ZANTE’S FINEST GASTRONOMIC & PICTURESQUE RESTAURANTS
Contribution by Artemis Burger
Nobelos Bio Restaurant
St. Nicolas Volimes
On the north-east coast, near the famous Blue Caves, lies the picturesque bay of Agios Nikolaos. A stone’s throw away is the stunning seaside resort of Nobelos, a hidden gem in the turquoise waters of the Ionian. The crystal clear waters below the restaurant’s shoreline provide direct boat access to the resort’s private jetty, where guests arriving by boat are greeted and ferried to their table by a member of staff. Each table is set amongst the ancient olive and pine trees with panoramic sea views. The extremely hospitable Nobelos family will cater to your every whim, down to the last tipple of their homemade digestif. Fruit and vegetables are sourced locally from the family’s organic farm and fish is caught fresh daily. There are wood-burning ovens that slow cook the delicious Greek delicacies. The wine list is remarkable with all the notable wines of the island and a stunning international selection. As well as satisfying your hunger and quenching your thirst, this stunning location also offers accommodation in stylish suites with a contemporary flair. There is also an exquisite shop, Thalassa Boutique, selling handmade jewellery and linen, silk and cotton clothing from Positano, Italy and Greece, run by Nobelos family matriarch Fotini, who is the mastermind behind the stunning interior and exterior design of the entire Nobelos concept, right down to the snazzy clothing worn by the staff.
Suggestion: Enjoy a freshly caught grilled fish with a chilled Verdea and marvel at the stunning sunset.
Porto Roma Bay
The picturesque fishing port of Porto Roma is quietly located in the southernmost part of Vasilikos. This
stunning restaurant overlooking the bay of Porto Roma first opened its doors in 1958 and has been serving Greek delicacies ever since. Traditional Zakynthian and Mediterranean cuisine is an eclectic mix of freshly caught fish, locally sourced vegetables and fruit, homemade extra virgin olive oil from the family’s own olive groves and organic free-range meat. This is combined with age-old recipes passed down from generation to generation. The climate-controlled wine cellar is within easy reach of the restaurant’s terrace, where guests can cool off and choose one of the superb Zakynthian tipples or broaden their selection to include another great Greek region, from PGI Drama to PGI Cyclades.
So, whether you arrive by private boat and enjoy a dip in the sea and a nap on the quiet pebble beach before lunch, stay longer in the adjacent studios or just drop in for a few mezes and a chilled white wine, it’s all perfectly achievable at this convivial resort.
This is one of those surprising discoveries along a coastal road that, once tasted, will make you want to keep going back for more. A slightly modest but very traditional roadside tavern with a warming charm.
The outdoor terrace, perched high above the coast, offers sensational panoramic views of the Ionian waters and verdant countryside dotted with cypress pines and olive trees. The cuisine is traditional Greek wholesome food without pretension and very reasonably priced. Agnadi was founded in 1999 by chef Dionysis Kouroumalos, who has an undeniable knack for creating the perfect food combinations. The food is lovingly prepared by Mama Soula, using know-how passed down from generation to generation. A solid selection of house and local wines and a wide range of local and European beers.
Botsani Farm To Table
Lesante Cape Resort & Villas
This was the most magical gastronomic experience of my time in Zante. It evoked memories of authentic Greek food and triggered a gustatory sense of taste – literally savouring the flavour of each and every ingredient – just as I remember from my childhood holidays in Greece. The lush organic garden is tucked away in a courtyard between the luxury suites and pools of the five-star resort. It is an unusual feature for such a resort, but hopefully one that will start a trend in other such resorts. The chef, who prepares the food (meat) hours in advance over an open wooden fire in the scorching midday sun, is a marvel in his own right. The tavern is unpretentious, wooden tables and benches, red checkered gingham tablecloths, traditional Greek folk music in the background and honest home-cooked food, with the smell of smoke wafting towards the tables from the roast on the spit turning over the burning olive wood. The view was not of turquoise waters or rolling green hills, but of the vegetable garden – Botsani, meaning small vegetable garden in Greek – where the chef and sous chef were constantly picking herbs and vegetables for the next deliciously freshly-prepared course. This was a trial run at the hotel complex, but I really hope the concept takes off.