A new entry in the heart of Athens
I was debating on what the first post should be in this category. Whether it should include an already established and tried restaurant or something new and risky. I opted for the latter. Besides, it’s all about tasting.
Thankfully Samano Radio Restaurant proved to be an excellent first choice and one to recommend.
You won’t find your typical traditional Greek cuisine here, not even a Greek cuisine with a twist, like at Dopios restaurant. It’s more of a fusion style, balancing between fine dining and casual ambiance.
Samano Radio Restaurant is situated in the busy heart of the town of Athens, in the touristic and historic neighborhood of Plaka. Surrounded by all the other overly touristic and kitsch taverns, you may lose it at first. But with a second glance, your eyes will get caught by the dark painted walls and the thick wood.
The interesting part of this restaurant is the radio station in the basement, whose music can be heard in the restaurant. The chef Leonidas Koutsopoulos is well known in Greece as one of the judges in Masterchef. The radio station was born during quarantine and expressed his love of music and his good sense of humor.
Bear in mind that you will need to make a reservation well in advance, especially if you prefer to be seated outdoors. Indoors you will be required to show your certificate of Covid-19 vaccination. The seating is limited to 2 hours. Truth is that we managed to leave exactly in time, and like 10 minutes after our last bite. Mainly due to the slow-paced staff. The staff and the restaurant’s philosophy is a more laid-back approach but that doesn’t match well with the limited seating.
The drink list consists of 8 cocktails, meant to match the food and with prices from 10-13 euro. There is also a Greek Beer company with 6 different types of beers (from 3,8 – 13,9 euro for the limited version). We had the Samano Aperitivo which had a sweet punch at first from the peach aperitif but finally left us the bitterness of cynar. We also tried the alternative to Smile with no fear cocktail with rum, banana and ginger which was exceptionally well balanced.
As for the best part. Food.
The cucumber salad although simple from its description was perfectly fresh with the big chunks of cucumber, the spiciness of onion, the velvet cheese stamnotiri and the smoked pastrami. Must try is also tzatziki avocado, with the avocado adding the mouse fluffiness that the original recipe of tzatziki was missing.
Another to die for dish was fava and believe me I don’t even like fava. But when you add to this flawlessly cooked legume, mutton sausage and an egg on top, then who can resist. For last, I saved you the most tender beef brisket with a divine sauce and parsnip puree.
The portions were quite generous. We as 2 persons had a salad, 2 appetizers and the main course and we left full. Otherwise we could have tried the Dumplings stuffed with rabbit stew, or the beef tongue pane, or the risotto with roe, lime and local Naxian cheese.
I really should plan another visit to this restaurant.
Don’t forget to order bread, which is baked from the famous bakery Kora. Crusty, super tasty, sourdough bread.
Definitely considered as a mid to upscale restaurant. 2 persons for a cocktail each and the food mentioned above paid 84, 5 euro. We were full and happy but it won’t be our weekly visit, due to the price range.
Samano Radio Restaurant is an excellent choice in terms of flavor. It’s a fancy restaurant in a lively neighborhood better suited for couples and friends.
Keep in mind that parking may pose a problem in the area, as most of it is pedestrianized and the rest is reserved for residents only. Koukaki neighborhood would be the best solution for finding free parking space otherwise choose to come by public means of transport.
I would totally suggest this restaurant to someone looking to explore a more unconventional Mediterranean cuisine and I would definitely come back to try some more dishes.
Till next time & wish me well for this new category where we will get to explore my town Athens