At the entrance, a group of tourists were listening attentively to their guide. In the shop, a few girls were browsing through publications and picking out replicas of figurines and jewelry. Initially, I thought this may not be the right environment for a light lunch, but as soon as we entered the Cycladic Café, we were immediately enamored by the wave-like ceiling “floating” above a space filled with bright, natural light. So, without further ado, we sat at one of the tables.
The café-restaurant of the Museum of Cycladic Art in the center of Athens is indeed impressive in its new form. The makeover by Kois Associated Architects has clearly been influenced by Early Cycladic culture, as evidenced by the very attractive marble benches and crisp, clean lines of the interior design, while the tall plants create the impression of an oasis. The menu features Greek cuisine, with finest quality ingredients and a philosophy of simplicity in terms of flavors and presentation.
We tried two absolutely delicious salads, one green with organic quinoa and smoked salmon, the other with roasted vegetables, myzithra cheese and Santorini fava. For the main course we chose the twisted pasta topped with tomato and basil sauce, both light and refreshing, ideal for lunch; and the equally light veal souvlaki with Naxos fried potatoes and a yogurt sauce with thinly sliced baby cucumber. And because details are extremely important, I should not omit to mention the polite welcome with a small glass of red pumpkin soup, or the small basket in which different types of oven-fresh breads arrived at the table. The new-look Cycladic Café is indeed a very beautiful oasis of relaxation in the heart of the city, and a visit can of course be combined with a tour of the museum’s intriguing exhibits.