Sugared & Spiced

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[Santorini] Grace Santorini

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Grace Santorini

Add: Imerovigli, Thira 84700, Greece
Tel: +30 2286 021300
Price: [dinner] €90/tasting menu, €40/wine pairing (a la carte available)
Visited: Jul 2015

Please note that this was an invited tasting.

We spent the first day of our stay in Santorini in Oia, the town on the northern tip of the island famed for its sunset views. While the golden hour there is indeed beautiful, the town gets way too hectic in the afternoon due to the sunset-viewing crowd. On our second day, we decided to spend the afternoon in calmness at Grace Santorini, a beautiful boutique hotel located in Imerovigli. This is a quiet corner in the northwest of the island, and the walk down to the hotel already mesmerized us with views like these…

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There it is, the pool bar and restaurant of Grace Santorini, perched high above the Caldera for a perfect view of the sparkling Aegean Sea.

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To complement the sunset, we sipped on glasses of the signature Grace cocktail, a blend of apple juice, pear purée, lemon juice and premium vodka with a hint of lemon grass. Refreshing, perfect for a hot balmy summer day.

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And with that, we experienced one of the most beautiful and calming sunsets we’ve ever seen, followed by the Grace Santorini Tasting Menu (€90, +€40 for wine pairing) put together by chef Spyros Agious.

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The first dish, “sea urchin, asparagus shavings, orange scented olive oil,” set the tone for the creative meal we were about to experience. Sea urchin, asparagus, orange, and olive oil are all ingredients I love, but I had never imagined putting them together in one dish – the result was surprising and refreshing, a most lovely start. It was paired with a glass of Katsano 2014 from Gavala Winery.

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The second dish, “amberjack tataki, wasabi fava bean puree, sultana caper sauce and green apple“, was yet another surprise. I’ve had plenty of fava bean puree since arriving in Greece, but never with the addition of wasabi (the flavor was noticeable but not overwhelming) and paired with fish tataki, sultana caper sauce, and green apples. On another note, I apologize for the strange color tone in the following photos…While the mood lighting at the restaurant is very stylish, it’s not ideal for food photography.

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The third course, also my favorite course of the meal, was “seared octopus, deep fried polenta and lime truffle honey dressing“. Lovely texture from the octopus, and the polenta was delicious. This was paired with a glass of “Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2014” from Gaia Estate which I really enjoyed for its hint of citrus.

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This was followed by a “surprise intermezzo“: buzz button flower paired with cucumber mousse. You don’t know what a buzz button flower is? Well, I didn’t either. This plant contains a natural analgesic and numbs the tongue and gums when chewed, which was a very unfamiliar (to me at least) buzzing sensation in the mouth that lasts for quite some time despite the soothing cucumber mousse. I can’t say I loved what I tasted, but it was certainly a very thorough palate cleanser, and a very memorable experience.

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The 4th course was “seared Angus beef fillet, melon parmesan risotto, and Apiliotis wine reduction“. Truth be told I don’t remember much about the beef fillet, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the addition of melons to the risotto. This was paired with a glass of  “Mm Sigalas 2013” from Sigalas Estate.

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The meal ended with “pistachio baklava, orange sorbet and spiced peach mousse” paired with a glass of “Vinsanto Argyros 2007” from Argyros Estate. In general I find Greek desserts to be too sweet for my palate, and the pistachio baklava was indeed very sweet as well, though the orange sorbet and spiced peach mousse did provided balancing flavors. And of course, a glass of vinsanto at the end of a meal is always welcomed.

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We had a most charming time at Grace Santorini. For those who don’t plan to have a full dinner here, consider coming for the sunset cocktails. I personally much preferred spending the golden hours in tranquility here on a secluded pool bar in Imerovigli, than with the crowd over at Oia. Just an idea.

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Written by sugarednspiced

July 21st, 2015 at 10:39 am