Up to now most of the restaurants of Mykonos have had a cosmopolitan, international orientation, focussing on Japanese, French and Italian cuisines. However, a new trend is beginning aimed at a cuisine that uses typical Greek products and Greek recipes with a contemporary twist.
The leader of this trend, Panagiotis Menardos with his m-eating restaurant, has after four years established himself firmly at the summit of Mykonos gastronomy, which has seen many ‘successful’ chefs fly by like shooting stars.
The restaurant run by Panagiotis and his companion Sophia is in a traditional, early 20th century building in the middle of Mykonos town, a stone’s throw from Matogiani.
What distinguishes m-eating – from the open kitchen, to the hall, to the tables in the narrow alley, to the more private upper terrace, to the furnishings and menus (and their composition), to the wine list and the art de table – is an elevated aesthetic of light style that marries perfectly with the Mykonos atmosphere.
Gastronomically, Panagiotis Menandros wanted to use his experience in five star hotel restaurants around the island, where he had worked with famous chefs, to prepare a menu drawing on the broader Mediterranean cuisine in combination with local flavours and a different twist.
Characteristic dishes are:
- Cycladic octopus on a bed of green fava and black tarama.
- Fillet of quail smoked with wild oak on a mousse of katiki Domokou (cheese), walnut pesto and a honey and jus gravy.
- Steamed clams on a cold beet puree, accompanied by Tinos artichokes.
- Duet of caramelized pancetta and pork neck (Duroc variety), accompanied by an onion ragout and aubergine mousse.
- Veal rib eye with truffle honey on finely chopped vegetables.
- Sea bass fillet with mashed potatoes and peas, and baby string beans, bathed in an aromatic oil and lemon sauce with savoury.
Apart from being a charismatic and creative chef, Panagiotis is a grounded and modest person, a far cry from the “strutters” of our age. He stands firmly on his feet and is a vibrant example of a proper professional who brings honour to the island and to Greece.