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Agnanti at Ktikados – Little Plates and Ouzo

Ktikados is a traditional village of particular charm near Tinos’ main town. Its population is a mix of Catholic and Orthodox and it has a fabulous view over the bay of Kionia. As you walk into the village, to get to “T’ Agnanti”, which means to survey from on high, you’ll encounter some lovely old houses and chapels, flagstone-paved vaulted alleyways, marble fountains and decorated door lintels.

Agnanti or Kyra Eleni’s shop, as the locals call it, has a history that dates back nearly a century, to when Eleni’s father opened it as grocery store in 1927. Eleni herself took over in 1969. It’s been many years since the golden years of those little grocers’ and ‘everything’ shops, but Kyra Eleni remembers people coming by not just from Ktikado but from other nearby villages to do their errands but also to sit for a while with a glass of something and a nibble, as was the custom in such places. All of that came to an end with the rise of the supermarket and most of them were forced to close down.

In 2000, when Eleni’s brother, Yiannis Harikiopoulos, received his pension for his years as a waiter in the Hora (main town), he decided to turn the family shop into an eatery, putting his experience and ‘stolen ideas’ to work.

The ‘small plates’ – mezedes – served at “T’ Agnanti” are excellent: local cheese, louza, froutalia (the special Tinos omelette) with sausages and potatoes, courgette fritters.

In winter, sitting in the warm (in every sense of the word) atmosphere of the old grocer’s, you’ll be tempted to try the local wild mushrooms (arnadkies) grilled or stewed, while in summer, traditional dishes like roast kid, stewed artichokes, rabbit kokkinisto (tomato-based stew) and stewed veal with lemon await you on the elegant verandah.

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