Crete (Palaikastro, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos) - any recommendations?
I will be travelling to Crete for a wedding in palaikastro next month (Sept '11). i wondered if anyone had recommendations for places to sample some quality local food.
I've heard from others that the fishing industry in eastern Crete has suffered due to dwindling stocks and that I should not expect much in the way of fresh fish in restaurants in this region. Is this the general concensus / experience of the CH community?
We will also be spending 4 days in Elounda and are keen to know if there are any particularly good tavernas or restaurants which you'd recommend for dinner. We'll be staying in a nice hotel but would rather dine with the locals if possible.
Finally, does anyone recommend any local cheeses, wines, etc? Discovering a local gem has made some of our holidays perfect over the last few years so if anyone could point us in the right direction we'd be really grateful
i posted on another crete board and won't repeat it all. but i'd say the cheeses were limited, and i was most attracted to the fresh cheese they use on dakos and salads. the one they call their gruyere is less interesting. the local honeys are wonderful and go well on cheese and on the crepe like thing (forgot the name) that has cheese inside. do order dakos.
yes, the wild greens are wonderful. sometimes better prepared than others.
i recommended Istiorloikos restaurant in heraklion (also called heraklion sailing club), the museum in heraklion. milia is a must.
I do not know of any good places in the eastern part of crete but i can offer you one usefull tip : people over there are quite crazy about their olives so most bottles of olive oil have information on acidity. The basic rule is that high quality = low acidity.
oh and there are some restaurants that have private olive groves and make their own oil so it is worth exploring a bit. The best olive oil i ever tasted came from one such restaurant.
In Elounda, we have been to the Ferryman which was very good indeed.
In Ag Nik, there is KriKri on the edge of town towards Elounda.
Closer to the centre is Knossos.
Central is Embassy, Orfou To Lou and Dionysos.
All of these offer excellent traditional dishes with good local barrel wine.
I haven't spent any time in Crete but when traveling on Rhodes and the Cyclades Islands the best way to dine with the locals is to wait till at least 10pm. If you eat any earlier it will be predominantly with tourists.
Have an afternoon snack, grab a nap, then a glass of wine and then wander around at about 10pm to see which restaurants fill up... then you'll find the place with the best of whatever is in season and local.
One of the key ingredients to local Cretin cuisine are the greens, apparently they have hundreds of local varieties that are extremely good for you. I've always wanted to sample them but just haven't made it there yet.