Second time at Spondi restaurant. Situated in Pagkrati, a few minutes walk behind the Panathenaic stadium or Kallimarmaro (the one that accommodated the first modern Olympic Games in 1896). The neoclassical building has two floors with tables inside and an open terrace for the summer. The whole setting is very comfortable with tables in a good distance from each other. You can see the attention to detail in every corner of the terrace-garden.
Spondi kept its 2 Michelin stars for 2013. The chef is Aggelos Lantos and the pastry chef is Giorgos Platinos. The service was as the last time impeccable. You can choose from a la carte and two menus, the one is the tapas menu with several small dishes as indicated by the name, and the degustation menu. We went for the tapas menu.
We started with the amuse-bouches. A wooden spoon with mousse of foie gras and honey was velvety and rich. A carrot and onion macaron was interesting and very tasty, the potato chip was just good. We were given a small square bread of milk to taste an extra virgin olive oil from Crete, a good alternative to butter. I I always find Crete's olive oil to be one of the best in the world due to the intense flavor and low acidity. The bread was very good with 3 types of it, baguette , bread with olives and puff pastry bread with much butter. No doubt the best bread of their kind that you can find in Greece. I really lost counting how many I had eaten.
The first ''tapas'' dish was oysters jelly with a mousse of horseradish. You can see on the plate the lavender and the passion fruit. The taste of the oysters was strong enough so it worked well with the mousse together.
Next was a sea bass tartar with avruga caviar, froth of ouzo and juice from rocket. Everything was good on the plate, fresh sea bass, nice caviar , very good froth, but the rocket juice was so bitter to the limits of quite not being edible. I think it could work a lot better with maybe stamnagathi or even lettuce.
A cylinder of amazing marinated salmon followed, with a mini salad and a small funnel filled with salmon eggs and wassabi cream. The salad was extremely tasty and worked so well with the fatty rich fish. The crispy funnel was a nice touch and a bit heat.
A potato soup was very very rich with ingredients that you cant go wrong with. Girolles with their broth, fresh almonds and on top slices of summer truffle. The earthy flavor of the girolles was very intense, and the truffles had also remarkable flavor.
Macaroni stuffed with swiss chard, pine kernel and Gorgonzola sauce. The pasta was cooked right on time to be a lot al dente as I like, the filling was delicious, and the sauce had the nice taste of the Gorgonzola. I really enjoyed this dish.
The last dish before dessert was chicken breast covered on one side by peanut butter, crispy skin with sate, a puree of celery, salad for green leaves and chicken broth. The chicken was excellent, perfectly cooked, retaining all of its juices. The peanut butter top was good, the puree and the broth both amazing.
Before dessert, we were offered a very refreshing pre-dessert, yogurt ice cream with fruits.
The dessert was composed by two parts on the same plate. The one on the left is Calisson with vanilla, pistachio and mango sorbet. On the right it is a chocolate Sable with creamy chocolate and a rashberry sorbet. Both were excellent in flavor and textures. As I have written again in my previous review I consider Spondi's pastries and desserts to be in high 3 Michelin stars territory.
Lastly the mignardises, a chocolate sphere filled with red fruits, a mango sphere and a cherry jelly.
The wine accompanying this meal was Douloufakis, Aspros Lagos from Crete, from Vidiano grapes, an impressive white wine that worth a try.
You can see my first review .. Spondi (**) Athens