Three young successful entrepreneurs coming from the restaurant industry, Vasilis Akrivos, chef at Psariston fish restaurant in Neo Iraklio, Angelos Frantzis, chef at Bar B.Q. grill restaurant in Nea Smyrni and Giorgos Tarnaris, oenologist with professional experience in the wine sector, decided to join their forces, knowledge and enthusiasm and set up a restaurant in the very heart of Athens, where Pappou and Dimitrakopoulou arcades meet. Aiolou 68 Restaurant aspires to bring the flavours of the sea to Athens most developing area and bring life back to an arcade with a great history, fallen in decline in the last years.
Accommodating numerous zincography and printing houses, Pappou Arcade reached the peak of its glory in the 20th century. The seat of the oldest indexing house in Greece, “Argos Typou tis Anatolis 1911”, was located in this very arcade, that also housed many press agencies from where newspapers, magazines and books were being distributed throughout Greece on a daily basis.
In this abandoned area of the city centre, behind the building housing the Public Power Corporation of Greece (DEI), next to Alpha Bank premises, at the place occupied until quite recently by the famous patsatzidiko Papandreou (eatery offering tripe soup), these guys set up this beautiful restaurant, which I am more than certain, will revitalise the area.
Bathed in light, a long floor-to-ceiling window forms the façade of the restaurant. The restaurant’s decoration fuses Cycladic style in its disarming minimal elegance and art items reminiscent of the 1960s.
The most ingenious decorative improvisation in the restaurant is reed screening that has been turned into curved illumination zones either on the false ceiling or on the walls! This omnipotent item which makes a winning impression on everyone, blends perfectly with the white cement mortar on the floor and the Cycladic island-style built-in white couches furnished with large bolsters in shades of blue. The symbol of the restaurant is fish. The restaurant’s logo adorns the restaurant’s table cloths, is the theme of the art work mounted on the restaurant’s wall, while fish-shaped figurines are handing from the impressive chandelier-like central lighting fixture, fish being also the theme of the decorative pane on the bar’s counter front.
The menu of Aiolou 68 features all sorts of fish creations, meat dishes, as well as meat and fish combinations. The restaurant’s wine list is elaborate offering choices from the most representative wine producers and other smaller ones.
Here is what we singled out from each category of the menu:
From the salty bites, smoked eel, sea pastourma, tuna and sashimi salmon.
From the mezedes to bite, the small bites from Santorini, the fish soup and the sea spaghetti.
In terms of mollusc, sea-food and fish, well, the options are countless. From the most complex food category, which is surely not addressed to novices, under the name “Aiolou 68, can you handle it?”, we really liked the tuna and veal tataki, veal liver with shrimps and a most daring dish, the mermaid fillet (lobster with rib eye for two). Fish anyone?