Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dining in Greece (Part II)

Greek Dining Habits & Quirks

* The Greeks eat dinner as late as the Spanish do -- never before 8:30 or 9:00 p.m., and usually closer to 9:30 or 10 p.m.

* In all but the most expensive restaurants, silverware is not resting on the table when you are seated. It is generally delivered (along with napkins) in the same basket as the bread that comes to your table.

* As in most European countries, restaurant diners drink bottled mineral water, not tap water. If you open the bottle, pour water into glasses and then leave the cap off the bottle, don't be surprised if a server replaces the cap on the bottle. If you look around, you'll notice that Greeks always seem to put the cap back on the bottle after they've poured water. It's almost an obsession.


When you think of Greece and then think of wine, what probably comes to mind is Retsina wine -- the mediocre wine with the scent of pine resin. Thankfully, you will not find Retsina on the typical wine list over there.

Having said that, don't get your hopes up too high. I drank a lot of wine during my nine days in Greece, and my observation is that the whites can be quite enjoyable to drink, but the reds were generally disappointing.

Wine is generally quite affordable in Greece, even on restaurant wine lists. At a grocery or wine shop, you'll rare pay more than 9 euros ($13.40) for a bottle of Greek wine.

If you're in doubt about which wine to buy or order, Boutari is a respectable producer -- sort of the Guigal of Greece.

No comments: