Santorini – A Little Slice of Heaven
I went on the most amazing trip of my life to the Greek Islands for a birthday celebration with my girlfriends. We flew into Mykonos, then into Santorini and topped it off with a 2 day excursion to Athens. Not only is Greece the most beautiful place known to mankind, but one of the most amazing destinations for food-obsessed types such as myself with its fresh, healthy and delicious cooking.
These ancient Mediterranean islands are so beautiful they almost seem surreal; as they look in the paintings you would imagine: vibrant hues of white and blue, pastel houses lining the sea that resemble a box of Jordan almonds: pink, yellow, white, green and blue. The sunlight sparkling on the ocean, and sunsets so brilliant you’ll never be the same once you experience the radiance and warmth of them as they light up the entire sea. My favorite place of all was Santorini, truly a slice of heaven on earth.
My friends and I took a day trip to Oia (pronounced ee-ya) which is the most beautiful place to experience shopping, dining, and of course the magnificent sunsets from the highest point of the island, overlooking the volcanic implosion in the sea. We started our adventure in this quaint little island town, through the stone streets and alleyways for sightseeing and shopping, but soon bee-lined straight to an amazing restaurant overlooking the sea to experience the sunset accompanied by a few bottles of local Santorini wine, and eat our hearts out with some delicious Greek food.
The restaurant we went to was called Pelikanos, a quaint little place with a covered roof deck, angelic music playing in the background, vibrant red and pink flowers planted in ancient pottery urns lining the spiral staircase to the roof, and a gorgeous waiter that served us as if we were the only people dining in the entire restaurant. The view had the sea and sunset on one side, the moon and a statuesque Greek temple on the other. The brilliant red sun slowly diminished into the horizon as the sky lit up into a purple, red and orange palette that took my breath away!
We started out our meal as per usual, with our Greek staple appetizers: tzaziki (thick and creamy Greek yoghurt dip with cucumber, dill and garlic), hummous (thick and delicious mashed chickpeas, garlic and lemon dip), stuffed vine leaves, grilled pita bread and Bessara, a fava bean dip (mashed fava beans, olive oil and lemon, almonds and mint pureed into a tasty, bright green bowl of goodness) and Insalata Caprese – Mozzarella and Tomato Salad with fresh pesto and balsamic reduction. All topped off with a crisp, white wine to start our feast.
For the main course, I ordered a flaky Sea Bream (a la Spetsiota) sautéed with wine, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs (parsley and oregano), accompanied by a side of roasted beets and pesto green beans, and a Greek Country salad (Horiatiki Salata) with enormous purple kalamata olives, tangy, crumbly feta, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers (no lettuce!), all tossed in a light olive oil and vinegar dressing with fresh herbs. The entire dish was so light and tasty and full of flavor that I couldn’t put my fork down for even a second! I was so immersed in the flavor explosion in my mouth that I didn’t even notice the absolutely gorgeous wild mushroom risotto my friend ordered next to me. OK, here we go.
The risotto was thick and creamy, with a beautiful rich texture and perfect chewy bite. The fresh buttery porcini mushrooms were sautéed and sprinkled on top and throughout the rice, which was covered in a gorgeous mushroom wine cream sauce that had a velvety consistency to die for. The flavors intermingled beautifully, as the chewy texture of the rice, balanced by the silky smooth cream sauce and flavorful, juicy mushrooms melted in my mouth. From that moment on, my life changed. Game over. It was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted in my entire life.
If you have ever thought about going to the Greek Islands, I highly recommend Santorini and the quaint town of Oia, and this amazing restaurant. The view, the fresh sea air, the sun, the moon and the sky will blow you away. The wild mushroom risotto? It will change your life forever. Opa!