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By Lena Harizopoulos

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…..The tastings begin

When in Crete, make sure you enjoy the food and get to know and understand the philosophy behind one of the most balanced Mediterranean diet, rich in super-foods.
My main tip to travelers and foodies when on the island is: Keep it simple.
Why?
Because when it comes to simple locale produce, Crete will not disappoint you.
Take the island’s wild herbs like thyme, sage, the fragrant rosemary, oregano, marjoram, plus the juiciest vegetables and delicious Cretan olives.
Go for cold water fish such as sardines or shrimps and crab and make sure you do not miss out on the wild green salads, the local escargots and the aphrodisiac Cretan Dittany tea.

Although the potential of the local cuisine is immense and its raw materials of incomparable quality,there aren’t many restaurants where you can have an “out of this world” meal.

We bring you the 3 top addresses, where you can have a promising, refined meal.

1. Minotaur at the Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive resort

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Minotaur Restaurant at the Amirandes Resort, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

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Minotaur’s exterior, Amirandes Resort

 Why go:
a. For its unique interior design and concept.
The resort itself it is the most impressive thing that has happened to the Gouves area and the city of Heraklion.
The restaurant’s interior design is contemporary and hosts a collection of Picasso’s ceramic works bought and brought from Christie’s in London.
The name Minotaur was inspired by Picasso who was often seen wearing the head and tail of the famous bull Minotaur that lived in the labyrinth of Knossos, which is a stone’s throw away from the resort.
b. For its acclaimed Tuscan chef Matteo Temperini, who put together a simple yet so refined Italian menu with a Cretan twist
c. It is most probably the only resort with fine dining in the whole city of Heraklion with 7 in house restaurants that boast fantastic sea views  and civilized dining environment.
d.For the special deck, that raises in the middle of a lagoon where there are 4 Minotaur tables where you can have your dinner.
What to order:
–Spaghetti di Gragnano with Piennolo tomatoes, fresh basil and extra virgin Cretan olive oil.
–Fettuccelle with local crayfish
–Aegian Grouper fillet coated with chives, capers and Ginger in a fish and green herb sauce.
–Rock Fish from Dia Island.
Needs improvement: The wine list.

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Temperini’s presentation is sublime

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2.The Old Mill at the Elounda Mare Hotel

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The Old Mill Restaurant at the Relais&Chateaux Elounda Mare Hotel

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With the Old Mill’s chef, Antonis Petrelis

Why go:
a.For the unique and very civilized environment, in the hotel’s outdoor gardens by the sea.
b.Fot the very good service
c. The creative French menu with the local touch
d.The fine wine list.
What to order:
Most of the appetizers are very well executed.
–The Crab soup with the Creatan Liatiko wine and wild Fennel breadstick
–The sauteed crayfish
–The marinated seabass and Prawn tartare
Needs improvement:
Although I loved the creativity of the desserts, they were a touch sweeter than they should have been.
Go for the Pears vacuum-cooked in Local wine, Cretan Cheece sorbet and Lemon Rosemary Mousse

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Amuse Buche with fresh tuna at the Old Mill

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Crab Soup at the Old Mill

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Pears vacuum cooked in wine, Cretan cheese sorbet & lemon rosemary mousse

3.Calypso Resto and Wine Cellar
…and YES, Greece has got talent!
Haute cuisine and Greek, do not usually go hand in hand but in this case, young chef Alexander Tsiotinis at the Calypso Restaurant, is a culinary revelation.
Why go:
a.Just to visit the Elounda Peninsula Hotel, which is as far as it gets as in posh, secluded, top resort hotel in the area.
b. To enjoy lovely sea views and a very creative Mediterranean menu made of local produce.
c. For the wines of the cellar.
What to order: Anything and everything
Needs improvement:
It took me 20 minutes to make a table reservation via telephone…..and trust me I ve been making rstaurant reservations very successfully in 4 languages for the past 15 years.

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Calypso at the Elounda Penisnsula

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Amuse Bouche at Calypso Restaurant, Elounda Penisnula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was wearing :
MIU MIU Dress
Jeffrey Campbell shoes