Etrusco – traditionally contemporary
Situated near a small village in Corfu, remote from any crowded, tourist spot, Etrusco restaurant is worthy of a special journey for one to taste the real potential of the traditional Greek-Corfiot cuisine seen in a contemporary molecular perspective. Corfiot-Italian chef-owner Ettore Bottrini continues cooking in the restaurant his father, Etrusco Bottrini, opened back in 1992. Studying in Switzerland, training and working with his father, also a chef, in many MED clubs all around the world, offered Ettore the necessary experience to take over the family restaurant. After continuous training in top rated restaurants in France and a series of molecular cuisine seminars in Spain over the last years, Ettore Bottrini was then capable to take the traditional Corfiot recipes a few steps further into the 21st century and to win some awards in doing so.
Ettore Bottrini's Etrusco has been awarded one of the best restaurants in Greece for the last 9 consecutive years and Bottrini himself has won the Greek award for the most creative chef of the year three times. Despite the fact that his cooking is inspired from the Mediterranean Sea, combining Spanish, Italian and Corfiot produce, he is experienced, open minded and talented enough to use top gourmet ingredients from all over the world. For example, the Peruvian bitter chocolate which is used in a balanced, mouthwatering and perfectly cooked ensemble, as is the smoked risotto with shrimps and the juicy, sourish white heart cherries.
The dining area is within a small courtyard, decorated in a sophisticated yet simple and cosy way where one can have dinner underneath the refreshing, green foliage. Throughout the evening, diners can watch Ettore Bottrini supervising his assistants through a large glass window looking into the kitchen.
Even though Ettore Bottrini is the Head Chef in the restaurant, he is still working with his father who makes exceptional traditional Italian cold cuts. The delicious and sweetish lardo, the savoury bresaola, served with high quality extra virgin olive oil and chive, the smoked pork cold cuts, the salami and the slightly smoked prosciutto are the best way to begin your meal.
The majority of the dishes are fish oriented although there are a few others with meat. But whatever dish one chooses, one can understand that Bottrini's culinary philosophy is inspired by nature with simple, straightforward and natural tastes creating a gourmet dining experience. Humble ingredients such as tomato, feta cheese, octopus and olives are transformed into gourmet, molecular creations. The finely cut octopus carpaccio with a fair meaty and gummy texture, filled with a herbaceous mayonnaise-like sauce, garnished with sea weeds and finished with exquisite, crunchy and airy chips made with the octopus juice brings the flavours of the sea to your plate. On the other hand, the feta cheese "snow" (a cold powder of "fully flavoured" feta cheese) with a sponge like bread, soaked with sweetish tomato vinaigrette and corfiot fritto misto, on top of a mild spicy sauce, or the crawfish in aromatic and crunchy orange crust with tomato water, cream from its coral and creamy and delicious sea urchin sorbet are indicative of his philosophy and his capability of transforming heterogeneous and inexpensive ingredients into balanced top cuisine ensembles.
Although many Greek chefs have tried to follow the Basque example of refining their traditional dishes and transforming them into top cuisine creations, only Etrusco's chef has succeeded so far, with the Corfiot traditional recipe for the fish dish "bourdeto" being the best example. A typical dish gets transformed into a fine, molecular experience with sea stones (potatoes coated with sweetish kaolin clay which adds an extra crunchy texture) and sour orange air on top of the perfectly cooked fish garnished with a slightly spicy sauce, as the tradition dictates. Beside the interesting food menu the wine options are far from inferior. With a wide choice from all over the world and a plethora of various Greek wines, Etrusco guarantees that one can find the perfect wine to accompany the food.
For the past two years, Bottrini, besides his culinary endeavours, has been appearing on television programmes, gaining vast recognition and has also recently opened a new restaurant in Athens. This decision provoked various reactions, with many journalists welcoming the new entry and the rest of them being worried that he would not be able to maintain the quality of his Corfiot restaurant.
Although Etrusco remains a first class dining option and a place to sample various contemporary Greek gourmet dishes with a splash of molecular magic, one can easily detect flaws, for example the menu is identical to last year's, which indicates a possible failure of Ettore Bottrini’s ability to manage all his new enterprises. Although it is apparent that he has great talent in the kitchen, he remains culinary stationary for the last two years not evolving his dishes, his techniques or his vision of Greek cuisine.
Etrusco scored 74 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
Phone: +30 26610 93342