As context here, I have lived in Greece and travelled there 3 other times: Athens, the Pelloponese, coastal Greece and 12 of her islands. I live in Vancouver, a city of very good Greek restaurants; I own several Greek cookbooks and have really enjoyed cooking Greek food for about 30 years.
The comfort, flavour, authenticity and generousity of Anna's kitchen is unsurpassed for me by any Greek food I've ever eaten anywhere. Three critical young adults on our last family trip were in complete agreement with me (almost unheard of!) and our family of 5 is totally united in our love of Anna's amazing food.
We stayed at a hillside house in Drios- just 'up the hill' from Restaurant Anna- enjoying the low-key village and Drios's lower 'touristic density' than much of the rest of the island.
We'd planned to purchase ingredients at the good local grocery and market, along with fresh fish, to cook at our house. We never cooked more than breakfast during our whole visit.... and we had a good kitchen there and like to cook. Why no cooking? We discovered Anna's on our first day in Drios!
Our young adults went to Anna's every day for lunch or take out on their own schedules; my husband and I often enjoyed mezethes or horiatiki there as a late lunch in the early afternoon and we all went to visit Anna for dinner that week.
The street level kitchen of Restaurant Anna (on the main street in Drios) offers a relaxed cafe atmosphere. She encourages you to visit her kitchen and choose your food to enjoy there or take out. The other side of Anna's restaurant is a shady interior courtyard dining area, where Anna often takes your order and serves you herself!
The place is family-run and the menu is inspired by what is fresh daily; an array of beautiful vegetables, fish, meat and seafood. Even Anna's simplest dishes are sensational: her beautiful butter beans, her glossy roasted eggplants, her delicate artichokes and potatoes with lemon, her meltingly tender braised lamb and her flavourful, juicy meatballs are all cooked to perfection with a deft hand and fresh herbs, accompanied by the simple local red and white Paros wines.
Anna is a friendly, welcoming hostess with a beautiful smile; she offers exceptional value and great service with enthusiasm and a refreshing, easy style; no pretense here.
She engages in earnest discussion with her clients; new and regulars; young and old. She had long, interesting conversations about Canada and Greece with our kids..... who she enchanted.
The secrets to Anna's consistently delicious cuisine are not only her obvious skills and love of cooking; but also a clear understanding of the importance of fresh, local ingredients.... along with her amazing, sunny disposition that always shows genuine pleasure in the enjoyment people find in her lovely food.
Whenever you visit Paros, be sure to make your way to Drios and Restaurant Anna.
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