Sunday, May 15, 2011

Athenian Greetings! Eating dinner at The Olive Garden Restaurant atop The Titania Hotel, Athens, Greece

Greetings from Athens, Greece!

 We are here in Athens for a week so Neil can attend a conference (The 6th Annual International Symposium on the Environment, sponsored by the Athens Institute for Education and ResearchArts and Sciences Research DivisionEnvironment and Agricultural Research Unit). Markie came along to see the sights as well and enjoy the great Greek food...who could resist?

 We're staying in the Titania Hotel in downtown Athens (52 Panepistimiou Avenue, Athens, Greece) where the conference is being held. From our room, as well as the rooftop restaurant, one can see the Acropolis.  Here, we are sitting in the rooftop restaurant where the Parthenon is in clear view...
 Our friends Larry and Rose are also visiting with us....thankfully Rose speaks Greek to help everyone out!
 We went for afternoon drinks and snacks at The Olive Garden restaurant on the 11th floor of the conference hotel....watching the sun dance across the mountains and the mighty Acropolis structures....staying here until after sunset to catch the entire venue of views.
 Join us for a glass of wine or fresh lemonade, along with some Greek cheeses....a bit of Feta, smoked and aged cheese, with a few sesame sticks?
 The Greek flag behind us catches the blue of the sky and transforms it into a blue and white fabric of colors on this gorgeous afternoon.
 Perched on top of this steep Lycabettus Hill is an old white church, Ag. Georgios....
From where Neil and Mark are sitting you can see this from one direction, 
 and the Parthenon from the other!

Here's the menu we have to look at before sitting down for dinner on the veranda on top of the hotel.
The first is a listing of the special Strawberry festival (this is the last day of it).
 followed by the main many choices!

 While we're deciding on what to have a basket of fresh, hot breads, dipped in olive oil, balsamic, and capers or perhaps some hummus, is sure to get your taste buds activated!
 The moon rises in the eastern sky above the Greek flag.
 We all decide to try the Farmer's Salad, being plated below.
 It is this tasty mixture of fresh tomatoes, Greek olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, caper buds and caper leaves (both pickled). The leaves are delicious!
Use the sprig of dried Greek oregano (below left) and rub it between your fingers to add the additional garnish of flavors.  Fantastic!  We just love Greek food!
 While we dine on our salads, the sun is slowly setting (below right in the panoramic photo below) and the mountains start turning a lovely red.
 The moon shines brighter above the olive tree and flag...
 Modern Athens becomes darkened for awhile until the lights start to twinkle on the distant hills.
 It's time now for the main courses to arrive. Mark chooses the lamb chops, resting on a bed of roasted red peppers and eggplants, plated along with an olive oil and balsamic reduction.
Then there's a Souvlaki plate....delightful skewers of meat, onions, tomatoes, embedded in grilled potato slices.
 while Neil dines on the traditional Mousaka resting on a pool of Greek yoghurt spiced with garlic and thyme, along with a garnish of Thyme.
Now the night has fallen and the Parthenon and other structures in the Acropolis become lighted. Our white roses growing tableside seem to reflect the white evening lights.
 Here's another panoramic view of the Acropolis when fully lit, along with the city lights starting to shine.

 Isn't it just gorgeous beyond belief? Here we are in a city that dates back to ~3,000 B.C.  We ponder the history of the many invaders, spoilers, and the long-term resiliance of the Greeks. Long live Athena!
 Once the darkness has settled in, a breeze comes up and it cools down outside, signalling time for dessert! One of us gets the cold strawberry soup with panna cotta floating on it, dusted gently with roasted Pistachios.
 While another feasts on the fresh strawberry tart, along with a side of mango sherbert festively adorned with chocolate and strawberry reduction.
 Mark smiles at his traditional Ekmek dessert....a delight for the eyes and tastebuds....chocolate, pistachio, cherries...
 and Neil enjoys the strawberry Mille Fleur embedded within a fluffy and light pastry.

We wish you all the best of meals tonight, from the historic city of Athens, the Acropolis, and the Parthenon!

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.


  1. has never failed to deliver smart food and outstanding client service to its customers. Fine, quality food and outstanding service build Olive Garden one of the leading restaurant chains in the country. If you're thinking of the best place to celebrate you’re special milestones or a romantic place for a date, you may definitely notice the interiors of Olive Garden to be the most effective setting for these occasions. and this place will conjointly build you're feeling like you're indeed dining and drinking in a very classic Italian winery.

  2. The blog is good enough, keep up writing such type of posts.
    Outback Coupons