The Weekly Whisk - 1/3/23

Musings from a foodie…

On the seacoast south of Athens is a wonderful suburb – Glyfada. It’s the home of our extended Greek family during the off-season (i.e. all the time, except during the summer months when it’s off to Kythera). We had a chance to visit them in the pre-Christmas season this year. While most of our dining is family-made experiences in their homes, this time we had one dinner out at the Melli a Ladi or, “Honey and Oil” Steak House [ * * * * * ] It was a first time experience and totally wonderful. It is a total “meat” experience so, if you’re not into that sort of dining – forego it for other options. However, if meat is your thing – Melli a Ladi is a perfect choice. It started with a fresh tomato and cucumber salad – plain and simple. A plateful of zetzeki was set aside the salad and became the dipping sauce throughout the remainder of the dinner. The Zetzeki was “ohlala”. Then, came French fries – simple and plain. But, the piece(s) de resistance was a massive platter of lamb, beef, pork and kokoretsi.

Now, an explanation is required. I’ve never had kokoretsi and when it was described, I blanched at first but then jumped in to savor the wonderful taste. You see, kokoretsi consists of the “cleansed” large bowel of a suckling lamb stuffed with liver, heart, sweetbreads, kidneys and all manner of innards from the lamb. It’s then pierced onto a rotisserie rod and cooked until crispy on the outside and completed on the inside (NOTE: I have no idea how long that is…). As I contemplated my first bite, I wondered whether I should be proceeding but then, the taste hit and it was absolutely wonderful. My first circular piece of kokoretsi was followed by several more pieces while the lamb, pork and beef were set aside for others and as I savored my new found favorite!!

As you can imagine, not every restaurant can make a good kokoretsi. First, the chef needs to do a good job of “cleansing” the bowel. Then, the stuffing needs to be completed. At Honey and Oil they do it right 😊. I’d return any time. Oh, and I forgot – the mustard sauce they provide is an outstanding accompaniment. So, if you get to Athens or coast Greece, stop in Glyfada. Melli a Ladi (Honey and Oil) – Dimitriou Gounari Street – Glyfada – 210-980-1560-562 –, is a wonderful dining experience. It fills up quickly but the wait staff are always willing to find a place for fitting you in… BTW, the chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream at the end helps to settle the dining experience.

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