Restaurant in Athens
2 Michelin-Star Modern Greek Restaurant
Hidden up on the top floor of a tower in Central Athens sits Hytra, a Michelin-starred new age Greek restaurant, bringing typical ingredients and traditions into the 21st century, with an added dash of flair and panache.
Inside, the décor reflects the cuisine – sleek and design conscious, with panoramic glass windows, muted tones and futuristic-like sculptures of golden balls hanging from the ceiling. After visiting the Acropolis that morning, I certainly didn’t feel like I was in ancient Athens any more. Aside from the interior design, the best part was the view of the lit-up ancient Parthenon from my table.
Hytra (meaning Greek pot or vase) opened in 2004 and since then has remained at the top of the Athens food scene, being awarded its first Michelin star in 2010 and its second soon afterwards in 2012. Head Chef Tassos Mantis creates avant-garde Greek cuisine, using the freshest Mediterranean produce and simple Greek flavours, combined to create beautiful and elegant dishes.
The tasting menu – which included interesting interludes such as aubergine sorbet wrapped in a sorrel leaf – began with the Chef’s Garden, a vibrant and colourful salad made from fresh Greek vegetables, edible flowers and herbs.
Next came the squid – displayed just as pleasingly as the salad (almost like a work of art), served with cubes of baked potato, salicorn, sweet fennel and smudges of squid ink mayonnaise. The interesting and unique mix of flavours complemented each other perfectly.
For the next course, I was presented with what was called the Rooster – a chicken liver parfait served with creamedceleriac and mushrooms. Everything was presented with perfection, right down to the homemade bread, served with a small pot of olive oil, a sprig of thyme to brush it on and pinch of Greek sea salt. Each little palette cleanser, amuse-bouche or accompaniment was more interesting and more inventive than the last.
For dessert – Chef Mantis went classic Greek with a twist – serving up traditional thick yoghurt, drizzled with chamomile infused honey, walnuts and bee pollen. It was a pleasingly light dessert, designed to show off traditional Greek cuisine instead of something overindulgent and sickly sweet.
I was impressed to discover that the chef also prepares an equally delicious tasting menu suitable for vegetarians, but be sure to let them know you want this when you book.
As expected the service was flawless and staff were always on hand to suggest wine pairings or answer any questions I had about the menu. It was the perfect place to dine on gourmet modern Greek cuisine, paired with the timelessly classic Athenian view of the Parthenon.
Esme Fox is a freelance travel writer who is based in Spain
Photographs courtesy of Hytra
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Need to book||Yes|
|Clientele||Locals, couples and friends|
|Restaurant good for||Couples, Romance, Bar scene, Meeting up with friends, Outdoor seating, Scenic view|
|Cost per head||Expensive|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual|
Sleek and stylish with faultless service.
Mains range from €58 - €71.
Last updated on 14-06-2016