amount for 4 persons was 57 euro (3 bottles of mineral water, bread and dip included in the price)! Before Crisis this would be the amount required for the 2 bottles of wine alone. That’s what I call a bargain, a must for all wine lovers!

Cuisine: 7/10
Wine List: 10/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 9/10

www.gefseis.gr

Τετάρτη, 24 Ιουλίου 2013

Cretan wines ambassador!

I must admit that the blog didnt have as much wine as i thought i wanted to have at first so today we start a new chapter proposing somke interesting "underground" wines. Ocean from Idaia winery was my first attempt of the cretan variety Thrapasthiri which dominates this blend with chardonnay. I am so excited with the potential the grape seem to have. The wine looks Greenish gold colored and the nose smells like Lemon, Peach, and Pear. It tastes like Apple, and Peach with a satisfying length while body is Medium. The wine lacks acidity but the Round texture makes it a great companion for many kinds of food. Thumps up the Idaia winery and Thrapsathiri which i believe in the end it will end up as the strongest cretan white grape. One thing they need to reconsider is the price. You cant demand 9-10 euro in Greece 2013 for a wine that still needs to proof a lot before it can justify the price.
86/100

Τρίτη, 23 Ιουλίου 2013

Triffic-Hamburg, Globe eater strikes back!




Few weeks ago I had the luck to visit some beloved friends in Hamburg and given the chance we visited one of the my friends favorite restaurants who’s opinion I respect so much. Guess what? They were damn correct!
Triffic is “hidden” in one suburb of Hamburg far from any tourist attractions and that’s exactly what I do when I want to find a good restaurant in a foreign country. It is really rare the occasion that you will get value for money where the tourists go.
Triffic has a very small menu separated in starters/main dishes/Deserts and you can choose one of each for 30 euro per person which is a very fair price if you consider the quality and freshness of the ingredients they use. Wine list is small but I guess they update it once in a while. The restaurant is awarded with the Michelin bib gourmand title which designation denotes good cuisine at a reasonable price in a variety of comfort categories. Defined as “Inspectors’ Favourites for Good Value,” Bib Gourmand restaurants offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included), and are often of most value to a city’s residents, who regularly dine in neighbourhood restaurants.
The restaurant has no fancy interior and it can only serve fit 6-7 tables which makes a feel like home atmosphere. The waitress-owner seemed really welcoming and very polite with the few German that I can understand.
My first dish was a calamari with aioli sauce which was simply the best calamari I ever had in my life. I never expected that I had to go to Hamburg to taste the best calamari when I live in a country surrounded by sea. Since there was nothing special in the making of it I guess it has to do with the quality-freshness I stated before.




Second dish was an amazing beef stake with homemade béarnaise sauce that you could smell the freshness every single ingredient they had put on it. How difficult is it to make a good béarnaise sauce? I don’t know, but it’s pretty sure most of the Greek people who run a restaurant don’t know either. As an Desert I had a selection of Cheese who were all phenomenal and accompanied the last sip of the great Bordeaux that we chose for our dinner.  It was a Grand cru St Emilion, priced fairly almost double the price of the vineyard. The wine had soft tannins despite the youth of its age and matched great the steak and cheese.Soon i hope i find some time and do an update with details of the trip and the quality of life the Hamburg residents enjoy.

Cuisine: 7/10
Wine List: 5/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7/10

Πέμπτη, 4 Ιουλίου 2013

Servus, Alpine corner in Petroupoli!



Once my friend Stelios told me he found a new Austrian beer restaurant i had no doubt this will be my next “thing to do”. It is widely known that I am a big fan of the country, the culture, and of course the cuisine of the mighty alp land. Servus is hidden in a small alley in Petroupoli which makes it even more attractive as its only 5 minutes with car from my house. 
I guess your next question is what are the differences between Austrian and German beer restaurants. Well not much to tell you the truth since both kitchens use many times the same ingredients and recipes.
One of the differences is the main draught beer. Servus serves in draught the Austrian beer Gösser which is very difficult to be found in Greece. Gösser beer is the main brand of the Göss in the Styrian city of Leoben, one of the largest and most-well known Austrian beer breweries.
There are also parts of the sausage and Desert list that have strong Austrian influences. If you ask me I would more call this a pub that you can listen to rock music (in the perfect level) drink a beer and grab a bite. I decided to start with the German weiss beer Tucher which is also diffucult to be found in draught.





