This is one of my favorite establishments at the north suburbs of Athens (Kiffisia).
The chef is well known for his work in Greece and abroad; being part of the 48 Restaurant in Athens (was awarded by www.theworlds50best.com within the best 100 in the past apart from the Greek awards that he has received). 48 provided experience and inspiration to many young chefs in Greece (see Funky Gourmet, Selini in Santorini with K Faklari – now at Balthazar, Aleria, Cusina Povera, etc). Unfortunately 48 is a past.
Pbox is more down to earth than 48, with a comfort food and tapas feeling depending on what you want … sit at the bar/small-kitchen (there is a huge preparation one downstairs) and see the chef and his team perform or take it easy and sit at the tables inside or outside (depending on the weather). Personally, I prefer the action at the bar and my discussions with the chef’s team (as I enjoy cooking and discussing about preparation/technique and ingredients). As I visit this place several times during the month (since its opening a couple of years ago), I have noticed that some “new-comers” do not find the bar so comfortable and soon find their way to the tables when available.
Regarding the food; it changes depending on season and inspiration, but there are a few standards. Following is a quick overview:
- for a pre-starters or meze (tapas like) there is a range of cold-cuts and cheeses (mainly selected producers from Greece and a few international); which you can also take away (if not packaged they can vacuum them for you so that they last longer)
- for starters a selection of well seasoned salads and fresh ingredients (including fresh tuna or salmon); marinated beef tongue (perfect), salmon rice-raps with wasabi/Mexican inspiration, salmon with a Cretan touch, fava with an Asian touch, green beans with oyster sauce, almira greens with beef Asian style, Quinoa with wakame, green peas and marinated fish, etc
- for mains, these are usually “sous-vide” preparations with chicken, fish, pork and interesting cuts of beef (in the past cheeks, heart, tail, etc) with a Greek/Asian twist or regular Greek dishes with a Greek memory and fusion touches (i.e. the Pastitsio with Foie gras instead of minced beef, use of tomato, etc). There are also surprise mini-dishes served usually at the people that sit by the chef’s bar (depends on how hungry you are)
- deserts follow the same logic with the rest of the menu, like chocolate cake with olive oil, rizogalo (spheriphication technique to a rise putting), ginger ravani, etc
My best is to ask the chef to prepare what he wants (depending on how hungry we are) or order an array of all these dishes and share them with my friends.
Service-wise, it is informal; it delivers but has a few shortcomings depending on how busy the restaurant is. Nonetheless, it is well above Greek standards and deserves the tip.
Regarding drinks there is an OK selection of Greek, Italian, Spanish and French wines (in the past they did have a sommelier); but I believe they should improve on that by focusing on local producers and providing a better value for money selection (there is also an issue with their wine temperatures during the summer months). Furthermore, there is a range of beers with the highlights being the Santorini Brewery Company range and Estrella Damm Inedit (again there is place for improvement here by having more local producers with unpasteurized beers). There is also a selection of rums, grappas and local spirits.
All in all, this is one of my favorite restaurants, where I enjoy good food and recommend it to anyone who’s around the neighborhood.
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