The Rex restaurant is situated on Kapodistriou Street, one of the town’s most important, which runs behind the Liston and the beautiful spacious Splianada Square, where the city’s heart beats. A classic meeting place for Corfiots since 1932, the Rex stands between historic buildings left by the French and was initially owned by the Kasimi family who hailed from the island of Othoni off the northwest tip of Corfu. In 1945 Yiannis Dimoulitsas took over the management, followed by the Katsaros family in 1955, first Nikolaos, then his nephew Alexandros, who has been at the helm for the past 40 years and is gradually giving his kids Periklis and Nikoleta more responsibility.
Among the most traditional of Corfu’s restaurants, it has retained its prestige thanks to stable management, a devoted clientele and a family atmosphere with impeccable service.
In winter it occupies the ground floor of a historic building that was recently given a tasteful facelift, with watercolours by the Corfiot painter Theophilos Kentarhos that lend a special atmosphere and a dazzling gilded baroque mirror that steals the show. Naturally, warm and welcoming though the closed room may be, the most desirable place to sit, weather permitting, is at the tables outside on the flagstoned street. Not just to take in the marvelous view and the aura of the old city, but for people watching since sooner or later all Corfu passes through here. Locals will inevitably encounter friends and acquaintances, while visitors will see all the town personalities and enjoy the musical lilt of the Corfiots’ accent.
From the culinary point of view, the Rex Restaurant is first and foremost Corfiot. Here you will feast on ample portions of classic island specialties like sofrito, bourdeto and pastitsada at their most authentic, as well as new creative dishes featuring local ingredients such as salads or risottos with noumboulo, Corfiot fresh cheese and kumquats, and my personal favourite yiouvetsi (baked orzo) with calamari, fennel seeds, saffron and ouzo. In summer fish are prepared according to the customer’s preferences.
The Rex restaurant justly deserves its reputation as the prime restaurant/meeting place in the center of Corfu town.