Dinos traditional taverna is located on the south coast of the island below the enchanting village of Kardiani on Yannaki Bay. Perched on the rocks, 20 metres from the water’s edge, with a spectacular view of Syros, this is an ideal place to enjoy the sunset on Tinos.
“Here, until the Second World War”, Antonis tells us, “my grandfather had a shop where the taverna is now. It was a kind of depot where he collected the goods that were to be shipped to or from the island to or from Piraeus. And from that little pier, from those steps that you see, they carried them up to the storeroom/shop. After the war, the place closed down and my father, half a century later, in 1995, decided to turn it into a café/taverna. Then he rented it to Smaragda and in 2011, I took over”.
Antonis is an open-hearted fellow. His first priority is using the best local products that he can find.
“It’s exhausting work, I admit’, he says, ‘especially in summer, but whatever happens, I wouldn’t exchange my morning coffee with this view of the sea for anything. I get my good fish from the fishermen, while I buy the small fry – sardines and anchovies – from the market. For local meats, four of us restaurant owners – Thalassaki, San to Alati, Itan ena Karavi and myself – get them from a special butcher and special animal breeders with flocks and cattle.”
The place is exceptionally attractive, but it has become known particularly for the fish soup that’s offered on the house before you’ve even ordered. From there on, there are lots of appetisers to choose from, some simple like artichokes, tomato fritters, herring salad but also others that are more sophisticated, such as caramelised octopus with black eyed peas, lakerda (preserved fish) with lentil puree, Santorini fava with marinated anchovies, chickpea fricassee as well as the by now classic spaghetti with shrimp.
Antonis opens Dinos taverna, whose veranda is protected from the elements, from Kathari Deftera (the beginning of Lent) until Easter every weekend, every day during the ‘season’ until September, and from then only on weekends until 11 November, when he closes for the winter.
This is definitely a taverna worth a visit.