Eats in Greece: Part IV, Mykonos

For the last leg of our trip, we headed to Mykonos via ferry from Santorini. With only 4 nights left, it was so sad to think that we were well over halfway done with our trip! Of course, that meant we had to make the most of our eats and eat plenty more good food while there was still time 🙂

The boat ride was a little longer than expected and a little bumpy, but the best part was that we made some good friends! Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but we both enjoy spending time with other people too so it was nice make a connection… more on that later!

When we finally arrived and checked in at our hotel in Ornos Bay, it was late afternoon and we were famished. After settling in, we immediately left to find something to eat. We sat down at yet another Greek taverna, right on the beach. Here, we shared a plate of roasted eggplant with feta. So delicious! There was plenty of gooey caramelized onions and garlic smooshed in there too. I will never tire of eggplant 🙂

And we split yet another gyro plate. Can’t go wrong!

For dinner, we met up with our new friends, Raina and Gagan! We headed over to their hotel for a fun happy hour filled with good drinks and dancing around the pool, then wandered into town to find something delish. The owner of their hotel had provided a list of her favorite places, and I had circled some of my top picks in Frommer’s, so we figured if we could find something that overlapped, we’d be golden. The little streets in Mykonos town comprise a big maze, so with little rhyme or reason it’s a good thing we stumbled upon Avra. The garden-style restaurant is gorgeous, and so is the food. First, we shared the fried feta, a large slab crusted in sesame seeds and served with grapes and rose petal jelly. Wonderful! We all really enjoyed it.

Ben and I shared a huge entree-sized salad, their specialty. What was in it? The better question is, what wasn’t in it?! Huge and towering and dressed with something sweet and sesame-y, it reminded me a bit of the Luau salad at the Cheesecake Factory. There were tons of veggies, along with avocado, huge sheets of shaved parmesan, and figs. A winning combo, for sure.

We had this along with the beef in lemon sauce, a traditional Greek dish. We really wanted the stuffed lamb, but they were all out of it. The beef was flavorful and tender, but I think we both still would have preferred the lamb. Oh well!

  Gagan went for the chicken stuffed with cheese, vegetables and apricots. We heard great reviews 🙂

 And Raina chose this beautifully presented chicken risotto, with plenty of fresh dill!

After dinner we all headed out to check out the infamous club scene that Mykonos is home for, shaking our booties at the Skandinavian bar. And shaking our heads at some standouts in the very eclectic, very mixed crowd 😉

The next morning, we barely made it to breakfast (it ran till 11am in our hotel.) Surprise, I ate more Greek yogurt. And this time along with some toast topped with feta, smoked salmon and sauteed mushrooms. 

My habits are rubbing off on Ben, because he insisted on taking some pictures of his plate too. The way I am about Greek yogurt, Ben was about sliced meats and cheeses for breakfast, every day. I guess we’d fit in quite well as Europeans.

Loved the coffee service here – individual little pots, so cute!

I left a few bites on my plate and then went for some brekkie dessert. Every day before this one, I tried to be really “good” at breakfast but today I really felt like trying some sweets – a crepe with nutella and strawberries and a slice of apple tart. Ben and I each took a couple bites of each, but that was enough! All of a sudden, my tummy wasn’t too happy with last night’s drink choices and having a dessert so early in the day. Whoops. I needed to stop.

I wasn’t too hungry in the afternoon, but we knew we’d need something to hold us over until dinner. Remember, in Greece you don’t even think about eating before 10pm 😉 So we decided to keep our  (late afternoon) lunch really light. In fact, I even told the waiter not to bring bread. That was a first! We wandered to another beach-side restaurant and shared some fresh goat cheese rolled in pepper and cardamom and served with honey. There were also some bitter but delicious greens on the plate which were a great compliment to the tangy cheese and sweet honey. I don’t know if they were meant for just garnish, but I ate them all up 🙂

We also ordered the grilled calamari. Both of us have only ever had fried calamari, and we’re not huge fans of fried food so we were eager to try it grilled. It was served with a pile of colorful roasted vegetables. We liked it a lot – though I think I prefer the grilled octopus from the other day.The calamari was a little tougher, but I still enjoyed it because it was just the right balance of light and tasty I was looking for at the time.

For dinner, we decided to rent an ATV and head over to N’ammos at Psarous beach for dinner. All the press will have you believe this is the place to see and be seen. Frommer’s states, “Wealthy Athenians stop by Mykonos just to have lunch here and taste the incredible lobster-pumpkin risotto.” If you know me, this was enough to get me there!

The restaurant was certainly swank, and hard to find (at least when you’re on an ATV in unfamiliar territory in the dark.) But we made it, eventually. Being really late in the evening (I think we arrived between 10:30 and 11) and still early for tourist season, however, there were just a few other tables seated. We ordered a bottle of syrah and started off with some bread, as usual! It was served warm and toasty with a sundried tomato spread and a garlic paste. 

We hadn’t yet eaten enough haloumi on this trip, so we ordered the grilled haloumi, served with a fresh and colorful vegetable salad and crispy wonton chips.

And another Frommer’s recommendation – the spicy Mykonian meatballs. I wasn’t expecting such a huge order! They were spiked with mint and very delicious, though I think they would be enhanced by some kind of sweet sauce. I dipped a few bites in the sundried tomato spread. We didn’t finish them all, nor the fries, making sure to leave plenty of room for the entrees.

For main courses we picked the mussels saganaki, sauteed in a tomato wine sauce with fresh feta. We needed some extra bread to soak up all the yummy sauce, good thing we saved some room! (As a side note, our waiter sauce us still working from the initial plate of bread, and refused to let us eat any more of it, bringing a fresh plate instead. Every place in Greece seems to charge for bread even though they bring it immediately, which is kind of a bummer, but fortunately they didn’t charge us twice when bringing the second plate, without us asking. I was a little afraid of that!)

Finally, the main event, what we showed up for. Let me just say that despite being one of the finest restaurants in Mykonos, we felt that everything else we ordered was reasonably priced, but this dish was by far the most expensive plate from our whole trip, ringing in at 45 euros. (I’ll let you do the math.) But such is life, and on vacation, we planned to splurge a little extra on one really good meal. And it was! Despite the fact that I felt like I could be eating this anywhere, any time of year (since it’s not a traditional Greek dish) we both really loved it – tender, sweet seafood and my favorite vegetable of all time swirled into creamy risotto – yum! It wasn’t too heavy either, perfect for summer.

With our check we were treated to a shot of mastic, a sweet Greek liquor. A perfect way to end the meal!

Stay tuned for one more update, the last of our Mykonos delights!

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5 Responses to “Eats in Greece: Part IV, Mykonos”

  1. 1

    Kerstin — June 19, 2010 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    I wish I had some of those mussels and grilled calamari right now – everything looks amazing. Glad you had such a great trip!

  2. 2

    Lizzy — June 20, 2010 @ 1:45 pm Reply

    Every dish you posted looks amazing. I want to go back to Mykonos! Dave (my hub) is still having dreams about the olives!

  3. 3

    grace — June 20, 2010 @ 11:25 pm Reply

    eggplant, gyros, and haloumi in excess–does it get any better? 🙂

  4. 4

    grace — April 5, 2011 @ 1:15 am Reply

    eggplant, gyros, and haloumi in excess–does it get any better? 🙂

  5. 5

    Kerstin — April 5, 2011 @ 1:15 am Reply

    I wish I had some of those mussels and grilled calamari right now – everything looks amazing. Glad you had such a great trip!

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