Let me take you out of Manila and into the gates of heaven, visually.
Upon stepping inside the salmon colored doors in the middle of the town of Fira, you enter the restaurant with the best view of Santorini, Greece and the Aegean Sea.
Welcome to Sphinx Restaurant. Welcome to Santorini
As one of the stops in our family Euro Cruise 2010, Santorini has been one destination on both occasions I was fortunate enough to visit. More than anything, the view of the Caldera atop the ancient volcanic mountain is sublime at the least, awesome at best.
So fantastic that, as I was itching to get connected to the wireless world, but failed, I quickly slapped myself silly, closed my Mac and just pinched myself every 5 minutes because, HELLO ToT: You’re in SANTORINI. CHECK OUT THE VIEW!
Any restaurant that boasts of prime eye-candy is bound to be a tourist trap, but surprisingly the interiors were charming and blended perfectly with my Greek vacation, even if the menu prices were a bit stiff. Contrary to popular belief, Santorini is farthest from the typical Greek Blue & White, partly because it is on the southernmost tip of the islands tethering towards eastern Europe, which lends its artistic influence in the interiors.
While al fresco dining is the coveted spot du jour, their indoor restaurant on the lower floors prove impressive with warm tones mixed with white. Artwork around the restaurant is provided by local artist Christopher Asimis. Sphinx is the go-to restaurant for special occasions such as weddings and anniversaries. While we were dining there, a family reunion for 60 Americans was happening in the other wing.
Most restaurants on the island serve herbed bread, which was a welcome treat from the bland and crappy house bread found in Italian restaurants in Rome & Florence. At Sphinx, their Olive Tapenade made me feel more Greek-geek. The Chef & Restaurateur, George Psychas, complements his fantastic setting with authentic Mediterranean cuisine.
No meal would be complete in Greece without the eponymous order of Greek Salad. I don’t know if it’s the vacation bug, but the cherry tomatoes were juicy, tasty, and slightly sweet! Grown from the farmlands on the other side of Santorini, it lends its unique flavor from the amount of sulfur present in the dark soils of Santorini, due to the volcano across the island.
Only a dribble of Balsamico & Olive Oil was needed to enjoy the freshness of the vegetables as well as the tartness of the Feta Cheese.
Since Greece is notorious for their seafood, I had to order Grilled Octopus with a Pepper Wine Sauce. I was disappointed with the portions, but was satisfied with the tenderness and flavor of the sauce.
Another traditional dish that is a must-order, is Moussaka
, a layered dish with meat or Ragu, eggplant, and Bechamel sauce. It tasted just like the Moussaka in Cyma, which means Cyma gets their Greek right
Don’t ask me why I ordered Chicken Breast, but this was Chicken Breast Wrapped in Prosciutto with a Lobster Tomato Sauce. Lobster Pink sauce and Prosciutto made this doubtful dish come alive with intense flavors, and the preparation kept the chicken from becoming tough or rubbery…
And lastly, Sphinx’s best dish is the Seafood Pasta with Saffron Sauce. An abundance of mussels, clams, octopus and prawns, I was happy that the dish was generous since I had to share with three other hungry sibs.
We knew coming in those salmon doors would mean selling your kidney for a meal to remember. I remember the food being delicious, but I’ll never erase the experience of dining atop Santorini with a fantastic view of the blue ocean and the Mediterranean sunset. That memory is worth coming back to even if it means cracking my lil piggy bank
Where is your favorite Greek experience? I love Cyma, do you?
Tel. +30 22860 23823