I had messaged my chef friend here in Vegas, “There are no reservations available!” For a couple of days, I was trying to land online reservations for Aleria Restaurant in Athens after my friend, Chef Paras Shah, recommended it. I had been researching fine dining establishments in Athens when Paras made the suggestion. After reading about Aleria Restaurant’s history, culinary focus, wine selections, and Head Chef Gikas Xenakis -I needed a reservation to this prestigious award winning restaurant.
To make a long story short, I have good friends and landed a reservation to one of Athens best dining experiences. Thank you Chef Paras! The reservation was for one person- ME. I do on occasion fine dine on my own especially when I travel solo. In my opinion, why wait for someone to accompany you to afternoon tea or an upscale dining experience. There is no better company than yourself.
I have been asked if I feel strange or if others treat me differently when I dine solo in upscale dining settings. The answer to that question is a hard no. I have always been treated well, and given excellent service throughout the years of solo dining. My experience at Aleria Restaurant confirmed that previous sentence of excellent service, and being treated well. The service was wonderful and attentive, I felt very welcome at Aleria. Thank you Nikiforos and your staff!
The cuisine at Aleria is a modern sophisticated take to Greek dishes using traditional ingredients. I chose the vegetarian menu although I do eat meat. I wanted to immerse myself in Chef Gikas Xenakis’s fresh and inventive approach to using local vegetables, and traditional cheeses. Each dish served was visually beautiful and artistically plated. The flavors on the ,Garden & Nature, menu were light, well blended, and delicate. I enthusiastically enjoyed every dish.
–On the Table–
The beginnings of an exceptional dining experience- Recreating Greece’s beloved Kaferneios. This creative visual display was set up before me depicting scenes of a traditional Greek Kafeneio. What a fun and inviting way to welcome guests to Aleria. Additionally, I kept the cobalt blue Aleria prayer beads as a gift from the restaurant.
Creative Amuse Bouches
∼ Garden & Nature Menu ∼
Bread and Greek Olive Oil
Zucchini from Naxos – Two versions
Yogurt – Peach – Fennel
Eggplant – Tomato – Feta Cheese
Chestnuts – Black Truffle
Raw and Roasted Vegetables – Olive Oil
Ash Baked Potatoes
Wild Mushrooms – Smoked Cheese from Naoussa
*Note the delicate thin edible cellophane holding up the smoked cheese
Shitake – Cabbage – Black Truffle
Dessert ∼ Apricot
White Chocolate – Almond – Yogurt
After Dinner With Aleria’s Owner
Sweets – Liqueur – Espresso – Conversation
After dinner, Nikiforos K the owner of Aleria Restaurant, invited me to stay awhile for a smart conversation on the meaning of the “Dining Experience”, food, wine, and travel. He started off the conversation with “So tell me, why do you enjoy food so much?” Well…
Wine Pairing at Aleria
Another key piece of advice when it comes to a fine dining experience is to invest in the wine pairing. There is a chemical balance between wine and food, and when done correctly the marriage of the two is un-separable.
I chose to do the “Greek” Wine Pairing with the Garden & Nature Menu for the very reason that I wanted a true cohesiveness of food and wine. As they say, “what grows together, goes together”.
From the first sip of Brut Champagne to the last drop of White Muscat, and everything in between I found a new love for Greek wine. Every wine chosen was perfection, and was cohesive with the dishes served.
My favorite wines offered were the Santorini Assyrtiko 2018 – Vassaltis, and the Limniona 2017. Both wines were exceptional, and true game changers on how I perceive Greek wines.
Nikiforos’s is a wonderful soul who understands the art of hospitality. One can see and feel it in every detail of Aleria Restaurant. From the beautiful dining spaces, the caring staff, the award winning cuisine, and the excellent wine selection.
For more information, please see the official site of Aleria Restaurant.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well…– Virginia Woolf
🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!
📸 All Photos are taken by me and are my intellectual proerty – Trixie Navarre