Yesterday we took to a narrow, roundabout road from our town, Oia, to Imerovigli, a village just up the island. Our primary quest? To scale Skaros Rock, but first, supper.
After a bit of searching and a high recommendation from a bartender (he said, “Mezzo is where Greek people go to eat the best Greek food.”) we settled on Mezzo.
The setting was perfection. Bougainvillea clung to the walls of our little courtyard then spilled over the top as if relieved to finally reach the summit. The sea and sky were painted with endless shades of blue and the plenteous wind brought refreshment.
First, we had olives and croutons with tomato sauce on the house. We nibbled at these hors d’eouvers while we perished the lovely menus. Benji and I decided to split the most Grecian-looking appetizers and I went with one of their Greek specialities.
Our Ntakos came, and it was impeccable.
It was composed of a layer of slightly sweet barley cake, a layer of cream cheese and ricotta mousse, then topped with a tomato confit. All this was drenched in olive oil and generously sprinkled with olives and capers. The presentation was immaculate and the flavor, oh the flavor! I’ve never had anything quite like it before, there was sweet and savory and rich cheese all beautifully set off with the olive oil and occasional salty burst of the olives and capers. It was rich but not overpowering, the tomatoes lightened it all up a bit and made it just spot on.
Following this I chose beef aubergine, which is a bit uncustomary for me because I tend toward lighter meats such as fish and poultry. But this was a Greek specialty and it was veal, so YOLO!
This dish was, visually, a bit less impressive because the smoked aubergine purée’s (aubergine is eggplant, I had to look it up 😊) as well as the braised veal’s color weren’t as interesting or as contrasting to each other. However, I thought they did an admirable job with what they were given.
But really, food is only so much visual, the flavor is a much more vital element of the dish and this was great! The aubergine purée had cheese of some sort in it and it was rich and creamy and seasoned perfectly. The veal was tender and juicy and paired wonderfully well with the aubergine. It was all once again rich but not overpowering.
This meal was one the most memorable if not one of the best meals of my life, and our interaction with the people of the restaurant as we left only enhanced the experience. So, if you’re ever in Santorini, head up to Imerovigli and look up Mezzo. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
I literally can’t even right now. Help me even can. ILY 😘
This summer I want to cook more, and so I did.
I was feeling sophisticated, so I pretended I worked at Noma with René Redzepi, and asked myself what things I could use to make something that would be local and fresh.
So I gathered wood sorrel and mulberries and made something. I knew I wanted to reduce the mulberries and use all three components of the sorrel (leaves, seed pods, and flowers), but I felt like both of these things would make good secondary elements but bad primaries. So I stole the last bit of yesterday’s pork tenderloin from mom’s lunch (literally from her plate), chilled everything, and this is what resulted. I plated with a snipped plastic bag and a tweezers (and fingers I admit), snapped some pictures, and crossed my fingers, hoping it wouldn’t be dreadful.
I wasn’t exactly sure how one is supposed to eat food that is tweezer-plated, but they just use forks on master chef, so I went that route.
The moment of truth.
First, the rich sweetness (almost jam-like) of the mulberries then the meaty salt of the pork caressed my palate. It was eatable! Even enjoyable! But alas! Where was the burst of sour sorrel that was supposed to surprise and delight? It wasn’t to be found in the richness of the mulberry and pork umami. So I’ll call it a garnish, and say it wasn’t meant to be tasted anyway. 🙂
Dietch tasted it, nodded and said it was good. Benji tasted, looked pensive, asked if I made it up, then gave me a high five.
I think I’ll go low brow next time and somehow marinate my pork in the mulberries, cause it was a little magical.