Tucked away in a cosmic suburb north of Athens, Vardis is one of the best restaurants in Greece.
Housed in a classically decorated hotel, Vardis restaurant impresses on the guests with its traditionally glamorous and luxurious ambience. The considerably small dining room fills up with heavy, wooden tables, well dressed with white tablecloths, baroque style chairs and heavy, long drapes in earthy dark green and brown colours. The brilliant chandeliers shed subtle light on the pale coloured walls and complete the chic feeling you get as soon as you enter the hotel’s lobby. None the less, some decorative slips ruin the glam such as the black, grand piano, which makes the finite room look even sultrier, but creates the right ambience for a romantic dinner.
Vardis serves an inspiring Mediterranean cuisine based on French tradition and techniques. Although the last three years restaurant’s performance had wavered, Vardis’ new Head Chef Dimitris Kokkalidis is fairly adequate and talented to hold the standards. The Chef Dimitris gets his inspiration from the rich French cuisine, uses Greek produces and serves an elaborate meal technically par, infused with Greek aromas, as the lobster served with masticha flavoured orange sauce indicates. Although there is an apparent problem in sourcing the raw materials, after all it is a French friendly restaurant that serves frozen foie gras and quail, the refined and well balanced result on your plate is of a high standard.
The professional service will make your dinner experience even more satisfying and the abundance of wine choices from Greece, France, Italy or the New World will accompany your dishes the best way possible. And if you think it is difficult to choose a wine from the renewed multipage wine menu the Restaurant Manager, Giorgos Chatzis, will discretely assist you. In addition, apart from the à la carte choices the talented manager has a daily proposition of famous, international wines along with less well known but quality Greek ones, which are served by the glass.
And as for desserts the light carrot tart served with a honey sauce with Szechuan pepper and a smooth and soft caramel ice cream was among our favourite dishes. The playful star anise lollipop kept us busy releasing Greek aromas and flavours long after we had finished our meal.
Although Vardis’ team struggles to defend its top position it seems that it holds good so far. Apart from a few misses and problems in the technique, for example the sous vide lamb has not been as tender and juicy as it should, the overall experience is usually satisfying.
Written by Lazaros