I have to agree with the many people who have said that Rhodes might just be be the most beautiful island in Greece. One of the largest, it’s old town is magnificent with its medieval walls and maze of cobblestone streets. The mixture of old and new and its natural beauty is astonishing and it’s no wonder that it’s a major tourist destination.
The ship docked at the Northern section of Rhodes just outside of the old town. Walking with my day’s escort Gioiella, we meandered through the small streets to one of the oldest seafood restaurants in Rhodes, Dinoris. Coming to a beautiful spot hidden among the ancient walls, I was fascinated to hear that this building dates back to the 13th century when it housed the stables for the Knights of St. John. It is an elegant and stylish space with a beautiful garden that is romantically set among these ancient walls.
I was greeted by the charming owner and his daughter, Despoina, 3rd generation of the Dinoris family who continue to run this renowned establishment. After taking some photos together, Mr. Dinoris proudly showed me his most recent fresh catch of grouper. A tray of smaller fish was brought out as well (for some beauty shots.) Mrs. Dinoris arrived just in time to clean the fish before Mr. Dinoris cooked it. In the meantime, Despoina and I sat in the beautiful garden sipping a refreshing white wine of Rhodes while waiting for the fabulous dishes coming my way. To my amazement, Mr. Dinoris appeared with not one but 3 different plates of food consisting of succulent stuffed squid, a medley of mussels and shrimp over rice as well as the delicately prepared grouper. As a special treat, my entire crew and I were given a specialty cake of the house prepared with rose petal sauce that Mrs. Dinoris makes herself. It was a hit. To say goodbye, I was given a “big” glass of ouzo that was quite a good ending to this delicious start of the day.
Heading to the new town now, I was looking forward to dining at the award winning international restaurant, Wonder. Walking through their front gate and down the stairs to a very pretty courtyard garden, I met the owner who knew we would be coming. Unfortunately, like most restaurants in Rhodes, they were not open for lunch and the chef was not coming in. The owner seemed rather embarrassed and upset by this and I was quite disappointed. Never mind. We had other places to visit and this gives me another reason to come back to Rhodes.
To regroup, we made a stop at Kalithea Spa & Springs, where the water in the bay is said to have healing powers. Now, it is a place with beaches and a picturesque landscape and a perfect spot to sit and have an ice cold beer.
After that short respite, it was a short drive to Tsambikos Taverna, situated on a small beach overlooking Kavourakia harbor. I was so excited to be at what seemed a true and authentic, relaxed waterside Greek taverna. The entire staff were standing by ready to prepare yet another feast for me. Soon the table was filled with an eggplant dish, stuffed squid, (very popular and tasty so I don’t mind having it again), octopus, green beans and special Greek cheese balls. The preparations were simple but very good.
Having extra time before needing to get back on the ship, Gioiella brought us to Locanda Demenagas, a restaurant back in the old town near the port but off the tourist radar. When I saw the many pots of food cooking on the stove in the open kitchen and smelled the aromas emerging from them I was quite excited to get a taste or two. The cook let me look into each pot and choose what I wanted right there in the kitchen. Since I had my fill of seafood, I chose rooster with pasta, moussaka, some greens and another eggplant dish. The rooster was so tender and juicy. I loved it. The owner, Lefteris Demanegis came over to say hello and offered a shot of ouzo for each of my crew. By the time we left, we each had a bottle of wine from Rhodes and a box of fresh cherries. (I just love Greece!)
All the best,