The decoration in the restaurant is really nice and in the winter time it can serve only 5 tables which make you feel like being in a friend’s house. I miss though the “stuba” style furniture’s which you can find in almost every Austrian restaurant.
The menu is really small and focused on Sausage and schnitzel. We started with a potato salad that needs big improvement in my opinion. The sausage platter was really nice accompanied by 3 different types of rare Austrian mustards.
The schnitzel plateau was also nice but nothing you never tried before. I suggested to Pete that he should try to bring more uncommon dishes of the Austrian cuisine like my beloved Grostl.  Last but not least we tried the amazing desert called Kaisersmarrn which is a light, caramelized pancake made from a sweet batter using flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and milk, baked in butter. Traditionally, Kaiserschmarrn is accompanied with Zwetschkenröster, a fruit compote made out of Plums.
The owner of Servus is a really nice guy named Pete who felt in love with a Greek lady and moved to Greece. In the end we had a small chat and I believe he has the potential to make this a really nice spot for the lovers of beer and Austria.
find more info at www.servus.gr

Παρασκευή, 31 Μαΐου 2013

The best is yet to come!



This post is different then the others as i want to draw a line from here and look for new challenges. Reaching the tough age of 35 and looking back to what I have done in my life i can certainly say that I am proud of what I have achieved so far. First of all the 7 amazing releases we created with friends and help me write my own part in the history of heavy/epic metal music. In these albums we had as guests 3 of my childhood heroes such as Kenny Powell, Mark Shelton and Paul Kratky.
so here is  my discography so far...
Battleroar
2002
Dragonship (Single)

2003

2005

2008

Dexter ward
2010

2011

2013


Then comes the part of the bands i shared the stage with, which was something that wasn’t even part of my wildest dreams. Need to mention a few…
Manowar, manilla road, Brocas Helm, omen, warlord, virgin steele, Helstar, Titan force, Jag panzer, doomsword, crimson glory, amon amarth, edguy and the list goes on...
2 mini european tours, one with each band, standing on our feet and not as a support band. I played numerous gigs and festivals in countries like Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and France. Every gig I played has a special place in my heart no matter if it was for 50 or 2000 people, if I had to choose though few gigs as the highlight of my “career” these would be supporting manowar and warlord in Athens plus 2 german festivals, anniversary keep it true X and Headbangers open air in 2004.





The whole touring situation matched perfectly my other passion, Travel around the world.
Travelling for me is what charges my batteries and gives me strength to fight everyday in this shithole I live. Countries i have visited so far are USA, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Belgium, Germany, Demark, Slovenia and Turkey and more then 500 cities. If I had to make a top ten of the cities, villages I seen so far it would
Brand, Austria
Santorini, Greece
Paris, France
Venice, Italy
Salzburg, Austria
Bruges, Belgium
Hallstaat, Austria
Rothenburg, Germany
Lugano, Switzerland
Monte Carlo, Monaco.


Another highlight of my life, as a promoter this time, is up the hammers festival which I organize since 2006. Up the hammers is an underground heavy metal festival which takes place in Athens, Greece (twice a year since 2011). To name a few of the bands that have performed there, manilla road, omen, virgin steele, Titan force, doomsword, crimson glory, skyclad, savage grace, pagan altar, powervice, metal inquisitor, holy martyr, ostrogoth, shok paris, dark quarterer, slauter xstroyes, paradox, witchfynde, praying mantis, marauder, enforcer, in solitude, skull fist, adramelch, crystal viper, crush, sarissa, ereb altor plus many more.
The festival has the perfect balance between newcomers and legendary bands and many bands became way bigger after their appearance in the ranks of the festival since the festival has been established as one of the best festivals in Europe for its kind.


