We are just into our first course at Gastrodromio– basically, bean soup and some anchovies. It’s fantastic. Between bites, someone says “Why is this guy not in a big city? This restaurant would be huge in a big city.”
Elegant, laid-back Gastrodromio
Reinventing the authentic
The elements are perfect together- hot/cold, creamy/crisp, bland/piquant. Pulses here are classically paired with smoked or pickled fish and pickled vegetables as a condiment. Not usually fresh anchovy though. At a couple euros a kilo, these are cheaper than good white beans. The house cured ones here are like velvet, but with some bite- silky, yet with plenty of verve.
Our second course is a cabbage roll with mushrooms rather than meat, and cracked wheat rather than the traditional rice. Saffron in the avgolemono sauce is an upscale touch, but it’s local- from a couple of counties over. I’m writing fast, but we’re eating slow, vintners stopping by, some of us table hopping for a chat about the wines, all local, all delicious.
Humble, and noble
And it carries the theme- a fresh view of the very simplest things. A semolina pudding rests on a toast of tsoureki (like challah). The jammy fruits in syrup that are in every Greek pantry add a sweet garnish. Edible blossoms from mountain meadows provide sustainable fantasy.
Pieria- region of Mt. Olympus and Dion- is just south of Thessaloniki. It’s easy to reach by bus or train, and close enough to drive to for dinner. Katerini is the capital, and Litohoro is the marvelous village at the mountain’s base.
This site is very useful for planning a visit: http://visitpieria.gr/english.html
Travel Bloggers Greece and I were guests of the Chamber of Pieria. My enthusiasm is my own- it is a region rich in every delight of Greece.