Apostolis Restaurant is not situated among the tens of little traditional tavernas packed along the main street of the port of Naxos. A few meters off the main port, Apostolis restaurant is situated in a clearing where three pedestrian walkways and a yard/square protected under the leaves of a huge eucalyptus tree meet. The restaurant is tastefully decorated to create an elegant ambiance, an old bicycle standing outside a window -the restaurant’s logo-, lighting is discrete while a band of sophisticated musicians performs live without a sound system.
People in the restaurant are pleasant, the personnel are very polite, service is fast and the portions served filling.
We are witnesses to the transformation of a traditional taverna into something new with all the pleasant surprises that such a change brings with it.
Kyr Apostolis (kyr, added before the name of an old men, is a way to salute or address him in a respectful way, informal word), who comes from Epirus, first came to Naxos in 1980 where he worked for many years as a waiter. At some point, kyr Nikos opened a taverna together with his boss but, in the end, he opened his own taverna. Since 2000 Apostolis restaurant has been running in the same place it is currently housed that kyr Nikos bought in 2007.
The dishes served in his taverna were cooked with all due care using fine ingredients. However, they were the typical dishes of a Greek taverna. The son of kyr Apostolis, Dimitris having studied at the Le Monde School of Cooking and having worked next to skilful chefs, wanted to bring a breath of fresh air into the restaurant and add a creative touch to the local cuisine making the most of local cheeses, Naxian potatoes, local vegetables and the local meat of such an unparalleled taste.
The result: a cuisine that is taking its first steps away from an honest (Epirote) past towards new paths.
Here are a few dishes it to prove it:
A most delicious mixed salad with honey and gruyere flakes. Graviera replaced the parmesan flakes, so common nowadays.
Spaghetti with ground beef sauce and zamboni, the local cured meat which adds a characteristic flavour to this dish.
Kefalotyri Saganaki (kefalotyri cheese fried in a pan) with a crust of nuts and tomato jam. You are one step closer to heaven already!
Equally interesting was the ice-cream “kaimaki” with sperna (earth’s fruits): wheat, almond, walnut, resin and pomegranate (on a sombrely note, this collection of nuts resembles the ones used in the sweet funerary dish kollyva, offered for the benefit of the soul of the one that has departed, symbolizing also rebirth).
It will come as no surprise to me if Apostolis Restaurant becomes soon the best restaurant in the Chora of Naxos.