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Fodor's Greek Islands
With its airy neoclassic mansion and leafy minimalist courtyard—paved with original painted tiles, canopied by huge date palms, and illuminated by colored lanterns—Balthazar truly feels like an summer oasis in the middle of Athens. The crowd is fun and hip, moneyed, cosmopolitan, and beautiful, so you might wish to come for dinner, then stay to mingle and taste the cocktails (like the passion fruit martini) as the DJ picks up the beat. Chef Christos Manousopoulos keeps the quality and flavor high on the up-to-the-minute Mediterranean menu, or you can try the Japanese creations of sushi chef Osakazu Yoshida. Opt for any of the creative appetizers (especially the "trilogy" of marinated tuna, salmon, and shrimp), the tasty main dishes (such as the sea bream with cherry tomatoes and capers sauce, as well as the various risottos), and the homemade desserts, especially the Napoleon Pavlova with fresh strawberries or the various sorbets and ice creams. Though it's been around for a decade, the place has miraculously managed to remain as fresh and trendy today as when it first opened.
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