Monday, July 28, 2014

Eating in Greece - Argiris Fish Restaurant

Despite the Westin CN being such a wonderful place to relax as a family (or as a couple), we also wanted leave the resort to explore some of the nearby Greek villages and get a taste of their local cuisine.

We went both north to Marathapoli and south to Giavola and Pylos. You really can't go wrong either way as this region of Greece is such a stunning place that is really raw with natural beauty. We really hope that it stays this way, before the commercialized tourism machine takes over in the next 10 years.

Using a recommendation my father found on Flyertalk, we asked the hotel to make an 8PM reservation for us at Argiris, a local fish restaurant famous for their stunning sunset views. It was located in the village of Marathopoli about 9 miles up the main road.

Since we had never been to this town before, my father looked up the address for Argiris online. They have their own website, but it's not really that functional nor helpful. There was no street address listed. So when my father asked the hotel concierge, she smiled and told us to just find the main (only) pedestrian street and walk to the end. It was that simple. So left the Westin and drove along the small country road, passing miles of olive tree farms along the way.

Finally, the same road went right into the heart of tiny Marathapoli, and we drove past the central pedestrian street that led down towards the water. We found a place to park on the street around the corner, and casually walked down the deserted street.

Then at the end of the street, we finally saw the restaurant we were looking for, Argiris, just as it approached 7:55PM.

Despite it being prime dinner time and approaching sunset, the restaurant was exceptionally empty for a perfect summer night.

But that was a blessing for us. If I made a scene, no one's romantic sunset dinner would be affected.

My father ordered some local Greek items off the menu, but when it was time to select the fish, he had to go inside to check out what was fresh from the day's catch.

In typical fashion, my father over-ordered for us, but justified it saying that we were in Greece and that we should take advantage of the amazing cuisine there. We ordered an Argiris Salad, a haloumi/tomato starter, a grilled octopus, 2 small fried red mullets, and a 1kg of grilled fish. Note: half a kg is plenty for 2 adults.

Of course, since I wasn't as keen on trying new flavors, my parents ordered me a side of spaghetti with butter and cheese. It was delicious!

After the sun set over the horizon, we saw that more and more patrons started showing up for dinner as we were finishing ours. Then the owner (the son of the original proprietor) came out to introduce himself and talk with us. Given Americans weren't that common, he was more than happy to sit and chat with us. In addition to welcoming us to his home/restaurant, he played with me and introduced me to his own little girls.

Then as we got up to leave after paying the check, he thanked us for coming and told the server to get us a nice bottle of Greek metaxa as a welcome gift. And who said we should beware of Greeks bearing gifts?

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