16 Aug 2017
Feast of Apollo
Delphi is now a small town in Greece, a couple of streets full of restaurants and hotels serving the tourist traffic to the ruins of the Temple of Apollo.
Spectacular location, perched on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, overlooking a valley filled with three million olive trees, the Gulf of Corinth in the distance.
We were in town for Plato study at the European Cultural Centre and during the middle of the day were free to head off for private excursions, such as lunch in Delphi, swimming at Itea, or shopping at the ski resort of Arachova.
On the “lower road”, the restaurant of To Patriko Mas is cantilevered out over the view. Sit near the railing and the world opens up. Above, a spreading mulberry tree gives cool green shade. Flower pots add a spot of gaiety.
“You have to try the salad,” our friends said, as the waiter passed the menus around and took orders for drinks. “Prasinomelia for four, please.”
Now, I’m not a big fan of salad, but when this arrived, I took a few cautious bites, and oh my god was it fabulous!
The dressing makes it. Sweet and savoury and tangy, it complements the crunch of walnuts, the crisp lettuce, the smooth cheese, and the pop of the pomegranate seeds.
Along with the rabbit in tarragon, the slow-cooked lamb, and many other dishes we sampled over the next two weeks, this was a gourmet delight in rural Greece. But the salad was the best.
We tried other restaurants in Delphi, and they were acceptable, even good, with the cold beer and the amazing view. But the chef at To Patriko Mas must be a genius.
Next time you are in Delphi – and I shall write more about the place – go directly to this restaurant, look the waiter firmly in the eye, and say, “Prasinomelia, please!”