Travelling north of Poros town towards the ruins of the temple of Poseidon in the Foussa area, you cross a wooded zone, thick with pines, and suddenly on your left you come to a semi-circular sign bearing the name Restaurant Paradisos, above the start of a dirt road. The name is enticing so you follow it and 100 metres further on you arrive at an oasis. Paradise indeed.
Girded with gardens where the family’s vegetables are growing lies a courtyard whose greater part is shaded by a light but large pergola that rises above the low fruit trees – lemons, oranges and pomegranates. Grape and other vines sprawl casually over stretched wires, which in the spring let in the sunlight but in summer when in leaf create an indispensable cover from the sun’s burning rays. You burrow deeper into this hideout and are immediately confronted by a second surprise. The horizon opens up before you and you have an unobstructed view of the whole Saronic Gulf, from Methana and Aegina as far as Mt Hymettus. The atmosphere conjures up Greece in the 70s, untouched by modernity and very bucolic.
And in the middle of this courtyard sits the Paradisos taverna.
The third surprise comes from the taverna owners themselves, simple people who offer you their simple dishes. Just a few things, but each of them if not from their garden then from the vicinity. The mother is a fabulous cook, the father a grill master and their daughter brings their plates to the table: well-cooked homely dishes such as wild rabbit, cockerel in wine with macaroni (a poem), delicious traditional meze, local lamb and piglet on the spit, ‘kokoretsi’ (spit-roasted innards), kontosouvli, souvlaki and other typically Greek treats, including bread kneaded by the grandmother and baked in their wood-fired oven on the premises.
You can drink bottled Greek wine if you choose but I believe that the local barrel wine matches perfectly with these dishes.
Paradisos Taverna, just five minutes from town, is open winter and summer and remains the best loved spot among both locals and visitors who want to feel surrounded by nature, far from the madding crowd, and enjoy good genuine food. Or to put it another way, who want to spend a few moments in Paradise.