Even if you haven’t been to Athens, you know what its biggest draw is, the Acropolis. This amazing ancient city is quite a sight to see. But only a few lucky diners get the best view of the Acropolis, all lit up at night. Most people look to stay on or near the Plaka, an area near the Acropolis in central Athens with an abundance of restaurants, bars and nightlife. However, if you go a bit further away, just on the other side of the Acropolis, you are in for a real treat. The Eridanus Luxury Art Hotel is an unassuming boutique hotel that is easily missed. But inside, its modern art deco design, nice rooms and over-sized bathrooms and showers (hard to come by in Europe) make it a nice haven from the heat and the ancient, dusty ruins all around.
What is really special about this hotel, and what sets it apart from other nice, but over-priced hotels, is the small restaurant found on the roof, Varoulko. With only about ten tables, all lit up with candlelight, you have the most spectacular, unobstructed view of the Acropolis. And at night, the entire structure is all aglow, radiating along the horizon. A romantic dinner for two under the stars with a glowing backdrop of the Acropolis would be all that is needed to make this a remarkable dining experience. But, instead, this small restaurant offers delightful and unique seafood dishes created from what was freshly caught that day. Washed down with a full-bodied, fruity wine from the Drama region of Greece, you’ve got yourself an exceptional meal. They’ve taken the fine dining experience to an entirely new level. I am clearly not the only one who thinks so as the head chef has earned a Michelin star.
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of Greek wines. The typical white wine, retsina, is way too sweet and syrupy for me, and the red wines I’ve found to be too light and watery. But, this wine from Drama that we had at Varoulko changed my perspective on Greek wines. Wines from the Drama region are much more like a Bordeaux but also have the smoothness and velvety finish of a California Merlot. I was very pleasantly surprised.
All in all, this dining experience on the rooftop of the Art Hotel was one to remember. An exceptional evening with one-of-a-kind views, beautiful surroundings, excellent food and outstanding wine. How can you beat that?