The Greek coastal town of Ouranoupoli is a staging post for Orthodox pilgrims sailing to and from Mount Athos, and you’ll find no shortage of restaurants and bars down by the seafront. Kritikos is a gourmet seafood restaurant, tucked away from the front, but still only a couple of minutes walk from the town’s main jetty, where boats and ferries dock.
For a good value, fine dining experience, Kritikos is worth seeking out. Greek cuisine may sometimes thought of as heavy and oily but the regional cuisine of Mount Athos is renowned for being healthy, making good use of locally caught fish and seafood to create light, delicately flavoured. Local herbs are used, adding a distinctive taste to dishes with typically Mediterranean ingredients such as octopus, lobster and sea bass. You’ll find both national and local dishes on the menu here.
Greek cuisine served at Kritikos
The specialities of the house include steamed fish served in a lemon sauce, lobster with spaghetti and fish soup. The steaks, grilled meat dishes and moussaka, came highly recommended but I wanted to try local dishes.
It’s always good to eat in a restaurant where the waiters create the impression that they genuinely take pleasure from their work, want to serve you and love it when you enjoy the food they bring to the table. My waiter was happy to chat and answer questions about the dishes I ate, even explaining how to cook kritharaki, a rice noodle that has similarities to over-sized risotto, in terms of its creamy texture and appearance. It’s going that little bit further, and exceeding expectations, that helps create a memorable dining experience.
Organic house wine
The house wines are produced by an organic vineyard. I drank the house white, made from a blend of Voignier and Assyrtiko grapes, and found it pleasantly quaffable and well-suited to the seafood.
If you enjoy indulgent desserts – why not after the healthy, low fat mains? – try the chocolate mousse before finishing with a Greek coffee.
See the Kritikos website or make a reservation by calling +30 23770 71222.
Find out more about the cuisine of the region at the Mount Athos Area website.
The Visit Greece website has travel and tourism related information about Greek destinations.
Stuart flew from Gatwick to Thessaloniki with easyJet.