The Chrysomallis Wine & Grocery Shop is located at the junction of Ypapanti and Mitropolitou Meletiou, next to the Cathedral of the Ypapanti in Kalamata.
It was opened in 1958 by Grigoris Chrysomallis, one of the best known guitarist/troubadours in the city. Every evening his songs and cantatas would ring out from the little taverna to the whole neighbourhood, and for several years the shop was a focal point for popular entertainment.
Some 30 years later, in 1986 an earthquake struck Kalamata and damaged many old buildings. The Chrysomallis shop was declared ‘red’, beyond repair and destined for demolition. It would take seven years for it to be rebuilt and functioning again, but in 1993, Grigoris’ son, Panagiotis, opened it, with his mother, Aimilia, preparing one or two wonderful dishes every day, feeding the famous and anonymous who began to fill up the place, as in the past.
In December 2014, the Chrysomallis Wine & Grocery Shop entered a third phase, when Takis and his wife Angeliki took over the management. They have turned it into a modern grocery-mezedopoleio (a place serving drinks and appetisers), grafting fresh creativity and gastronomy onto the long tradition.
In the mornings, it operates as a café, a place where old folks gather for their coffee and gossip as they used to.
But from noon to midnight, the kitchen is open and a host of locals, visitors and students drop by to see what’s cooking.
The place is attractively decorated, a perfect marriage of old and contemporary and the menu is in the same vein, featuring creative Greek cuisine with plenty of local dishes and products.
What we tasted and enjoyed:
- Char-grilled bread with wild greens and grated sfela cheese
- Green salad with figs and anthotyro (fresh white cheese)
- Spinach salad with crunchy rustic fyllo and smoked cheese
- Chicken filet with a crust of lalangia (fried dough coils)
- Courgette fritters with yogurt
- Trahanoto (trahana cooked like risotto) with synglino (cured pork) from Mani, leeks and creamed sfela
- Mani-style pasta with a country fried egg and browned myzithra
- Calf’s liver with celeriac puree
The cava is stocked with Greek wines and wine is also served by the glass. We recommend the bottled Peloponnesian wine for 9 euros. Finally, the table is set with extra virgin olive oil and homemade breads.
The Chrysomallis Wine & Grocery Shop is open daily from 9 am to 1 am.