The part of wine and food came later as a passion in my life and is getting bigger day by day but I will not analyze this as this is what this blog is about.

Κυριακή, 27 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Italian cuisine, thoughts and recipes.


The previous week due to some personal reason I had lunch out of my house 2 days in a row. Since I was near the north suburbs of Athens I decided to visit 2 wine restaurants I always wanted to try nearby. I am not going to go for a full review since I tried only 1 dish out each restaurant but you will get the point.
First one was Whispers of wine in which I had a nice Orange sauce Salmon filet with a fairly priced glass of Chilean Sauvignon blanc. It was a really small nicely decorated wine restaurant in which I will certainly return one day to taste more dishes. The main reason for my post is Dal professore, from which I was totally disappointed. First of all when you have such a small wine list you can’t be missing my first 3 choices! The waiter was keep coming back telling me that they run out of this wine while the list had only one rose and even this was sold out! On the other hand someone needs to explain me why the prices are so ridiculous for the daily food of Italians in Greece. For some strange reason Italian cuisine is considered luxury. You can’t set the price for an average pizza over 15 euros!!!
 Salmon Fillet at Whispers of wine
pizza at "Dal Professore"

That being said I decided to prepare an Italian dinner on my own this Saturday and give you the recipes because restaurants need to understand that they should offer something better then what you can cook at home in these days. The menu was
Linguini with Hazelnut Pesto wine: Tenuta Cocci Grifoni 100% Passerina
And
Pizza Margherita wine: Villa di Monte Chianti

Both dishes ended up good and if you follow the recipes you will see yourself it is very easy to prepare something really tasty at home. The wines in the dinner was a white from 100% Passerina which is mainly planted in Piceno and matched nicely the pasta. The "Pizza" wine was a chianti from Villa di monte which was simply amazing! Sagniovese at its best!

Linguini with Hazelnut Pesto
400 gr Linguini De Cecco
80 gr Grated parmigiano Reggiano
100 gr Hazelnuts
100 gr extra virgin olive oil
Few fresh estragon leaves
2 toast breads soaked in milk
Few flakes of smoked salt
Lime pepper

Boil the Linguini for 8 minutes in salted water. In the meantime put in the blender 70 gr of hazelnut plus all the other ingredients and blend until you get a creamy sauce.
Keep a spoon from the water that you boiled the pasta, put it in the pot together with the sauce and the linguini and mix it. Serve with some extra grated parmesan, the remaining hazelnuts and a couple leaves of estragon for décor.

Pizza Margherita (2 pieces)

Pizza dough:
4 cups of flour
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 yeast sachets
1 ½ cup of lukewarm water
2 t.s sugar
1 t.s salt

Topping:
1 Barilla napoletana sauce
250 gr mozzarella di bufalla
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt

We mix the yeast sachets with the sugar in a bowl, add ½ cup of lukewarm water and leave it for 5 minutes. We add the flour, salt, remaining water, ¼ cup of Olive and kneed well until the dough doesn’t stick in our hands (we add flour if needed).
We put the remaining olive oil, cover the bowl with a towel and leave it for one hour in a warm place. We kneed well again separate the dough in 2 pieces and cover the bowl again with the towel for 30 more minutes. 

Σάββατο, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Sale & Pepe, North Italian culinary ambassador


