Dining out at Dimitris & Grigoris -Athens

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Gem little restaurant with Excellent food!

We were in Athens for a couple of nights celebrating my birthday staying at the Royal Olympic hotel. We tried the signature gourmet restaurant of the hotel and we were definitely not disappointed but this second night we wanted something different and simpler. We were after authentic traditional Greek cuisine and I knew that we won't be disappointed if we came here. So, here we are once again and this time we want to try some other dishes that we missed on our previous visit.

We came by taxi from the hotel and it cost us something like 3.50 euros. You see the restaurant is not too far from the hotel and if it was summer we could have come here on foot.

The restaurant is located just behind the Divani Caravel Hotel and in short distance from the Hilton in a small side street. The name Dimitris and Grigoris is on a much smaller rectangle sign high on the side of the wall, but what is highlighted is "Taverna" on the wall above the entrance as if this is the name of the restaurant! If you come here for the first time have a look on the main photo posted on TripAdvisor. It shows clearly the entrance and the sign of the restaurant so you can’t miss it!

Because I have been here and I know that it is a tavern that won’t disappoint the guest I urge tourists who are in the area to try it. It is the best alternative to save money and at the same time enjoy some good quality food. Before ordering extremely overpriced and barely average room service at any of the neighbouring hotels consider getting takeaway food from here…or come to the restaurant and enjoy your lunch instead of taking it up to your room! I bet you will be back the next day for more.

It is obvious that the two brothers continue to represent their family’s passion for excellent service and love for what they do. You see the tavern belonged to the boys’ father and the recipes are a well kept secret many of them coming from the boys’ grand mother. You will love the excellent food here whether you are a tourist or a local. Mind you, the tavern is a popular spot for Greek cuisine lovers, travellers, tourists, artists, even politicians. A tourist should avoid restaurants where you see no locals dining. The truth is that Greeks love good quality food, they are picky, they don’t like to be ripped off and they will return when they are satisfied. This is the case with this amazing little tavern.

On this second visit I felt as if it was yesterday that I dined here and we came early before other customers. By the time we left the restaurant was full…you see Greeks like to dine late. The boys make you feel like home indeed. Mind you, there are not many restaurants where you can feel this warmth of hospitality and it counts a lot to me who as a writer I am after promoting and highlighting the positive things of this country. Well, this humble little tavern is one of those gems that can make a Greek feel proud.

I had a look on the menu list but I also asked Dimitri to recommend something good for us. The boys always recommend great combinations out of the innovative dishes so we relied completely on them.

The starter was simply amazing! Tiny Cretan tomatoes in virgin olive oil sprinkled with oregano. What a taste and flavour indeed!

We had some amazing fried cheese which comes in sticks. This costs 3.50 and my favourite salad of the Cretan traditional grasse for 6 euros and is well known to Greeks –the Stamnagathi salad! Don’t leave the restaurant without trying it. It only costs 6 euros and it is superb.

The Tower of fried veggies came as a surprise to me. It included everything I love. It is another delicious grilled salad, nutrient, light in calories and full of vitamins. It included grilled zucchini, eggplant, pepper, carrots, and pleurotus mushrooms. All these for 7 euros.

The staffed vine leaves 'gialantzi’ is another traditional Greek dish. We had 2 pieces out of the whole portion just to taste and we found them amazing. The normal portion costs 5.50. They were in yoghurt sauce sprinkled with virgin olive oil.

We accompanied our food with some red wine and to be honest I still remembered the quality of the restaurant’s red wine that we tried last year. The glass costs 2.50 euros but we had a litre carafe for 4 euros only. The wine is great with an unbelievable ruby colour.

Dimitri and Grigori suggested a platter of mixed grilled which included grilled liver, steak, lamp chops, kebab, pitta bread, and fried potatoes. All these for 17-20 euros for 2 persons.

We did not ask for a dessert but we were brought the most amazing dessert I had for weeks. It was grilled quince with yoghurt and it came to us as complimentary. It was light in calories again, nutrient and amazingly delicious. In the menu list this costs 4.50 euros.

I wanted to have some idea of other dishes on offer here and the Tenderloin costs 9.50, Fried lamb liver for 2 costs 12 euros. The Veal Steak costs 14.50, and Cis Kebab is at 8.50. Any beer is at 3 euros and the Millefeuille is at 6 euros.

I highly recommend the restaurant to anyone who is after homemade tasty Greek food in amazingly reasonable cost. It is a guarantee that you won’t be ripped off.  The excellent quality of each and every dish is high and the hospitality and service are beyond compare. It is cosy, and very simple inside. Although smoking is allowed yet you cannot feel the smoke at all because of the ventilation fan. I consider it a hidden gem, and it was Tuesday night and by the time we left there were none of the tables free.

I believe with the economic crisis in Greece where everything is considered, this little gem is highly appreciated by all -whether Greek or foreigners.
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