Hello darlings!! I’m coming back with something gourmet this time. If you haven’t eaten anything, I would advice you to have a snack because the content will definitely make you hungry!
The article “Athens Michelin Restaurants” was the cause of deciding to visit myself one of the award-winning restaurants and live this special experience. The choices were 5 but I couldn’t help choosing the restaurant of our beloved prizewinning Chef Hector Botrini!
A few words about our Chef!
Hector Botrini, of Kerkyrean-Italian roots, since his young age was into cooking learning all the secrets of gastronomy by his father, Etrusco Botrini. Cooking was always in his blood, so he studies in Switzerland the thing he loves. In 2011 his dream becomes true with Botrini’s restaurant in Chalandri which deservedly wins the desired Michelin star in 2013. The prices in his credit are not few…as his name quickly stars on television!
And now let’s move into the setting!
I reached the area around 9 in the evening, where Hector Botrini had chosen to house his dream, in a big detached house in Chalandri. The space is surrounded by a wonderful tree-clad yard, which takes you out of Athens in the summer, with its aura (coconuts, hidden lights, an exotic vegetation).
But since this time of year is cold, let’s get inside! When I entered the restaurant, the first thing that impressed me was its kitchen. It is divided by the rest of the space by a neat window from which I could watch whatever was set inside it! The restaurant’s heart in a full view!!! (it was something I had never seen before!)
From my table I could see everything, from the preparation to the serving of the dishes. It was like I was watching a reality show, a new Botrini episode, but this time it wasn’t a “nightmare in the kitchen” but a gastronomic paradise!
I could even hear Chef giving his orders. Perfect??!!! All that interactive element made my dinner even more fascinating! An amazing energy was being transferred outside seeing the whole team working in concert and each one separately constituting a necessary gear for a perfect result.
Let’s get down to brass tacks!
After I received a very warm welcome by the restaurant’s marketing manager, Mr. Lagos, we proceeded to the serving of the tasting menu which had been chosen to present you!!! Are you ready?? I haven’t even started and I’m starving!
“Handmade pizza-handmade cheese pie-potatoes with eggs!”
Everything is hand eaten according to the exhortation of the sweet sous chef Nikos Bilis. They were small delightful little nibbles and what they succeeded was making you hungrier with their savour!
We begin with “Prawns-Lard-Hazel”, a dish quite impressive from an aesthetic aspect, and taste as well. The marble plate was very ingenious and it supported the decoration of that little taste surprise!
And of course I can’t skip mentioning the various kinds of bread which had been served in the beginning, which came with pure olive oil and thick salt.
And here comes the next dish to leave me speechless! “Carpaccio Swordfish” was really a work of art. Its image reminded of a painting picture with a feast of colours and flavors. Its creator was the alchemist of taste…and words are not enough! Every morsel was a stream of parallel information to my palate! Congratulation chef!
When I came round after that flavor orgasm, the menu was continued with “Beet at its natural environment”, a flavor closer to the Greek tradition with beets dunked into biological goat cheese.
At this point I think I have to mention that most of the products and meats used in the restaurant come from organic production and much of the first material used originate from Hector’s father’s garden (the famous chef Etrusco Botrini) in Kerkyra. In the island they also cure the cold meat they serve and the swordfish I just ate, as well!
And we continue our little flavor wandering with a “dynamite” dish whose name is “Like carbonara with eggs from earth and sea”. A special carbonara beyond everything usual and every stereotype. The pasta was made of squid, urchin’s eggs and instead of cheese…ground trifle!!!
I really can’t describe no more……I’m going to eat something because I’m hungry like a wolf with all these!
And after I devoured everything there was in the fringe, I’m going on because in the end the best part is coming and it’s the sweets!!! But until we get there we still have many flavor surprises.
And speaking of surprises here comes “Journey in Aliakmon river”- spectacular!!! A long and narrow glass aquarium with all the seabed’s beauties bathed in prawn consommé. When I opened the box, a form of smoke came out, due to the cured elements which had been enclosed. Mussels, fish little steaks and prawns kantaif, all these were composing an aquarium to eat!
And the cornucopia of flavors in Botrini’s restaurant is continued with “TONgueNATO and tomato”. In the beginning, a low round little vase with a transparent fluid, some (eatable) petals, which smelled like tomato, came to the table. The truth is that it confused me…then the dish came with the most helpful waiter who answered my question! The dish was beef tongue in which he poured the fluid from the little vase that, eventually, was tomato water (transparent) with rose petals. Yam!
And before we pass to the main courses we have one last appetizer. “Like an octopus stew” which gave me a taste of braized mince when I ate it. I could never imagine that an octopus-braized and chopped could be so delicious.
Since appetizers made me completely hungry, here comes the main menu! Two dishes, one for meat lovers and one for seafood lovers! You can’t complain…I covered all tastes.
Let’s begin with the seafood which I like better! “Fish of the day in cyclamen leafs, touches of vegetables, pickles, dip like Gualtiero Marchesi’s”. Oh guys you can’t imagine the wonderful taste that fish had, they really can’t make everything so delicious! Mercy, we have a shape to preserve!
I can’t skip to mention that my meal was ideally coming with a bottle of white wine “Akres” Skouras from the grape variety Moshofilero-Alepou.
And for you meat lovers I present you “Cheek from biological breeding veal with potato cream, praline and potato croquettes”. One thing I’ll tell you…it was melting in my mouth! The meat was so soft that it was crushing on my fork. It was perfectly combined with mashed potatoes… I didn’t leave a single piece on my plate, in the end!
So, being completely replete, we pass on my favorite part…where are the sweets!!!
“The vanilla submarine of my childhood” and my personal favorite. It’s a rose soup with a spherification of vanilla and mastic…far out!!!
When every sphere blew into my mouth it was like an explosion of liquid mastic and fluid vanilla respectively.
Our next little sweets are “Like a sweet tzatziki” and “Ice cream donuts”.
You definitely realize that after that dinner I left +3 kilos heavier with all the stuff I ate!!! hahaha
Seriously, it was a wonderful flavor experience in a warm and hospitable place with a perfect service. And all these thanks to the fantastic team of Hector Botrini with enjoyment and yearning for what they do…..and lots of humor as well!
Well done Chef!
Congratulations!!! It was a marvelous taste journey!
I n f o
Εστιατόριο Botrini’s Αθήνα
Βασιλέως Γεωργίου Β 24Β, Χαλάνδρι, Αθήνα
Τηλ: +30 210 6857323-4