The taverna Skala (The Stairs) is situated in about the middle of the flagstoned pedestrian street that runs through Oia, the most picturesque village on Santorini. Going down a few steps you reach the taverna’s veranda, which admittedly has the best view of the Caldera in Oia. Whatever table you choose you’ll be enchanted by the blue of the Aegean, the awesome height of the cliffs and the open horizon with the volcano in the middle.
Taverna Skala isn’t one of those typical tourist tavernas, the sort that inevitably crop up wherever foreigners congregate or even the other sort that start with the best intentions and go out like a flare. Skala is a taverna with a thirty year history and a constant approach to cooking which honours the gastronomy of Santorini. Owned by Christos Markozanis and Stavros Sigalas – brother of Paris Sigalas, the well-known winemaker – two people with cosmopolitan lifestyles, bon viveurs and eternal teenagers, I Scala will not only captivate you with its monumental view, but also with its unpretentious service and fidelity to the traditional dishes of Santorini.
From the menu we would select the classic baked sfougato of Santorini with courgettes and dill (a dream), octopus cooked in Vinsanto, traditional aubergine dip, oven-baked sardines with fresh tomato and oregano, fresh cod baked with tomatoes and vegetables, lamb shanks“kleftiko” style, wrapped in greaseproof paper with tomato, peppers and feta, and of course the fish of the day, if available.
At taverna Skala there are lots of local wines to choose from. Topping the list is white Assyrtiko, with its singular metallic taste, high acidity and severe presence, but also Mavrotragano, the indigenous red with its rich aroma and pleasant aftertaste.
If you are lucky enough to meet the owners and sit in their company, the experience will be even more memorable.