The Sphinx is a creature with the head of a woman and the body of a lion that often appears in Greek mythology. Though the Sphinx Wine Restaurant shares it name with a mythological creature, the artistry with which the staff presents its food is very real. At the heart of the eatery is fresh, delicious Greek dishes with a unique twist.
There is one item you will find on every menu in Greece: the Greek salad. This staple at Sphinx included traditional ingredients: juicy red and yellow cherry tomatoes, green peppers, feta cheese, black olives, crisp red onions and tangy capers. They were all fresh and tasty, likely grown in the volcanic ash -infused soil of Santorini. (The soil is said to impart produce with a rich taste.) At Sphinx, Greek salad is given an unexpected twists: the feta cheese is presented in little balls; the cucumbers come thinly sliced and curled, making for a picture perfect salad (or salata in Greek).
For another starter, you won’t go wrong with the Ratatouille, made with firm tomatoes, eggplant and light garlic. The unexpected twist: a thin, flaky Phyllo dough enveloped the Ratatouille, adding additional texture to the al dente vegetable dish.
For a main course, you might expect a Lamb chop to appear on the menu. At Sphinx, a Lamb Chump appears on the menu. The “chump” is a cut of lamb taken from the animal’s rump where the hind legs meet the loins. Lamb is often served with some variation of potatoes. However, at Sphinx the lamb chump comes on a bed of Barley. A bit of tzatziki sauce with dill adorned the plate. The lamb was extremely plump and lean. Our hostess explained that it was extremely tender after being prepared with the sous vide method for several hours.
If you like a thick, white, meaty fish, try the Grouper Fillet. It was cooked to perfection and accompanied by tangy artichoke hearts. The dish was lightly dressed with an extra Virgin olive oil and dill sauce.
For the grouper, the hostess suggested a white Santorini wine made mostly from the variety of grape called Assyrtiko. The name of the wine: “34,” acknowledging the 34 centuries of wine-making tradition in Santorini. It was rich and dry with citrus aromas. It would likely please Dionysus, considered the Greek god of wine.
For dessert: Halva ice cream came atop Baklava. However, in this interpretation the phyllo dough came in strips strategically placed atop the ice cream. walnuts seasoned with honey, formed a crunchy foundation for the cool, sweet treat.
As a courtesy, our waiter Kostas presented us with a sweet liquer called Vinsanto. He explained that the orange-red dessert is made in Santorini from sun-dried grapes. Honey is added and the drink matures in barrels for about three years to produce a sweet drink with only five percent alcohol.
The dessert wine was the perfect way to wrap up a delightful meal that might leave the Greek gods satiated.
That’s the Lowdown.
For a great meal on the nearby Cyclade Island of Mykonos, try Jackie O Beach Club