The Spilia neighbourhood, in the narrow kantounia (alleyways) of the old Jewish district in Corfu town, conceals a little gem. Thanks to the owner’s motherly touch in the kitchen, Marina’s Taverna (or “tavernaki”, which means “little tavern” in Greek) has won devotees both among locals and visitors.
The winter space – an older eatery that Marina recently acquired as she moved from her former establishment – is open for lunch and dinner. Spic and span, with attractively set well-spaced tables, tasteful décor, pea-green walls, flowered curtains, interesting paintings in one corner, it’s a far cry from the usual tourist stops and more reminiscent of a family home.
The aristocratic, robust and warm presence of the owner and her open face win you over at first sight. The service is prompt. The ingredients always fresh – since Marina herself buys only what’s in season from the market every morning – the tastes straightforward, with an emphasis on light cooking, using Corfiot recipes for the most part, impeccably prepared.
From the enticing menu, apart from the classic Corfiot dishes, we singled out the green salad with mushrooms, the Epirote style pies (a tribute to her origins) with homemade phyllo, oven-baked eggplant with cheese and fresh basil, as well as baked sardine fillets.
In summer, little tables spread out into the lovely alleyway. And we always love chatting with Marina about her successes on her winter travels when she tried to introduce Corfiot cooking to the capitals of Europe.