Yantes Restaurant at Exarchia in Athens!

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
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Flag of Greece  , Attiki,
Sunday, December 11, 2011

We decide to spend one night at home in Athens and we had the chance to dine at a beautiful restaurant in the neighbourhood. This is what I wrote about it on my TripAdvisor reviews!!

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Yiantes is a modern Greek tavern situated in Exarchia, an area inhabited by old Athenians, intellectuals, students, even anarchists, but the old days' frequent riots are very rare and nightlife in this area is excellent, relaxed and laid back. University students and groups of friends are sitting here and there in different hang-outs enjoying the beautiful night. The aroma of jasmine is in the air, colorful climbing bougainvilleas hanging from high walls, and I find myself stopping here and there to browse the beautiful gardens of some very old houses. Valtetsiou Street is nowadays turned into pedestrian precinct and the walk is very pleasant.

We come to the Restaurant which is in unbelievably beautiful gardens. A feeling of countryside in the heart of Athens! The garden is amazingly decorated with small flower pots, a couple of high trees behind and more climbing jasmine. The big sectional decorative ship in the garden stands in for the Christmas tree, decorated with lamps and is the highlight in the beautiful premises. (Many Greeks decorate wooden ships instead of trees for Christmas). At the back, the stone built house with the wooden roof where once hosted horses and it was part of the next door imposing mansion-house.

A very good choice and a pleasant place for an outing! An austere beautiful spot in the heart of Athens with stone-built thick walls around, a wooden ceiling and the classic chairs those we usually see in coffee shops, marble-top tables nicely decorated with table linen. Soft colors and light create the ambience of a Greek modern tavern. There is another room on the side of the garden just as beautiful with huge glass walls exclusively for smokers.

There is lots to choose from, a variety of promising dishes and we were pleasantly surprised with every dish brought to us so nicely presented combining taste and color. The aroma and taste travels you to different parts of Greece. It seems that the restaurant has maintained its high level of quality and service within the years. I noticed a few well known intellectuals, and a group of actors who were sitting beside us.

We tried the herb croquettes for 5.90 euro and "mastelo" cheese with tangerine jam 6.80 euro. I love herbs and the idea of the feta cheese sauce on top made them so special. The grilled cheese was very aromatic and juicy. To accompany the main dish we tried the colorful and so tasty beetroot salad flavored with tzitzer and yoghurt which I highly recommend.
The staffed onions with pork in wine and parmesan are really worth tasting and they cost 9 euro. We also had the grilled liver with radicchio salad sprinkled with pomegranate, - nutrient dish full of color and taste.

We chose a bottle of Greek white wine to accompany our dinner, (Asprolithi Roditis) from the Rouvalis Estate (22 euro) and we finished dinner with some dessert. I loved the chocolate 'salami’ with caramel sauce and chocolate ice cream. The so called ‘salami’ was so crunchy and tasty that I thought to ask for the recipe. I could not resist tasting the ‘Ravani’ cake my husband had which was flavored with mastic. The price for the desserts was 3 and 3.50 respectively.

I would surely urge friends to come to this oasis of good taste dainty morsel. The idea of Eventful Nights twice a week makes Yantes even more popular. Every Tuesday and Wednesday night Yantes hosts a chef from a different part of the country each time who brings along seasonal local products from the place of his origin and cooks for the customers thus promoting the local goods of his place, his own culinary skills with authentic traditional dishes out of fresh organic products. At the same time Yiantes hosts a Greek wine producer from the same area who brings along representative samples of the winery’s gamut. The first week’s choice was the presentation of Santorini and its products. As the weeks go on there will be other eventful nights with tastes from Argolida, Naousa, Drama, Pieria and Crete.

I highly recommend theYiantes and in fact I will do my best to be present the night when Crete’s products are presented on the 21st and 22nd February.

It is Open from noon until 13:00 after midnight!
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