Walking into Avra Restaurant is like finding a Secret Garden tucked away on the island of Mykonos.
It is located at 27 Kalogera Street (between Matogianni and Zouganeli Streets).
You enter through a narrow hallway that leads to a secluded dining room with seating for about 200 diners. The dining room is draped with overhanging bougainvillea — creating a lush atmosphere. Pristine white linen cloths cover tables with white or purple orchids for decoration.
Though the dining room is secluded, it doesn’t feel stuffy. It is open air. As a matter of fact, the restaurant derives its name from this feature. In Greek, “Avra” means “air”. The fresh air provides a respite from the Mykonos summer sun which can be draining.
An elegantly dressed waiter in a button-down black long-sleeved shirt and black slacks started my party off with dense crusty bread served with two sauces: a black olive and red pepper tapenade and a garlic and blue cheese butter, whipped to a fluffy consistency.
The menu designed by Chef Niko offers a wide range of choices, centering around traditional Greek cuisine.
The Greek salad I ordered came with mostly expected ingredients: kalamata olives, sliced red onions, firm cucumber wedges and a rectangular piece of feta cheese placed atop juicy red, peeled beefsteak tomatoes. However, there was an unexpected twist: shredded lettuce, which provided a fiber boost and a crunchy texture that complimented the otherwise traditional Greek salad.
Next, I tried the sesame seed feta that came highly recommended by reviewers on Trip Advisor. The cheese was covered with a pastry, coated in sesame seeds, lightly fried with halved red grapes. Viscous and sweet rose petal dressing accompanied it.
Then, I moved onto Moussaka, layers of minced meat, eggplant and bechamel sauce. The meat was well-seasoned; the bechamel sauce was smooth and creamy.
For the main course, I tried Fresh Sea Bream, a mild white-meat fish similar to sea bass. It came lightly battered and fried whole with the head on. The waiter, Vasilys, de-boned the fish at the table. Plain white rice and spinach sauteed with olive oil and garlic accompanied the Bream. Though the greens were slightly overcooked, the fish was fresh, mild and not overly oily.
I finished off the meal with Baklava. The dessert came with multiple thin layers of flaky phyllo dough, walnuts and honey. The subtle sweetness of the traditional Greek dessert provided a treat to the palate after a hearty meal.
That’s the Lowdown!
For a great place to have cocktails and entertainment in Mykonos while watching the sun set, check out Elysium Sunset Bar.
Check out the restaurant’s website: http://www.avra-mykonos.com