Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Going Greek - Petros Tavern

Things got all out of whack chronologically with the Oia posts, so let's go back to our first lunch in Oia at Petros Tavern.

Petros Tavern, like most things on Santorini, doesn't have a true address. It's just "over there" or "up on the main shopping street". What is does have is good seafood with a fantastic view of the caldera. With our first meal, we wanted to be awed by the view and weren't super concerned about the food. We ended up having a great meal, too.

We started off by ordering, perhaps, my most-remembered dish in Greece. It was an appetizer called Rusk with Anthotiro cheese. We had to ask our pleasant Euro waiter what "Rusk" was, and he explained in semi-broken English that rusk was a hearty peasant bread (maybe it is short for "rustic").

The appetizer came out with a circular portion of the rusk with tomato slices and olive oil on top of it. The tomato juices and olive oil soaked into the bread giving it a fantastic flavor. On top of the tomatoes/olive oil was a thick layer of the anthotiro cheese, capers, and oregano. Anthotiro is a must find for me back home here in Pittsburgh; I hope Penn Mac carries it. It is a milder and more malleable version of feta -- feta either crumbles into dust or big chunks (I still love it, though).

The rusk set the stage for both of us ordering shrimp dishes for lunch. DB~ went with a standard Grilled Shrimp, while I went with the Shrimp Saganaki.

Shrimp doesn't really do the term justice...these things were borderline prawns in terms of size. In Greece (at least), they are very big on giving you the shrimp with not only the tails (a personal peeve of mine) but also the heads. With the heads included, these shrimp were easily 6 inches in length from aft to stern.

Much like the infamous soft-shell crab incident, DB~ doesn't like to engage in hand-to-hand with her food. She likes to put it on a fork and into her mouth and chew it a few times. I could tell she was a little creeped out by the shrimp heads, as she had to take the shells off of them too, so I twisted a few off for her.

The saganaki dish was a mix of tomatoes and feta cheese with the shrimp mixed in. The tomatoes in Greece were a deep red and have an excellent flavor to them, almost borderline sweet. I enjoyed the sauce, but it may have been a bit too much tomato sauce for this dish -- maybe a little overwhelming.

As I mentioned above, they give you them shrimp heads, tails, and shells...even in a red sauce. So, I "ugly Americaned" it and reached into to twist off heads, take off the shells and strip the tail out. By the time I was done, our table cloth looked like it came from the Tate-Bianca house. Our server quietly set down a pile of wet naps for me to use.

Yes. I'm American. Aside from my a stray thought or two, this is probably the last Greek post in the series. PS - All the pictures were done under the artful eye of my new wife, DB~. She really got into the food ones, I think.

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