Mykonos is a cosmopolitan island and offers a wide variety of choices looking for that island chic lifestyle. Beyond the beaches, the clubs, the stories that every rock has to say, the island offers a wide variety of gastronomic experiences from Asian to American cuisine. In conquest for the authentic Greek recipes, three restaurants definitely worth visiting are:
Bohemian Beach Restaurant
Panormos beach bar and restaurant, cited at Panormos bay, one of the few remaining golden sand beaches with clear waters and no umbrellas and a maître allocating sunbathing chairs. In the beach there are a few restaurants but this is the trademark. The restaurant has been just renovated under the new ownership of George Zaglaras, a flagship name in the island. The chief chef Dmitri Papadimitriou, runs his kitchen in pride and a 20 years experience while his long white hair, his glasses and smile makes you feel at home! The décor is simple but elegant while white color prevails everywhere and contrasts with potted plants and vases with minor orient touches. The restaurant is covered by a desert camouflage net and provides shade to the round white tables and the spread out cushions with low tables. The atmosphere is bohemian while the guest DJs play everything from lounge to Greek music depending on the crowds mood!
The menu includes from brunch to cocktails and in the must try list we note three dishes: the sauté mussels with fennel, dry onion dill and ouzo along; the octopus vinaigrette with arugula, dry onion and capers and rice pilaf from Kassos island with chicken breast, tomato, clarified butter and Greek yogurt. The crowd is upscale and connoisseurs, while still relaxed and unpretentious.
Mediterranean Mykonos Town restaurants for people watching:
Bakalo, in Lakka area of Mykonos Town
A traditional white washed Mykonian house of the 18th Century in Lakka, at the heart of Mykonos town. The owners of Bakalo, Nikos Nanou, Edigio Guerreri and Vicky Hatzidakis decided two years ago to blend in their backgrounds of journalism, psychology and law to create along with the chef Yiannis Gavalas a truly Greek bistro with home made recipes often found in our grandmothers’ secret books!
The décor is modern and skillfully plays with the house architecture of arches and courtyard gardens to offer various corners of superb warm style. The menu is Greek home made food and in the must try list we add: the marinated sardines with sea fennel, the roasted lamb shank with braised vegetables and the crispy pastry phyllo with walnuts, almonds and syrup. The staff is a polite and young with a talent to make you want to eat it all while they take you through the menu of the day!
Nautilus, off Matoyianni in Mykonos Town
In the heart of Mykonos Town, in a small alley just off the main street with the glamorous shops you can find the small contemporary restaurant of Nautilus. A prime spot for people watching at the center of the happenings. The restaurant blends in with the town architecture with white washed cubic structures and has limited tables both indoors and outdoors so best to book a table in advance.
The décor is extremely chic and sophisticated, the staff is very friendly and polite and the cuisine plays with Greek flavors and produce in a very creative manner. The co-owner Vasilli Theodorou is always around making sure all runs smoothly and to the highest standards. The must try list includes seafood and we pick the grilled octopus tentacle with caramelized onions, along with the eggplant stuffed with Cretan graviera (sheep’s milk cheese). The crowd is young bon viveurs looking to blend in with the town’s energy and tempo rubbing shoulders with the celebrities from all over the world!
Maria Nikolakaki is Managing Partner at Beyond Spaces Villas.