Leaving the winery and the town of Oia, it was a beautiful drive now to Kamari Beach, an area of black sand beaches and waterside restaurants.The owner and Chef Vassilis Zacharakis of Nechteri restaurant opened just for us and had already been preparing a table in his charming glass enclosed dining room where he was going to cook one of his special Santorini dishes for me. As I had found out at the winery earlier, fava beans are a major ingredient on this island and Chef was making a dish called Santorini Sausage consisting of fava beans, pork sausage and a poached egg on toasted bread. Fava are yellow split peas that have been growing in the volcanic soil of Santorini for thousands of years. After cooking and blending the beans they are cooked into a mousse with butter and chicken broth. The sausage is cooked, the egg poached and all the ingredients are placed on the toast and a sprinkle of white truffle oil is added. I was taken aback by how delicious this simple sounding dish tasted. The creamy textures with the crunch of the toast and spice of the sausage totally thrilled my taste buds and I left not a morsel on the plate. It is no wonder that this Chef is highly regarded and has won many food competitions.
As if the day couldn’t get any better or tastier, the next stop was in Pyrgos located in one of the highest points in Santorini with incredible views in every direction. I was visiting Selene restaurant, considered to be the best in all of Greece, so I was quite excited.
Entering the elegant looking dining room with its high arched ceiling and stunning glass chandeliers, I was met by the Manager, Georgia Tsara and the Executive Chef, Thodoris Papanikolaous, who were waiting for us to arrive. The Chef explained that he had a unique dish he wanted me to try and as he went off to make it, I went out to the panoramic terrace to sit and wait. It was a gorgeous day and being in this magnificent spot was perfect.
Both Georgia and the Chef joined me as I dug into this pretty dish of homemade tortelli stuffed with lobster and fava beans, scorpion
fish in a fish soup sauce, clam. saffron, onions and carrots. I was intrigued and eager to try this as I had no idea what scorpion fish would taste like. The fish was moist and flaky and mixed with the other flavors was quite delicious. Georgia paired a crisp Assyrtik o wine with this and the two of them joined me in a toast. The Chef seemed very happy to be off his feet for this short visit and we continued to talk a little longer.
I hadn’t realized that they also have a cafe/deli downstairs that is open for lunch and the kitchen staff brought up a tray of sandwiches for my crew. They devoured them before I had a chance to even see what they were but I do have a photo.
Knowing we had to get back to that cable car and then tender to our ship we reluctantly had to say goodbye and leave this very remarkable and special place.
All the best,