Miracles for the Μouth: Fine Dining on Santorini

Santorini is a showcase for Greece’s high-end culinary scene; it’s where up-and-coming chefs and those at the top of their profession are creating dishes so amazing, they rival Santorini’s stunning views.


ALALI

In a particularly romantic setting beside the pool of Astarte Suites, one with a view over Oia that’s absolutely stunning at night when the village is in its nocturnal finery, renowned chef Adam Kontovas presents creative Mediterranean dishes made using famous Greek products such as avgotaracho (bottarga), Kozani saffron, yellow split peas and fresh chloro cheese. The chef’s special skills are evident in his unique and elegant combinations that add a special note to every meal. The cod with celery root, wild greens and sea urchin, or the lamb fricassée with sea lettuce and samphire, are the kinds of profoundly flavorful dishes that will leave you wanting to come back.

Info

Astarte Suites

Akrotiri

Tel. (+30) 22860.833.88

ALIOS ILIOS

Santorini and Crete’s shared culinary ancestry is the focus of the menu at the Santo Maris restaurant, a radiant space done in white, with wicker chairs and discreet gold details. The food here is traditional Greek, with a Cretan emphasis because this is where the hotel’s owners come from. Young chef Vassilis Katsikas proves just how elegant everyday comfort food can be, presenting elevated versions of classics like grouper “giouvarlakia,” balls of fish cooked in a sauce of fish broth, shrimps and saffron. His pasticchio is a sheet of pasta with small morsels of meat hidden inside, and he turns the classic moussaka into croquettes. The desserts are things of beauty; the baklava is made with pistachio paste, there’s a pear and thyme sorbet, and a chocolate caramel cream steals the show. The cocktails are equally creative, while the wine list of Cretan and other Greek labels presents carefully selected pairings.

Info

Santo Maris

Oia

Tel. (+30) 22860.710.00

BOTARGO

Follow the signposts and head uphill through Pyrgos’ maze of lanes and alleys to Botargo, at the top of the village, where you’re welcomed by the fragrant aroma of Mediterranean herbs at the entrance. Once the home of a local noblewoman called Margarita, the building dates to 1872, as does the fresco on the ceiling of what is now the bar. Jazz music accompanies your meal, which comes with a lovely view of Santorini’s less-photographed and greener side. The chef has created an a la carte menu where each dish is served with a different type of olive oil, in a bid to acquaint diners with a range of different varieties. By adding raw olive oil to his food, he succeeds in bringing out the organoleptic characteristics, like its bitter or fruity notes, that are lost when the oil is cooked. Both the bar and the kitchen open early in the day, serving brunch and lunch, together with classic cocktails and signature concoctions made with Greek spirits.

Info

Botargo

Pyrgos Kallistis

Tel. (+30) 22860.300.70

ELEMENTS

The natural materials and earthy colors that predominate at the Epitome hotel help guests feel comfortable and relaxed. Its restaurant, Elements, strives for the same atmosphere. It may also be the best spot on the island from which to watch the famed Oia sunset, far from the madding crowd. Choose a recliner or one of the low tables set around the pool, and sip on a cocktail as you say goodbye to the day. The bar, a central feature in the space, is the perfect place to start your evening. Kick off with one of its signature cocktails, like the Asia Crusta, made with whiskey and citrus fruits. Then move on to one of the wildly imaginative and exciting dishes created by Canaves Oia Resort Executive Chef Tasos Stefatos, who cooks international cuisine with Greek elements, all while keeping it fun and packed with flavor. Every table is supplied with fresh bread (made with eggplant leavening) and butter subtly flavored with onion. The Flying Burger is a sandwich of quail, red fruit chutney, goat’s cheese and amazing chips, while Figaro’s Wedding is a multifaceted dish with rice, spices and lobster mousse in a crunchy baguette shaped like a lobster claw. The wine list stars Santorinian selections with a few well-chosen domestic and international wines. Consider accompanying your meal with one of the lighter cocktails on the drinks list or to ask for pairing tips.

