I recently visited Botrini’s Restaurant in a suburb of Athens, Greece.
Hector Botrini is one of the best chefs in Greece today. One might call him controversial, as he has followed the “Kitchen Nightmares” trail of Chef Ramsey’s TV show, hosting the Greek version of the show.
But cooking is cooking, regardless of how much you like the personality of the chef. So lets get to the real thing.
Botrini’s Athens restaurant opened in the summer of 2011.
As expected, the menu is short, and is divided in two parts. The “a la carte” and the “set menu” part.
My companion and I both had the set BOE menu.
It all started with a Mediterranean “map on a tray” with the amuse buche. Nice presentation and a fun way to start the meal.
The star of the tray was the anchovy and (sweet) red pepper terrine. This was an exercise in balance. The sweet pepper, balancing the sour anchovy. In my view the result was perfect. I would love to see this terrine as a first course.
Close second the “olive”, accompanied by cheese and pastry concoctions.
First: Coppa (capicollo) with melon and shrimp grilled on a metal plate (a la planca). The shrimp is hidden under the cone of coppa, sliced very thin. Wonderful combination of surf and turf, with the icy melon bringing you down to earth.
First: Corfu Fritura with feta cheese snow flakes and stuffed sardine. The inverted fragment of a cone on the left side is a “sponge” that has absorbed tomato juice. The ball to its right is made of “lavrak(i)”, or Mediterranean seabass, next to it is a shrimp, and then there is another ball of seabass, and two pieces of squid. You cannot see the stuffed sardine. On the right side you can see the “snow flakes” made of feta cheese. Overall, a tasty dish. I would have preferred to have less seabass and more stuffed sardines.
Second: Bio Chicken. Cooked on a metal plate, deskinned, the bio chicken was juicy and tasty.
Second: Goat served with sea garlic cream, on a bed of koum kouat and sweet and sour “Mavrodafni” sauce. I particularly enjoyed the goat. Perfectly cooked, tender and moist.
I would like to make a special mention to the somelier of the restaurant, who served excellent greek wines from producers who have small volumes and therefore are not available in the retail stores. And the wine was included in the price of the set menu!
Although the restaurant was busy on a Friday night, the service was excellent.
Overall, great value for money, the complete dinner for two costs less than a meal in an ordinary fish taverna.
I will definitely visit Botrini’s restaurant again!