The Weekly Whisk - 7/20/23

Musings from a foodie…

Most of my time over the past several weeks was spent with family or, hanging out at the Plantanos [ * * * * * ]. It is by far and away, my very favoritist of favorite restaurants on the Greek Island of Kithira off the most western of the Peloponnese, nearly one-half-way to Crete. It’s the location of our adopted family’s centuries-old homestead. The Plantanos sits under a Banyan-like tree with an arrangement of tables allowing for interaction and exchange aplenty among the many locals. It has been around for nearly 20 years and it is owned, operated, and managed by Calliope Karides. The staff are all very attentive – and busy these days! Her husband is one of the waiters and does an outstanding job of managing the many visitors in search of a wonderful family food experience sitting under the trees.

Activities generally start with coffee around 9:00 AM+ and extend throughout the day, if you like as you engage in discussions with the locals. This year – for the first time in our experience – the tourism groups were more predominant, especially in the evening. For us, after a long walk down to the old castle and back lasting about an hour, a late dinner is the norm. The offerings are wonderful. You can take your pick of any and be fully satisfied. However, the newest addition is the “Plantanos Salad”. Salads are obligatory for any evening dinner and I found the Plantanos version to be outstanding. Although I did not get the full recipe, here is the essence of what you need to do for a wonderful starter creation for your next upcoming family or invited friends’ dinner:

Combine a mix of different lettuce and beet greens with some diced beet squares. Add dried figs, fresh diced tomatoes, and cucumbers along with a good sprinkling of almond slices. Grill some halloumi cheese and cut it into slender slices. Make a balsamic vinaigrette (make – don’t buy) using ½ cup of classic balsamic vinegar combined with ½ cup of honey (Kithirean honey is the absolute best if you can find it + you can make more if you have more lettuce or need a good dose of flavoring for the mix). 

Alternatively, you can travel to Kithera Island off the coast of Greece and head to the Pantanos in Milopotomas. I don’t have the phone number nor the address. It’s simply in downtown Milopotomas which is a block and one-half long. You can’t miss the place. It’s where all the people are hanging out under the tree as the day goes by…

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