Selene, Pyrgos, Santorini

restaurant selene restaurant greece

A striking amber chandelier leads the way into Selene’s dining room. It definitely belongs in the Dale Chihuly school of art glass fixtures but it has a freeform composition that can only be the representation of the Greek spirit.  It’s also emblematic of the restaurant’s inventiveness, the glow casting a beautiful reflection on the barrel vaulted ceilings that define the space.

Take a seat on the panoramic balcony surrounding the restaurant with a spectacular view of two of the island’s villages, Akrotiri and Megalochori.  The mood is serene and romantic with soft acoustic guitar providing a fitting backdrop.  Selene means moon in Greek and the lavender menu, a work of art in itself, proudly displays the icon on its pages. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the subtle signification of it and where it would lead.

dish selene restaurant

An amuse of a tomato fritter with a fava mayonnaise arrives and clues you in to the restaurant’s star status on the island serving true “Santorinian” dishes.  As you are lulled into your first course by Gershwin or Porter, notice how relaxed everyone is. They are so happy to be guests of George Haziyannakis who after 25 years is still making waves on the culinary scene. Appetizers stayed true to the island theme.  A green salad with fresh strawberries was served with cheese fritters in a basil crust, the salad’s fruit sweet and offset by subtly tart wine vinegar and the always outstanding Greek olive oil. The sweet cheese in the fritters was from the neighboring island of Ios and they also were the perfect foil for those strawberries which had to be organic. We paired this with a Greek dish called “frumenty”, a kind of risotto with lamb sweetbreads and thyme.  Just delectable!

dish selene restaurant 2

Main courses show the creative nature of the chef.  Go for the Aegean cod with sweet potatoes and wild greens and the rabbit confit with mushrooms and pasta.  Be sure to leave room for a traditional Santorini dessert like a “mizithra”, a cheese cream similar to cheesecake served with mastic syrup and a mini tomato confit.  My advice is to top that off with a chocolate mousse with vinsanto sauce, the traditional dessert wine that originated on the island and white eggplant spoon dessert.  Santorini is known for its precious white eggplant and who would ever think to create a dessert with it?

view selene restaurant greece

Sail out of Selene on a cloud having finished a feast that you will not soon forget.

Selene
Pyrgos, Santorini
30 22860 22-249
www.selene.gr

Thom Meintel
Jeff Greif (Travelsquire)
Thom Meintel joined TravelSquire in 2008, after a successful tenure as a publishing executive covering the travel category, most recently as the Director of Travel for Architectural Digest. His long association with design publications such as Elle Décor, his passion for design, and his background in the performing arts have all combined to create a unique hybrid. He corralled his wanderlust when joining forces with Jeff Greif in order to use his extensive media experience to expand the growth and capabilities of the site. He has written and edited feature stories on Cairo, Istanbul, Kiev and Rhodes, Greece and these experiences spurred a new Lifestyle column on the site. Ultimately he aims to produce a regular broadcast segment for the site proving how integrated all media is in the travel experience.

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