Euripides and Marygo Tatsionas
Metaxi Mas (Between Us) in Tinos town is one of the most attractive restaurants on the island. With a wonderful ambience, spacious, beautiful and refined décor, it combines features of Tinos traditional architecture – like stone arches – with a contemporary aesthetic consisting of pale colours, stripped wood, chic metal furniture and even sofas with multi-coloured cushions on the sides.
It is situated a few metres from the main road to the Cathedral and exactly behind the busy waterfront. On both sides of the door, two wonderful old school blackboards welcome you with the day’s dishes written on them in chalk. They may include: stuffed courgette flowers with mincemeat and rice and egg-lemon sauce, stuffed tomatoes and peppers Constantinople style, aubergine roll with Tinos anthotyro (fresh white cheese), greens fritters, fried tomatoes, fava, moussaka, kid stewed with courgettes in an egg-lemon sauce, artichoke pie.
The printed menu, also delightful to the eye, has more original and creative dishes, such as: fava with octopus and grape must syrup, pastry-wrapped chicken ‘flutes’ with Tinos graviera cheese and pepper sauce, beet salad with yogurt, garlic and dill, grilled sardines with parsley sauce, salt cod croquettes, squid stuffed with feta and tomato with a mustard sauce, and pork fillet with lemon thyme and oyster mushrooms.
In the end local/traditional cuisine and modern creative Greek cuisine have found a perfect balance at Metaxi Mas. The transition from familiar casserole dishes to more original interpretations came about with an historic compromise by two generations. For years Euripides and Marygo Tatsionas had built a reputation on beautifully cooked ‘slow food’. Thus when Dimitris, their son, graduated from Le Monde cooking school in Athens, and took over the kitchen, he endeavoured – and managed – to bring past and present together harmoniously, by focusing on local products and recipes and quality. Meats, cheeses, vegetables and naturally fish and seafood are all sourced locally.
I have a special regard for places that attempt to prolong the season and cater to winter residents and visitors as well as summer crowds. Metaxi Mas is open every day for lunch and dinner from March until November and on weekends all winter long.