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Walking from Monastiraki Metro station towards the trendy Aghia Eirini square, I was excited. At long last, I was going to see for myself if La Maison du Grec (or The Greek’s House) was as pretty as it looked on Instagram. A typical Athenian summer afternoon, it was sunny and warm, the city full of tourists. Right behind the Aghia Eirini church, pretty white tables and chairs on the pavement meant that I had found it.
The retro style of La Maison du Grec
Upon reaching the doorway, we were welcomed by a friendly and helpful member of staff. He promptly showed us to our table and offered the menu.
Inside, La Maison du Grec was just as I expected and even better.
As soon as we walked in, we noticed the cheerful and elegant retro decor. The attention to detail was impressive. Even the wine decanters were very much like the ones my grandma used to have. Not to mention the Vienna-style wooden chairs with velvet seats, some of them even painted yellow and blue.
As we learned, the owner wanted to recreate the classic style of 1950s Athens. Back then, high-rises had yet to become the norm and well-to-do Athenians still lived in elegant family homes.
Old-style chandeliers decorated the ceiling, which also reminded me of my grandmother’s home, in a good way. Gran had a very stylish home indeed!
In addition, a 50’s style shop display at the back of the bistro added another element of 50’s retro chic. You see, it was not unusual for grocery stores in the 1950s to also have eating areas. Shoppers would often drop by for a quick lunch during shopping.
The food at La Maison du Grec
This cute and chic bistro serves delicious comfort food, inspired by Greek and Mediterranean cuisines. Admittedly, we ordered more than we could eat. But as everything on the menu looked so tempting, who could blame us?
While we waited for our order, a basket with tasty breadsticks and fish-roe dip arrived. The breadsticks were just amazing, let alone the fish roe. I could eat half a dozen of them! But, fortunately for my waist, the starters arrived just in time.
Our starter of choice was the shrimp, fish roe, beetroot and truffle oil bruschettas. More of that fine-tasting fish roe dip, yay! The toasted bread was a bit of a challenge to cut with a knife, but it didn’t stop us. Next time, we’ll use hands.
Following the shrimp bruschetta, it was time for the salad. It had fresh greens, mushrooms, walnuts and the star of the dish, grilled talagani cheese. Talagani is a kind of cheese similar to halloumi, but made in Greece, not Cyprus. Just like halloumi, talagani is most suited for grill or frying.
The salad was fresh and tasty. It combined the earthy flavour of the mushrooms with the salty taste of grilled talagani. In addition, walnuts provided the necessary crunch factor. Very interesting!
The main dishes
Afterwards, the main dishes arrived. They were the highlight of our meal!
At first, we shared the very tempting peinirli. What is peinirli, you might ask. It is a kind of boat-shaped pizza. It arrived to Greece by immigrants from the Black Sea region, about a century ago. Its name originates from the Turkish word for cheese, or “peynir” and trust me, it’s delicious.
The La Maison du Grec version of peinirli bread is crispy on the outside but soft on the inside . The one we tried had minced meat, Greek cheddar cheese, and a very tasty-looking fried egg on top.
After the peinirli, it was time for the pasta. We had chosen a carbonara, which also had an impressive fried egg on top. It was simply excellent! As I’m partial to pasta, perhaps I’m not very objective, but I really loved it. In fact, it is a carbonara with a Greek twist. Instead of the usual bacon, this one has syglino from Mani, a kind of local ham. As a result, it has an irresistible smoky flavour.
What is more, instead of Parmigiano or other Italian cheese, this carbonara features mizithra, a traditional Greek cheese. Often used in Greek pasta dishes, here its grated and “burnt” for added flavour. Simply delicious!
Time for dessert
How is it that there is always room for dessert? At any rate, we chose s chocolate tart with zesty orange and a mastic-flavoured one, to share between us. Turns out, they were both absolutely delicious!
Being a chocoholic, I simply loved the chocolate and orange tart. The chocolate was sweet and milky, contrasting nicely with the zesty caramelized orange.
On the other hand, my friend prefered the mastic-flavoured one. It had a lovely smooth and creamy texture and was subtly flavoured with Greek mastic. Very chic indeed!
Finally, this amazing meal ended with delicious iced cappuccino coffee, served in a tall glass. It was strong in flavour, yet deliciously sweet, without being too sweet.
La Maison du Grec
1, Skouze street, Athens
Tel. +30 216 900 5119
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Disclaimer: I was invited to review La Maison du Grec. My meal was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.