Just returned from a well-deserved vacation to the Dodecanese Islands in Greece and the Turquoise Coast of Turkey. Overall the food just stunk. Admittedly, in Turkey we were on a chartered sailboat where the skipper picked the restaurants so our chowhounding style was cramped (although on the Datca peninsula we stopped for the night at the ruins in Knidos where there is one restaurant and no other building, completely desolate - and I had the most amazing lobster of my life), but in Athens and on the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos and Patmos there was almost nothing thoroughly great except the two restaurants below - we even laid out big money two separate evenings in Athens to no avail. The only two good restaurants of my trip:
1) Rhodes - Mistagogiya Restaurant near the Jewish Museum. British/Greek ownership - I was entoced by the "we serve quality food" sign in the window. They were not lying - the butter beans in tomato sauce - a staple in most of the island restaurants - were outstanding as were the olives which the owner cures himself in a variety of ways - my favorite was one that had a sweet taste like honey - he told me the vinegar had sweetened and thickened like a balsamic and that was what I tasted - YUM!
2) Patmos - Pagonas Taverna in the village of Kampos - the best meal of the entire vacation. Rabbit stew for me and Goat for my husband. An excellent Macedonian wine which was especially recommended by the owner. Amazing desserts cooked by his wife. Beets with garlic sauce...
In Turkey goats were everywhere as in Greece yet we only saw goat on two menus the whole time. They cant all be for milk can they?
I should mention that everywhere the feta, fries, tomatoes and cucumbers were great but you can only take so much.
Does someone want to correct me and tell me I just didnt know where to go? Or have others had similar Greek experiences?
As for Turkey I still refuse to believe that there is no good food readily found because I was in such remote places - no Istanbul or Ankara visits.
I had no time before I left to survey you chowhounders - wish I had - thus I could have eaten inthe right places or at least altered my expectations. Sometimes one dish was good (but not amazing)but never a whole meal.
Any comments appreciated