Restaurant Review

Review: An Italian Restaurant in Athens (and a wedding confession!)

On a bright Sunday, after an intense weekend of dress shopping with Mum- oh wait…have I mentioned I have been looking for THE dress? Well, it has finally started!! The part of wedding planning I had been dreaming of for the past 3 years!

I was never the girl who all her life dreamt of being a bride, but when I met Nikos, this bug got me and evere since I realised he was THE one for me- it took me 2 years- my Pinterest Boards went on fire!!! Three years of screen-shopping, say-yes-to-the-dress-series-watching and daydreaming have come true and I am extremely swoon and overwhelmed! I can’t believe it is actually happening and I don’t want it to end. So, it’s been a whirlwind of appointments and trials (and errors occasionally, I must admit) that cause me insomnia or suffering from severe excitement or bursting of joyous tears! It sounds silly, but even though I enjoy the process, I have started feeling worried whether I will find the dress or not.

Well, there is plenty of time and there are plenty of appointments ahead of me so I pace myself and try to keep focused and, at the same time, light. I want to look at it as the most fan part and not as something serious I should stress over. It’s not like I have insomnia or anything………. Back to the lunch.

I knew we would be tired, so I had called and booked a day before at our neighboorhood’s (Halandri) Italian place called «L’ Osteria da Claudio». It’s sweet, cozy, with an area for non-smokers which we adored. The decoration is authentically Italian, with little bottles of homemade liquer and olive oil on wooden shelves, a huge blackboard with the menu of the day and even, lovely, colourfully rustic plates. The place mats were very interesting,  too, made of paper and writing complete recipes of traditional desserts and dishes  on, making you twist your tounge trying to remember any Italian words you may know and laughing hard with your accent! It was fun!

The waiters are super polite, formally dressed, showing respect and treating you like a Queen; or King. The only thing that troubled us was the fact that they were speaking in a really low voice and we couldn’t fully understand them. So, out of embarassment we never asked for repetition and instead, we relied on our lip-reading skills! That was our bad!

The service was fast and on time.

We ordered two pasta dishes, a salad, a starter and two big bottles of water, which made us happy and content.

Being healthy, si?

The salad was a green one, with tomato cherries and a white sauce made of Parmiginano cheese. The pine seeds were an appropriate and needed touch, making the salad crunchier and nuttier.

The starter, which I didn’t photograph because it disappeared in no time, was an oven-baked dish with eggplants, tomato sauce, spicy salami slices and sea biscuits. Amazing combination! Rich in flavor, spicy and tangy.

My dish!

The first pasta was with tomato sauce, pork pancetta pieces and forest mushrooms, which were so tender and alive that made the dish sweet, juicy and balanced. A little spicy, as well, because of the garlic, and that made it even more to my liking.

Mum’s dish!

The second dish was oven-baked, with big cylindric pasta, called Cannelloni I think -anyone reading this and knowing better, please correct me; my lip-reading skills are probably to blame – filled with beef mince and topped with Bechamel sauce. Sweet, meat-y, having a home-taste, warm and rich. And hot, very hot. She had to wait a bit before she could dig in!

I also ordered a lovely soda with bergamot orange, looking like Coke, but tasting more bitter with cinnamon notes. Perfect companion for such a lovely, rich lunch.

Price we paid: Almost 15 euros / person.

All in all, Osteria da Claudio is a great experience, humble and rustic, making you wonder «How can I make the same dish on my  own and have it taste like THAT?»  Brava!


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