Sale & pepe is the Italian restaurant of sommelier Ivan Ottaviani at the area of kolonaki in the center of Athens. Located by the hills of Lycabetus in a very narrow alley this is certainly a restaurant that you need to search a lot to find it. My first good impression was the beautiful decoration which travels you to south tirol in the borders of Italy and Austria. Wooden walls, chairs and tables with a mix of style between a typical North Italian trattoria and Austrian stuba. Second good impression was the wine list, the biggest I have ever seen! The list had at least 100 pages and it was mainly focused in the old world with prices starting from 25 Euros a bottle and ending to chateau petrus… The Greek vineyard was represented by all regions and there were also options from older vintages. Thumps up also for the amazing wine glasses as they are an important part when you want be a considered a serious wine restaurant.  The only reason not to give a 10 of out 10 in this wine list is the prices which I believe should be reconsidered. I decided to go with an Italian wine as I strongly believe in the regional match of wine and food.  The wine was a 2009 Fattoria Zerbina Ceregio Sagniovese and It was love at first smell! Color was ruby red while the nose was full of wild berry. The tannins were pleasingly dry, as much as I like them to be, despite the young age of the wine and finish was long.
Mr Ottaviani kindly offered us some Pumpkin gnocchi while we waited for the first course which was a fennel soufflé that I enjoyed very much.  My main course was an Arrosto made of Chianina beef. Chianina is an Italian breed of cattle and it is used for the famous bisteca alla fiorentina. The meat was cut and grilled in very thick slices but it was a bit more cooked then I wanted it. The chocolate fondant with orange sorbet was the prefect way to end this dinner.
What I should mention in the first place is that we used a coupon for 50% discount on the dishes which in the end brought a very reasonable amount of the money to pay. The standard menu prices though come from another period of Greece before crisis. I can accept such prices for a restaurant that has something new to offer but sale & pepe is a typical north |Italian trattoria and that’s how they should charge the customers. Mr Ottaviani who is a real gentleman should think twice about the prices if he wants to have more then 3 tables on a Saturday night.

Cuisine: 6/10
Wine List: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 10/10






Δευτέρα, 7 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Vezene = Gastronomic paradise


As far as gastronomy is concerned 2013 started  the perfect way for me. Lately I was reading more and more articles about a restaurant that among other things serves wagyu beef. Wagyu (literally Japanese cow) refers to several breeds of cattle, the most famous of which is genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. The meat from such wagyu cattle is known for its marbling characteristics and quality, and commands a high price. In several areas of Japan, beef is shipped with area names. Some examples are Kobe, Mishima, Matsusaka, Ōmi, and Sanda beef. Being my self a huge cattle meat fan it was a matter of time before I book a table there and try this breed.
I called 2 days before the day we wanted to go and the restaurant was already booked for the early shift. We managed to get a table at 22:30, which lately I try to avoid as I am having issues to digest. I was eagerly waiting for my date with Wagyu though that i decided to put aside this fact. When we arrived the first thing that i immediately appreciated was the big sized table as the size of it is a big factor for me to enjoy my dinner. The menu is small but has lots of different types of food that can please almost everyone. The wine list on the other hand, from my point of view, lucks choices up to 40 euro. With Greek winemakers dropping so rapidly their prices due to the crisis i expected more choices at the area of 25 to 40 euro a bottle.
Anyway the main attraction was the food there so let’s start with it. I tried 3 different dishes. The truffle fries was potato chips fried in truffle oil with parmesan on top and the result was astonishing. Pizza Margherita with cherry tomatoes and rucola was simply the best pizza I have eaten in Greece and way better then many I had in Italy the past years. The materials were top quality and the dough was crispy and perfectly thick. For the end I kept the best of course. Wagyu flat iron steak medium rare cooked is the best dish I ever had in my life! Sometimes you realize how difficult it is to describe something with words, every bite was like heaven. The meat was perfectly grilled, it was juicy and almost melting inside my mouth like butter, while the taste of the meat itself defines for me perfection. Now i just can’t wait for the next time i will be there to try more dishes, Vezene is the best restaurant in Athens and they just made a new loyal customer.
Cuisine: 9/10
Wine List: 6/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7/10

more info: www.vezene.gr





Ιntroduction

Here i am, finally making a blog about the things i love more in life. "Eyzwisths" is a Greek word meaning someone who loves to have a good life. What makes life good? In my occassion it is Food, wine and Travelling. I would like to share with you my cookings, the restaurants i dined in and impressed me or dissapointed me, wines i loved and last but not least places i visited around the globe worth checking out. 
Stay tuned and always remember... Life is short to drink bad wine