Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tudor Hall, Athens

Tudor Hall is the restaurant of the hotel King George located on the 7th floor with views on the Constitution Square. 

There is a newly renovated neo-classical interior, a spacious terrace outside with an amazing view to the Parliament and Acropolis.

The executive chef is Sotiris Evangelou, a talented greek chef, who apprenticed alongside Alain Ducasse and trained in various hotels and restaurants, Monte Carlo, Provence, Paris and Hong Kong. Since then he focused on modern Greek cuisine, as it also appears in my visit to the Tudor Hall. Some years ago he was in the hotel Makedonia Palace, Thessaloniki, in the restaurant Porfyra, then left for Athens to ''GB corner'' the restaurant of the hotel Grand Bretagne.   

Photo by tudorhall.gr

Tudor goes raw. A special menu with unprocessed and uncooked dishes, fish, meat and shellfish. A la carte or as set menu. (Available for August 2014)

We went a la carte. We started with 4 kind of breads, extra virgin olive oil from Crete, goat cheese and olives sauteed in garlic.

Carnarolli risotto with asparagus and truffle. Technically excellent and full of flavor.

Green ravioli with seafood and ouzo espuma. The seafood prawns, lobster and calamari were fresh and of very good quality making a great filling for the light pasta. 

Beef cheeks cooked in red wine and xilopites pasta yiouvetsi. Amazingly tender and the small Greek pasta called xilopites was perfect. My favorite of the main dishes.

Gyros with Greek aroma. Slow cooked wild pig with aromatic herbs, crispy pita bread, Greek salad and tzatziki cream, served with french fries. The meat was tender and flavor full, the french fries were not good. 

Grilled organic chicken, marinated in yogurt honey and thyme. Served with roasted potatos , rocket leaves, sundried tomatos and Naxos ''Arseniko'' cheese. 

The desserts are prepared by the pastry chef Evgenios Vardakastanis. 
Aegina pistachio parfait with sweet cherry, Madagascar vanilla and tonka beans. (Aegina island is famous for its pistachio production)Excellent   

Bitter chocolate moelleux with raspberry and berry sorbet. Average to good.

Fennel confit with milk chocolate, lemongrass, orange, saffron and ouzo sorbet. One of the best desserts I have ever had, amazing. Maybe not for every one's taste but for me the combination of milk chocolate and confit fennel was spot on. 

There was an extensive wine list with surprisingly many options by glass. You can find wines from Greece, France, Spain etc by bottle or by class as also many champagnes.

The service was excellent, very attentive, water glasses refilled promptly, dishes were nicely explained. 

Generally I think this is one of the very few, good Greek-cooking ,fine dining restaurants.  

TudorHall website

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pierre Marcolini, Haute chocolaterie

When I made a post about my favorite chocolatiers I put Marcolini in the first place. Since then I tried chocolate from many other chocolatiers and I would still put Pierre Marcolini to the top with Z Chocolat and Jacques Genin alongside. 

Seeing chocolate as a grand cru wine, every year he travels to the most famous chocolate producing areas like Latin America, Mexico, Madagascar, Trinity Islands etc to find and collect beans from rare crus and small producers. The beans are then transferred to Belgium, in Brussels to get roasted and blended according to his taste. 

Marcolini has opened boutiques in France, Monaco, Japan, Kuwait and London except his numerous boutiques in Belgium. His newest is on 235 rue Saint Honore in Paris.  

Every month he creates a new limited flavored macaron. For August it was La tomate (!). Not the everyday tomato. A small one from Sicily, just 3cm long, named Datterino. A sweet delight paired with basil. I found aromas of lime, vanilla and pepper. The texture was airy on par with Laduree and Pierre Herme. The combination of flavors was working very well. That was in fact one of the best macarons I have ever tasted. 

Pierre Marcolini La tomate

Also what is worth seeing is the way these macarons were packaged and shipped from Belgium. Attention to detail at its best. The package can maintain the temperature between 8 and 18 celsius for 48 hours. 


Chocolate assortment

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