Since 1932, this marine tavern – an institution for fish and shellfish, has delighted the regulars with the excellence of its seafood, its peacefulness along the waterfront and its conscientious old-fashioned service. The wine list offers the best Greek vintages and varieties. In an atmosphere of boat sails and porthole windows, the fish selection, sparkling fresh, becomes an impossible dilemma: its diversity is so compelling. The Domaine Sigalas 2016, from the island of Santorini, enchants the aperitif feast at the outset: bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil, lemons, an incredible tomato salad, confusingly sweet.
The high-level Assyrtiko, concentrated and intense, uncovers a punchy bouquet sprinkled with pink grapefruit, verbena and peach. The floral and saline-mineral notes complete this fascinating kaleidoscope of flavors, between fruity opulence, the vivacity of Mediterranean spices and the stormy salinity of the volcanic soil. A subtle and complex finish reveals the ageing potential of this wine. We began with a Carpaccio of large langoustine and their roasted eggs, and followed it up with big red grilled prawns sprinkled with Cretan olive oil. Easily indentified by their strong red pigmentation, they are a rare delicacy, and even more so in the eastern Mediterranean, being more common in the Atlantic, with an intense flavor due to their high concentration of iodine and salt.
Our main was a perfectly grilled scorpion fish, backed up by a simple braised lettuce. The vanilla ice cream and loukoumades (deep fried dough balls soaked in honey or syrup) accompanied by an excellent coffee, were absolutely delightful.
Service and food here are consistently top-notch. No wonder that you will be hard-pressed to find an Athenian who doesn’t know this place. Maybe they go with some regularity, maybe they’ve only been once in their lives, but they all say the name Dourambeis with awe and a certain longing. Go there and you will understand.
Akti Dilaveri, 29
18533 Kastela, Piraeus