Info

Canaves Oia Epitome

Oia

Tel (+30) 22860.714.53

LA MAISON

Located beside Imerovigli’s Venetian tower, this restaurant has a rooftop dining area painted in warm colors, with plants and decorative details that give it an exotic feel. It’s also got views out over the volcano and Akrotiri to the south. In addition to its amazing location, the restaurant offers an easy-going yet lively atmosphere and nice music. In terms of the food, Dimos Samourakis and Vasilis Sdrougias have created a menu of creative international cuisine, with lots of Greek, Japanese and French ingredients and techniques. From the appetizers, we recommend the gazpacho (with basil ice cream, crunchy carob-flour bread and bonito flakes), which will cool you down and sharpen your appetite. From the entrees, the orange duck with miso, potato gnocchi, leeks and a broth made from the duck’s juices showcases the chefs’ knack for introducing a successful twist to a classic. There’s a six-course tasting menu that can include wine pairing as well. Santorini and other parts of Greece star on the wine list.

info

La maison

Imerovigli

Tel. (+30) 22860.256.49

NAOS

In an old mansion that has been given a luxurious makeover – including marble floors, an ornate ceiling and chandeliers – Naos gives all its guests a warm welcome. Start at the bar with a fusion cocktail like the Hokkaido Martini, made with gin and sake, or order your aperitif in the dining area on the rooftop so you can enjoy the sunset over Imerovigli and Firostefani, with views all the way to Akrotiri. Chef Spyros Agious presents a menu where the ingredients are the stars: mollusks, sea urchins and king crab prepared in all sorts of wonderful and creative ways. The black tagliolini with activated carbon, seaweed and rock samphire is a marvelous dish and perhaps one of the best on offer in Oia this year.

Info

Naos

Oia

Tel (+30) 22860.724.13

OVAC

The younger sibling of the renowned Mykonos restaurant, this establishment at Cavo Tagoo is a must for all luxury-seeking travelers to the island. Ovac is designed in inky tones to make it look like the inside of a volcano, though the sun provides plenty of natural light during the day. From its outside dining area, you’ll enjoy a view of Thirasia and, to the west, of Oia, while the food by chef Polychronis Damalas is a fine-dining fusion of Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. The tuna, for example, is served with Cretan spiny chicory, chili and garlic, while the fresh bass carpaccio is combined with sea urchin and passion fruit. The more gastro-casual lunch menu comprises a lot of fish and sophisticated sushi rolls. We recommend accompanying your meal with a cocktail or wrapping it up with a cocktail dessert, such as the Crema Catalana, made with vanilla vodka, orange liqueur and fresh cream.

Info

Cavo Tagoo

Imerovigli

Tel. (+30) 22860.289.00

PETRA

The award-winning Canaves Oia Resort offers an amazing gastronomic experience. The stylish restaurant Petra, located in the Canaves Suites pool area, looks straight out at Thirasia and over the small harbor of Armeni. Chef Vasilis Roussos, in cooperation with Canaves Resort’s executive chef, Tasos Stefatos, draws inspiration from the cuisine of the Greek islands to put forward elevated and sophisticated variations of traditional classics, such as the Hania meat pie, made with creamy Cretan cheese, or the Corfiot pastitsada, made with rabbit and a signature mixture of 14 spices. The wine list features 60 selections from Santorini, the rest of Greece and a few international wineries. Their signature cocktails are also an excellent food-pairing option. Don’t pass up the chance to be seated at the Panorama table – if it’s available.

Info

Petra

Canaves Oia

Tel. (+30) 22860.714.53

SELENE

Fava “Seabed,” Santorinian Tomato “Can” and “Black” Aegean Codfish: nothing is what it seems on the menu at Selene. The first gourmet restaurant on Santorini and, possibly, in all of the Cyclades, holds a distinct place at the forefront of Greek gastronomy. Its elegant dining room serves food poetry on a plate, dishes of such refined taste they have made Santorini a gourmet destination. Under the direction of owner Yiorgos Hatziyannakis and overseen by manager and sommelier Georgia Tsara, Selene has been serving dishes created with ingredients that sing of Santorini. This year, thanks to the imaginative chef Thodoris Papanikolaou, the plating is even more artistic than usual. The names of the dishes are not literal descriptions; they’re creative interpretations. The wine list is pure gold, consisting of 300 new and vintage Greek selections.

Info

Selene

Pyrgos Kallistis

Tel (+30) 22860.222.49


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