Restaurant Review: Casual Gourmet in Tėchnē on Hydra

Dine differently at a nearby Aegean island before the summer ends


The type of food served at Tėchnē is not what you’ll usually find on an island like Hydra. In hipster-speak, I’d characterize it as “casual gourmet”. In plainer terms: the dishes are delicate, beautifully served (perhaps with the exception of the French fries, which are presented in metal cones – modern but not very pleasing to the eye), and above all tasty. The menu contains some of the dishes from last year (when the restaurant first opened), and a few new additions. For example: the fries, which are fried three times, crisp and delicious. The breaded zucchini patties are made with chunks of al dente zucchini and finely chopped halloumi cheese mixed into the batter, adding unique flavor. Then there’s the grilled manouri cheese with fresh plum and walnuts (what a perfect pairing!). Also extraordinary are the grilled shrimp with pork belly, sweet paprika, and pickled onions. A sweet, sour, and spicy combination of ingredients from earth and sea.

For our first main we tried the “skioufichta”; pasta from Crete served with tomato sauce, zucchini, olives, and herbs. Two things really stand out: the fresh tomato garnish, and the light and crumbly anthotiro cheese cured in salt. The modernized version of pastichio, (aka “Greek lasagna”) with cannelloni, slow-cooked beef in place of the minced meat, and light béchamel with graviera cheese is a tasty, exuberant, but balanced dish. Less accomplished is the grilled squid served with truffle and cauliflower risotto. While the squid is good, it doesn’t pair well with the over-the-top, thick, creamy, and rather wintery risotto with its overpowering truffle oil. The finely chopped chorizo doesn’t help matters.

The best plate on the menu is the lamb, cooked in two ways; pink lamb chops, and lean, slow-roasted lamb shoulder. Bulgur with basil, aubergine puree, and little artichokes (slightly pickled) add freshness to the plate. The drinks menu includes nice Greek wines, beers, and refined cocktails. The restaurant is attractive. The garden space over several levels, leading down to the seaside street towards Kamini, has a view  of the Saronic Gulf, lit only by the stars or the lights of the boats. Across the sea is Argolida. In the day, when looking down from the concrete deck, you’ll see Avlakiou beach just below.

INFO

Tėchnē, Avlaki, Hydra, Tel. +30 22980.52500. Price range: about 27-30€/person (excluding wine).


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