Before last year, I hadn’t been to Santorini since 1988. This past summer I got to visit this “jewel of the Mediterranean” not once but twice! While I was staying at the nearby Voreina Suites in Pyrgos, I had some time to chat with the hotel’s receptionists who should probably be renamed “concierges” with their vast knowledge of the island.
You know me, I have to know and check out all the good places to eat and Metaxi Mas came up. The taverna translates to “Between Us” and it refers to menu’s focus on both Santorinian and Cretan cuisine.
The owner, Kosta is from Chania, Crete and many years ago he visiting Santorini on vacation and decided to stay, opening Metaxi Mas and serving tourists and locals alike who come for the delicious food, always courteous service and quaint atmosphere.
Before I get on with the dishes, you should know that this taverna is busy – reservations are recommended, otherwise you will wait to be seated and wait you will!
Upon entering Metaxi Mas, you will be brought a small bottle of chilled Cretan raki, cretan savory rusks, Graviera cheese and olives. Nibble, sip, nibble as you peruse the menu. Take it easy, you’re in Greece and here they don’t “flip tables”.
First up is Cretan Apaki, smoked pork on a pita bread and topped with melted cheese.
At the recommendation of Kosta the owner, I ordered this baked asparagus and cheese appetizer…rich but oh so delish!
We need salad right? This is a Cretan Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, peppers, onions, potatoes and Cretan fresh Mizithra cheese.
This dish rocked…seafood kritharaki (Greek orzo) cooked like risotto with mussels, shrimp and Greek saffron.
This next dish was to-die-for…Braised lamb with yogurt sauce and served on bulghur pilaf.
There’s always something for the meatlover…enjoyed (with surprise) this grilled veal steak – juicy, not overcooked and of course tender.
How about roasted potato wedges with sea salt, Greek oregano, grated Cretan Graviera cheese?
Here’s an ‘off the menu’ item…courtesy of Kosta the owner…Cretan Sfakiano lamb.
A dish one can have throughout Greece but this was cooked to perfection – pork Tigania cooked slowly in a skillet.
When in Santorini, once must drink the local wine. This one from the Hatzidakis winery – this bottle containing the Aidani local varietal.
Another local wine is the dessert wine called VinSanto – one of the ingredients in this chocolate cake topped with Kaimaki ice cream.
Metaxi Mas is located in Exo Gonia, a town about 5 minutes south of Pyrgos in Santorini. It’s open everyday from lunch to approx. midnight. Like most of the island of Santorini, businesses reopen in February and the close for the winter by early December.