Friday, March 10, 2017

Moussaka, Grilled Fish and Pasta Dinner at Restaurant Miramare in Vasiliki, Lefkada

Before our visit to Vasiliki, I did some initial research online at Tripadvisor for restaurants. I am always keen on the ambience of the place so I managed to pick a few interesting ones and noted them down.

Dinner Vasiliki Restaurant Miramare

The dinner outdoors on the port of Vasiliki.

Restaurant Miramare

I use Tripadvisor mainly for finding restaurants.I do not always follow the ratings because in my experience they do not always reflect the quality of the food and speak for the ambience of the restaurant. Ratings, I found, are very personal. We all have different tastes in food and what I see as luxurious could be middle class for someone else. I have seen snack bars rated as number 1 on the top 5 restaurants in Tripadvisor. Hello, a snack bar? But Tripadvisor does the dirty job by helping me prune things out. Once I have shortlisted a number of restaurants I can further investigate, it is when I use Google to search for more detailed information, such as experiences of others and pictures.

In Vasiliki, all the restaurants I noted down did not pass my in-person quality check. Just as I have earlier said, Tripadvisor rating and comments are not the holy grail but they act as a guide, giving us an idea of the restaurant landscape of a village, town and city. While walking around and surveying the harbour, there was 1 restaurant that really stood out which was approved by the Dutchman and Dutch mother as well. This was Restaurant Miramare on the port area. But we have a problem – they were full.

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GREEK HOSPITALITY AT RESTAURANT MIRAMARE

The good, nice-looking restaurants and strategically situated restaurants (this is so important for me!) are always busy. In addition, in the Greek Islands, the restaurants with an outdoor terrace on the beach and on the water’s edge are always the popular ones. They are also the first ones to get full. This was the case with Restaurant Miramare.

Restaurant Miramare in Vasiliki
Restaurant Miramare

Their positioning in the port area, which looked rather exclusive as they occupied the whole side section of the port, made them very attractive. I am a sucker for eating at nice places during summer holidays so I am not easily giving up.

As we stood in front of the restaurant wondering if there is a table coming free in the next 5 minutes, a man approached us and he said, ‘Don’t worry, we will get more tables.’

That’s Greek hospitality, or rather, capitalism =). They literally took a number of tables and chairs inside the restaurant and place them outside.

So we got our table and a few other guests waiting as well. They managed to extend the whole restaurant terrace as new guests came pouring in. They have to I guess because they only operate during the holiday season and half of the year they are closed for business Most hospitality business owners in the Greek Islands make a profit between June and September, with highs in July and August. Some start to open as early as April, others in May and they continue until October but for these months the revenue is less than the summer months.

Restaurant Miramare

First things first, our drinks.

OUR DINNER

Our starter was a different kind of salad with some Balsamico dressing. We thought we will try something new as we have always been eating the quintessential Greek Salad. This was really fresh and nice for a change.

Restaurant Miramare
Salad Starter

The starter: Fresh salad with black olives, Feta cheese and croutons, and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Restaurant Miramare
Sailboat in Vasiliki

The Bay of Vasiliki.

For our mains, I chose a grilled fish. I always eat fish on our holidays and when we eat out because these are the only times that I can really enjoy them. Unfortunately, I do not cook fish at home due to lingering smell. The Dutch mother settled for the classic Greek dish, Moussaka, whilst the Dutchman is again being lazy and safe. OK, he reasoned out this is his favourite dish. He ordered a pasta, Bolognese.

I have nothing to fault for this dinner. Everything was just how we expected it to be. The food was delicious. My fish was nicely chargrilled and yet juicy. I asked for some more lemons and they gave me a bowl. Lemons are great garnishing for fish and anything from the sea.

Lastly, we enjoyed the romantic outdoors ambience.

We have decided to drink our coffee at one of the cafes on the harbour so we could enjoy the whole Vasiliki harbour atmosphere.

Moussaka

Typical Greek dish: Moussaka.

Grilled fish

My dinner: Grilled fish with sweet potato, courgette and a side salad.

Miramare Restaurant
Dinner at Restaurant Miramare, Vasiliki

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW

  • There is NO tipping culture in Europe. Tip if you want to tip. Dutchman and I sometimes round off the amount when we are in the mood or if we really enjoyed the meal. For example, the bill is €23,75 then we make it €25. But generally, we seldom tip.
  • Most restaurants in the Greek Islands go with a first come first serve rule. Some restaurants do accept reservation but the very popular ones may not.
  • Most holidaymakers start coming out for dinner between 19:00 and 19:30. If you wish to beat the crowd so you get the best table in a particular restaurant, come before 19:00.
  • Many Greek restaurants in the islands offer something free, usually a light dessert to share at the end of the meal, or a local liquor, sometimes coffee. Yes, it’s free =)
  • For €25 to €30 you can have a dinner meal for 2 (2 drinks, 2 main courses, 1 appetiser to share). Do have coffee somewhere else =)
  • Bread is served standard on the table as a cover charge. The cost is usually between €0,50 to €1.
  • Most restaurants are open until midnight.

Cafes Vasiliki Harbour Lefkas
Coffee in Vasiliki

Last stop for the day... coffee at Ionio Cafe on the harbour and some people watching of course. I prefer my coffee black while Dutchman and Dutch mother take each a cappuccino. Dutch people tend to drink cappuccino after dinner which is a no-no for Italians, but the Dutch naturally need their daily dose of milk on top of their coffee before bed.

Ionio Cafe in Vassiliki
Vasiliki Lefkas

Travel Period: June-July 2016
Destination: Vasiliki, Apollonoi (Lefkada Island - Ionian), Greece

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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