This restaurant surely provides among the finer food served in Athens. From appetizers to main course the preparations are imaginative and the ingredients fresh. The stuffed dates (manchego cheese, celery, and paprika) proved an exceptional appetizer. Our entrees included a splendid summer pasta, with chanterelles, onions, cherry tomatoes, corn, summer squash, capers, arugula, and fresh parsley (fresh is a redundancy in this list of ingredients). The pork medallion sandwich was equally appetizing.
Service is a distinct contrast to the quality of food. While well-intended the staff appears to be young and inexperienced (probably college students, the staple of almost any staff in a university town). However, no anchoring service person with real experience seems to provide a center of gravity. It was twenty minutes before a server appeared, our order for a bottle of wine took three times to find a bottle actually in stock, although all was listed on the wine menu. Equivalently, the time between courses provided to be similarly frustrating. Like the other courses, dessert was commendable.
Hence, we would strongly recommend eating at The National. Equally recommended is taking a glass of wine before arrival.