Selianitika is a seaside village – some say the loveliest one in Achaia – on the Gulf of Corinth, 7 km from Aigio and 35 km from Patras. The village is a well-known summer resort, which attracts people who come for its hot springs/spa as well as its beaches. Of all its tavernas, restaurants, cafes and snack bars lined up along the water, my favourite is Maistreli which sits discreetly off by itself at the entrance to the village.
The fish taverna lies at the end of the beach of Selianitika and it has stolen my heart because it reminds me of my childhood in Greece in the 60s. In fact, nothing about it has a 21st century atmosphere. The little tables and the rush seats of the old-fashioned chairs are placed right on the shingle beach, at the water’s edge, shaded by towering eucalyptus trees that grow along the beach.
There are no fake green carpets, no fake ship’s deck, no pretentious decorations or complicated layouts. The absolute simplicity, the proximity to nature, and of course the plain but delicious food and service by the gracious owners are all to its advantage. I tried the tomato fritters and they were among the best I have ever tasted! Even on Santorini.
Also delicious were the butterflied sardines, perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside, juicy inside. And incredible bream. The grill master is an expert. There’s a large variety of both meat and fish for the grill and the fish are always fresh.
Maistreli Taverna belongs to Panayotis Panagopoulos, who started working at 12 as a waiter. At some point he took over the Flisvos, another taverna at Selianitika and for the last 20 years he has been here at Maistreli with his sister’s husband, Thanasis Gofis. In the winter they run the Liopetro taverna at Kounina. And in his spare time, he’s writing his memoirs.