Summer is a time many people take vacations. In the restaurant industry, a break from work is needed once and a while to keep your mind and body fresh. Denise took a vacation to Greece with her partner at the end of June and it was exactly what she needed.
They flew into Athens and then traveled to Cyprus, where they stayed at a beautiful resort over looking the ocean with olive vines all around them. This is where she shut her brain off and just simply relaxed and enjoyed the weather, the food, and the view.
After a few days they packed up and hit the road on a mission to explore as much of the country as possible. First stop, back to Athens. She was completely amazed by the Parthenon temple on Acropolis at Athens. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos, or Athena the Virgin, it was completed in 438 BC. It’s crazy to wrap your head around how told this building is. Below the Acropolis is the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, built by the Romans in 161 AD. The historic ruins are still used today for concerts, ballet and other performances.
After exploring Athens they traveled a bit more through other towns and cities, exploring this ancient and beautiful country. They stopped in Meteora to see the monasteries built onto and into the cliffs of this city. 24 monasteries in total were built in the 14th century as a hiding place from the Turkish invasion. Today, six of the grand houses of the holy remain.
The last leg of the trip was the beautiful island of Santorini. The stark, white architecture, the extraordinary sunsets, the incredible food, Santoriniwas Denise’s favorite part of the trip. She and her partner signed up for a cooking class here. Denise thought it would be fun to pretend that she wasn’t a chef and experience the class in a new way. They made an learned about traditional Greek cuisine. They viewed the extensive process of drying fresh tomatoes, learned about the big exports of the city including fava beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and wine. They learned about how the island’s delicious olive oil producers only sell locally because Italy has the claim on the big export of olive oil. After a few minutes of the cooking portion of this class, the teachers soon caught on that Denise knew what she was doing. They made a fabulous lunch and enjoyed it with new friends.
Denise brought back so many stories and experiences with her and got right back to the kitchen to translate those in to her cooking. Our new menu items are sprinkled with Greek influence for these warm summer months. The feta cheese, cucumber, Kalamata olives, and oregano salad on the Barramundi make this dish so light and refreshing. A perfect compliment to the white, flaky fish and a fabulous choice for dinner when it’s too hot for anything. The Charred Burrata Small plate has a wonderful burnt eggplant + tahini smash with a cucumber raita, inspired by tzatziki they made during the class. Black mustard seeds and pickled currants with fried kale are also a welcome addition to the plate. You'll be asking for our corn and fennel seed flat bread to soak up every last bite of this small plate.
There's a Greek word that we think is very fitting of Denise and who she is as a chef. That word is meraki. Greeks often use this word to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself (your soul, creativity, or love) in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it. Denise puts her whole heart, mind, and soul into her work and takes experiences to influence her cooking.
As you know, our menu items change frequently, so be sure to make your reservations soon and enjoy these Greek inspired items. See you soon!