Restaurants & Bars

Cyprus Report

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Cyprus Report

mark | Oct 26, 2003 01:43 AM

After a brief, two day visit to Cyprus, I recommend it highly as an alternative to some of the better known Greek islands. Not only was the local cooking better than in other islands I've been to, but the mountain landscapes and interior towns and villages as well were highly aesthetic and uncorrupted by mass tourism. The beautifully laid out villages, with their cobbled squares, slate roofs, and flowers bursting from every corner, were more reminiscent of Provence.

Two fabulous restaurants:

Maria's, in the town of Vavatsinia, between Larnaca and Limassol. Maria has the nickname "Black Maria" because her hands are stained black from making walnut preserves. Great metzes, kleftiko (lamb cooked in the oven for 24 hours), and the best grilled lamb chops I've ever had.

Lofou Taverna, in the town of the same name. Authentic local mezzes (a dish of preserved caper shoots stands out) spiced meatballs, grilled meats.

If you like to drink wine with your meal, you might want to pick up a bottle of Greek wine from the local
supermarket and bring it with you, as the local wine, while improving, is still largely quite poor, and doesn't do justice to the food. Better yet, stop at one of the new boutique wineries, which are leading the improvement in local winemaking. One example is the Tsiakkas winery, set in a beautiful location in the village of Pitsilia, and in addition to local varieties, makes chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and cabernet, which he imports to Europe.

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