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Santorini: 1800 or Ambrosia and Nectar?

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mla19 May 25, 2010 12:41 PM

Hi All -

We will be in Santorini for our anniversary in July and would like to celebrate with a special meal. Is either of 1800 or Ambrosia and Nectar worth checking out? From their websites, 1800 appeals more but I would love to have some guidance from folks who have been (and if anyone knows the approximate cost, that would be great). We live in New York City and therefore have a ton of excellent fine dining near us so if these aren't worth the pricetag, we'd love to know!!

Thanks!

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    ginafly RE: mla19 May 26, 2010 02:14 PM

    We just got back from Greece ourselves. We didn't go to either of those places, but we had a really great waiter in Athens who raved and raved about 1800, for what it is worth. He said 1800 is very special, the whole experience, and worth the money in his view.

    I know this will sound crazy, but we read SO many recommendations for Ginger Sushi on Santorini that we went one night. The beefsteak from Crete that they serve there was one of the highlights of our trip. So if you get sick of Greek food, check it out.

    I must say that I think you are brave to attempt Santorini in July...from everything we heard, it is a MADHOUSE in the busy season...as in, difficult to walk down the main street of Fira. I hope you're staying in Oia, which should be *somewhat* calmer. Even in the slower season, we wished we had opted for Oia instead of Fira.

    One of the best restos of our trip was Filistron, in Athens (casual, but great--lovely rooftop dining). Another standout was Skala, in Oia. Also, Taverna Lefteris is worth seeking out if you go to Naxos.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ginafly
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      mla19 RE: ginafly May 30, 2010 12:56 PM

      Thank you for your advice! We are a bit leery about the crowds and heat in July but we really wanted to be there for our first anniversary. We are staying in Oia so hopefully it will be a bit more tame!

      I think we will check out 1800. It looks wonderful and thanks for the other recommendations. Many people on these boards have said great things about Ginger Sushi.

      1. re: mla19
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        ginafly RE: mla19 Jun 7, 2010 08:53 AM

        It is beautiful...definitely a very special place. Look at it this way: if the crowds get to be too much, you can always just hop on a ferry and check out some other islands. Oia is the way to go, though!

      2. re: ginafly
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        yogma RE: ginafly Jun 7, 2010 02:20 PM

        Just returned from Santorini last week. My wife and I dined at 1800 and I gotta say, while the service was great in comparison to most restaurants in Greece, the food didn't live up to the hype. In response to your question, we paid 130 (60 + 70) euros for two chef chosen meals and while the portions barely qualified as adequate, the flavors just weren't distinctly mediterranean and a bit on the bland side.

        As for ginafly's rec of Ginger, I can't endorse or condemn that choice, but coming from the SF Bay Area, I'm never far from really good sushi, so I opted for Vanilia instead which is directly across the way from Ginger. Vanilia had to have been the best meal we had in my 2.5 weeks in Europe (also visited Spain and London). Started out w/ mussels, shared grilled tuna steak and a FANTASTIC plate of seafood pasta. Only meh moment of the meal was dessert, but only because our expectations were blown through the roof from the starter and entrees!

        Have fun; would LOVE to go back soon...

        1. re: ginafly
          eviemichael RE: ginafly Jun 10, 2010 12:31 AM

          I have been to both of these places. I agree with yogma, 1800 is not great value for money. It isn't bad, but it isn't great. Ambrosia & Nectar is wonderful, but I'm not sure it is the best choice for your anniversary dinner. It is much less formal and "special" in atmosphere, but you should go there another day! (Please have the fava or the feta with honey).

          Many people choose their sister restaurant Ambrosia for special nights, but I hear the food there is not up to the hype.

          I have heard good things about Vanilia also mentioned by yogma. Vanilia has also gotten some recent good reviews on travel sites.

          Another choice could be to have dinner at Ammoudi bay in Oia at sunset at Sunset tavern and share the lobster spaghetti which is very good with some great Santorini award winning white wine! But that would be a more casual setting rather than a formal restaurant. Depends on what you want.

          And for what its worth...July is a fuller month but not as crazy as August. I usually go in early July, stay in Oia, and it is not overwhelmingly crowded. Its certainly not remote, just not annoyingly, obnoxiously crowded.

          1. re: ginafly
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            AussieBeth RE: ginafly Jul 27, 2012 06:39 AM

            My husband and I had dinner at Ginger Sushi last night and it was outstanding - delicious sashimi, tataki and sliced steak on a sizzling stone, with warm and friendly service and a charming atmosphere. very highly recommended! Excellent cocktails too.

          2. eviemichael RE: mla19 Jun 10, 2010 12:38 AM

            Hi again- just wanted to add that Roca is a well priced restaurant in the winding pathways behind the Oia bus stop and municipality. (warning- just make sure not to order anything thats been frozen- ask them).

            I really think it's a myth that you have to pay an arm and a leg for good food in Santorini. There are places off the beaten path that have fair prices and great food.

            1. tvr172 RE: mla19 Jun 13, 2010 07:30 AM

              From my recollection, there is the Ambrosia Restaurant and Nectar-and-Ambrosia, by the same owners. Ambrosia is a more formal place that required advance reservation. We could not get a table so went to Nectar-and-Ambrosia instead. It was in May and just before the onslaught of tourists so we were able to walk in and get a table for 6. We enjoyed the food and service very much.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tvr172
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                mla19 RE: tvr172 Jun 14, 2010 05:27 AM

                Thanks, everyone! We're going to pass on 1800 and try either Ambrosia (which I meant to reference in my original post) or stick with one of the more casual options for our anniversary night.

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