Greece Dining

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To Varoulko, Athens. Not one to rest on his Michelin star, acclaimed chef Lefteris Lazarou is constantly trying to outdo himself, with magnificent results. Among his most fabulous compilations are a crab salad studded with mango, grapes, and leeks; honey-laced mullet roe, accompanied by cinnamony cauliflower puree; and lobster with wild rice, celery, and champagne sauce. $$$-$$$$ (photo, right)

48, Athens. French-trained chef Christoforos Peskias has created a menu with definite visual appeal. In addition to looking beautiful on the plate, such wonders as bakaliaros (deep-fried cod) and the ubiquitous Greek salad with new ingredients are taste sensations not to be missed. Everything cooked up here is wonderfully prepared and imaginatively presented. $$$$

1800, Santorini. Owner, architect, and restaurateur John Zagelidis has lovingly restored a magnificent old captain’s house with original furnishings. For starters try eggplant mousse with goat cheese and a yogurt green sauce, or sea-urchin eggs on potato purée and lemon jelly. Entrées include beef fillet with porcini and potato stuffed with spinach in vin santo (sweet wine) sauce. $$$

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Aristeria-Dexia, Athens. Popular dishes include pheasant sausage with parsnips in Madeira, pork tenderloin with apricot and ginger, and a Greek version of sushi—raw squid and trout roe on eggplant purée. In summer, tables move outside. $$$-$$$$ (photo, right)

Kollias, Athens. Relax on the restaurant’s jasmine-covered terrace and enjoy friendly owner Tassos Kollias’s creations, from the humble to the aristocratic: fried whole squid in its ink, sea urchin salad, lobster with lemon, balsamic vinegar, and a shot of honey. For a fitting end to the meal, try fresh loukoumades (sweet fritters) or bougatsa (custard in phyllo). $$-$$$

Etrusco, Corfu. This gem of a restaurant is one of the finest in Greece. Chef Ettore Botrini delights with dishes like homemade pappardelle and medallions of fish cooked in Triple Sec and sesame seeds. For dessert, the terrine of peaches refreshes, and the white chocolate is sublime. 1 kilometer east of Ano Korakiana, Kato, Korakiana. 26610/93342. $$$

La Maison de Catherine, Mykonos. The air-conditioned interior mixes Cycladic arches and whitewash with a French sensibility. Candles and classical music set the tone for baby squid stuffed with rice and Greek mountain spices, or soufflé, puffed to perfection. $$-$$$$

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Plous Podilatou, Athens. Sleek and chic, this restaurant evokes visions of the Riviera and is utterly removed from the nearby clattering tavernas. The tender baby squid cooked with balsamic vinegar, honey, and rosemary is unforgettable, as are the grilled octopus with fennel and the delicious cuttlefish with white-beet risotto. $$$-$$$$ (photo, right)

O Platanos, Athens. This fine establishment remains a welcome sight compared with the many overpriced tourist traps in the area. The shady courtyard is fine for outdoor dining. Don’t miss the oven-baked potatoes, roasted lamb, fresh green beans in savory olive oil, and the exceptionally cheap but delicious barrel retsina. $$-$$$

Vlassis, Athens. There’s no menu: pick from the tray of 20 or so small dishes brought to your table. They’re all good, but best bets include tirokafteri (a peppery cheese dip), lahanodolmades (cabbage rolls), pastitsio (baked minced meat and pasta with lamb liver), and the octopus stifado, which is tender and sweet with lots of onions. $-$$$