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June 12, 2007

Road Trip Day #5: Dinner at Balcony in Sitia

0027abalcony I can honestly say that dinner on our first night in Sitia was a unique event. The closest thing I can compare it too was our astonishing night at Il Forno in Gozo.

We went to a restaurant called "Balcony", which was just a little way back from the main harbour.

It was absolutely beautifully decorated and set out, with lots of stained green glass on the walls - but there was definitely something odd about it from the get-go.

We were the only customers, and we got a strong whiff of some spicy smoking substances as we went up the stairs to enter the place. After that, it was hard not to suspect that the crazy Greek woman running the place wasn't a little bit intoxicated.

They were playing laid back French jazz, and for our table cover we had some wonderful bread and home-made dips, but it all went wrong when it was time for the main meal.

She bought out a beautifully presented dish, then said "The rabbit will be another twenty minutes, so I thought you should share. That's best I think."

Without further ado, she then began to cut up Claire's meal, and share it out between us.

0027bbalcony Sure enough, twenty minutes later my meal arrived, and the lady carefully divided it into two portions and gave half to Claire. She'd never eaten rabbit before, because of an uneasiness about eating cute little bunnies. However, thanks to the Balcony's inability to get the only two meals they were preparing ready at the same time, she didn't get any choice.

It was such a mixed experience though, because despite the odd presentation and the unexpected sharing, the food was stunning. I can't praise it highly enough. The complimentary desert was something special too - ice cream and cake drizzled in chocolate sauce and dusted with icing sugar. Yummy!

Our intention had been to go back to the cocktail bar we had visited earlier in the day to watch the live band they had on - since we still haven't seen any live music in Greece.

(Unless you count a couple of blokes strumming away in the background of several restaurants)

We were just too tired though, so headed for a night-cap at one of the harbourside tavernas just opposite our hotel. That turned out to be staffed by a slightly over-enthusiastic Lebanese host who kept coming out with bizarre things like "You are from England! You are from South Africa! I am from Beirut. I've got the United Nations here! I'm Kofi Anan!".

Sitia was certainly interesting from a catering point of view!

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Oh yes, I too have encountered the Lebanese HOST WITH THE MOST.

He introduced my 57 year old husband to the local under-the-counter-hooch.( I took one sniff and declined)

Many, many, many glasses later, my husband's guts turned inside-out and he passed out cold.

Great Guy.

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