Michelin Dining in Athens (because we’re married and no longer on a diet)

Our view from our table at Varoulko…not too shabby

Despite the crappy flight, it was 10:30am before we knew it, and we had arrived in Athens.  We were amazed at how quickly we got through passport control – they literally glanced at everyone’s passports, asked zero questions, and stamped us through.  However, we still weren’t at our final destination yet.  We had 7 hours to wait before our ferry to Milos, so we’d planned ahead and made a reservation at the Michelin-starred Varoulko, conveniently located near the port of Piraeus.  Since it was our honeymoon after all, and our first of many anticipated meals, we went a little crazy and ordered the 4-course chef’s tasting menu.  Yes, we may have gone a little overboard for a lunch but it was a great start to our 2 weeks of culinary heaven, and a great way to kill a few hours.

Our first (of many to come) taste of local olive oil and some olives
First Course: Lightly cured fish in olive oil with seaweed, tomatoes, and olive
Second Course: Steamed clams in wine, garlic, and parsley
Third course: Orzo cooked with shrimp in limnio wine, red pepper flakes, and parmesan (my favorite course)
Fourth course: Dover sole lightly grilled with lemon and olive oil, with seaweed greens

At long last, it was time to board the final leg to our first destination.  We were a little nervous about the ferry system as we heard some stories about how unreliable they are and how chaotic the boarding process can be.  Not to mention our last ferry experience in Brazil was ROUGH, so we were very cautious about riding over open seas.  Thankfully, we picked a large (read: heavy) car ferry, loaded up on Dramamine, and the ferry was relatively on time.  And while there were hoards of people all boarding simultaneously, it was a bizarrely organized chaos.

Our ferry to Milos

After a quick 3 hours (made quicker by the sleep-inducing Dramamine), we pulled into Adamas port on the island of Milos.  Although it was 8pm and the sun had set, we could tell we were about to arrive somewhere special.  At dusk, the small port town of whitewashed stone houses was starting to light up, with tavernas and cafes lining the waterfront harbor.  We actually weren’t staying in Adamas though, so we had to take a quick taxi over to the second, smaller port of Pollonia on the north side of the island.  Before we even saw the lights of the town, we drove up a steep hill…where the heck were we staying?!  Our hotel, Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel, was situated at the top of this hill, and having just opened 6 weeks ago, we really felt we were staying somewhere brand new.  We also got hooked up with a humongous terrace where we could at last see the tiny town of Pollonia, and as we would see the next morning, a beautiful panoramic of the harbor.  The weather wasn’t quite what we expected – although the forecasts called for “blustery,” we didn’t realize how windy it actually would be as we were greeted by strong, constant winds (good thing we’d taken the Dramamine on board!).  Our cushions had blown right off our lounge chairs outside, and the hotel told us that many ferries and boat tours had cancelled their trips for that day, and the one following.

It was a short (but dark and steep!) walk into town, which featured a pedestrian alleyway of 8 or so restaurants with plenty of al fresco dining right on the water.  To be honest, many of the menus looked pretty similar, although they all looked delicious!  We ended up grabbing a bite at Gialos, sitting right next to the water and watching the small boats rock every which way on the water at the hands of the strong breeze.  Not a bad start to our culinary tour through Greece today, with the best yet to come!

The wind left quite a mess on our terrace…and look what else it blew in!
The town of Pollonia, lined with seaside tavernas
Our first taste of Tzatziki, made of Greek yogurt, cucumbers, and dill
Cheese saganaki with black sesame and honey
Squid ink risotto with cuttlefish and lemon. Interesting, but not my favorite…a bit too much squid ink for my liking.
Strawberry cheesecake ice cream. YESSSS

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