Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Athens Adventure: The Funky Gourmet

SPOILER ALERT! If you've stumbled upon this blog searching for The Funky Gourmet and have reservations, stop reading so as not to spoil the surprise. Come back after your dinner and see if you had the same experience we did.

After the museum, we went back to the hotel and had a little nap before dinner. I had researched The Funky Gourmet online and it got rave reviews for being interesting and yummy. It was both in spades. Join me for a pictorial walk through our dinner ...

We started with 'cocktails' which were booze infused fruits perched on a cube of blue ice. And they tasted just like the cocktail they represented. From left to right are mojito, appletini, mai tai. Mmmmmm.
This dish consisted of 3 different preparations of Mastik, which is a local fruit, I think. The waitress started with a spritzer bottle of the fragrance and then set down this piece of wood. The yellow bits were a kind of appetizer I guess you would say - they exploded in your mouth. And the green bits you can just see on the right edge of the wood were a kind of jelly that you ate with your finger. It was our least favorite dish, but that's relative meaning it was just excellent instead of amazing.
This artistic creation was stuffed zucchini and one of our favorites. The tower was a fried zucchini chip. Sooo good.
This was my favorite dish. The bottom 'plate' was a sealed bag with cold water and seashells, which kept the clam shell second plate cool. The dish was scallops with tapioca and a ginger ale foam - sounds weird, right? It was perfect - simply amazing.
  This course was 'just' a garden salad - yeah, probably the best one I've ever eaten. Each vegetable was perfectly cut and placed on the plate. You almost hated to disrupt it and eat it ... almost. And they had a cute little watering can to pour the dressing on top. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera ready in time for that.
Believe it or not, this is a greek salad. It's a bowl of little ice crystals, but when you taste it, it's exactly a greek salad - cucumber, tomatoe, olive and onion. Really unique. 
 Oh, and did I mention every course was paired with a glass of sparkling, wine or beer? We were happy we had a nap before dinner AND that we didn't have to be up early the next morning!
This was the best presented course. It was steak tartar (raw hamburger) and they served it on this 'grill' at the table and then poured liquid nitrogen into the pan to make it 'steam'. The whole thing is served cold, but looks like you've got a smoking grill on your table. Really cool. And really yummy too!
 The next course was 'just a burger', but oh my God what a burger. Wish it had been bigger.
This is a traditional Greek dish called souvlaki. Think of it as Greek comfort food. It was lamb, rice, tomato and cheese served in a cute little crock pot. Delicious! And despite the deceptively small looking portions, we were getting full.
Our palate cleanser, which was a lemon gel spread on the leaf and then what was kind of like lemon pulp that you see in the photo. We were instructed to put the whole leaf in our mouth and suck off the lemon gel ... but not to eat the leaf. It was good and very interesting.
And then it was on to the desserts (yes, plural!) This was another Greek specialty, I think called Kourambiedes, but I could be wrong about that. Whatever it was, it was good.
Chocolate upon chocolate in this one. All different textures and oh so good. It satisfied my chocoholic tastes, that's for sure. And just look at the artistry - I wonder how long it takes them to get each dish just right?
Despite being a chocoholic, this was my favorite dessert. They called it a berry basket and it came in a paper bag as if you bought it at the fruit market. There were mini chocolate chip cookies, raspberry macaroons, a white chocolate dipped berry sorbet and a black or blueberry jelly. The perfect ending to all the rich food that had come before.
A really fun and really yummy experience. Definitely in my top 5 meals of all time! And now, I need to get snack - this post has made me hungry!

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