Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Athens: Alatsi

On Sunday, I sat in Blackbird Parlour watching the hipsters roll by in Williamsburg, reading the Sunday Times with Emily, when I came to 36 Hours in Athens. How bougie is my life that I could say, "hey, I'm going to be there on Thursday!" and so Liam and I found ourselves just a few days later (with lengthy travel back to Paris in between) walking into Alatsi.

I was ready to order whatever the most Rustic Crete cuisine there. Cheese Fries. Except - they're not cheese fries, but rather, potatoes with staka - described by the waiter as 'full of cholesterol' but research shows is either a 'cooked goat butter' or a roux with clarified butter. It was good - like the lightest heaviest cheese fries you could imagine.

We paired this with a salad that he warned had bitter greens but also had pomegranate, candied quince and aged balsamic. [Unfortunately, our bread/oil/olives never came ..]

For dinner Liam and I both had pasta, since we had just gorged on a mezze plate at a cafe overlooking Athens where we witnessed a tourist cut open a water bottle to put her remainders in only to be stopped by the waiters who offered her foil to no avail.

The pasta was fresh made - Liam's was boiled in 'lamb juice' and mine had mostly pine nuts. It was good, not as great as staka but I don't think we did the best ordering here.

We saved room for our first Greek dessert, if you don't count the vacuum-packed baklava on our Olympic Airlines flight: loukoumathes, the donut puffs fried and soaked in sesame and honey and then some semolina halva that was covered in rose petal ice cream and sprinkled with lavender blossoms and closed with a cup of Cretan herb tea.

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