A balmy Sunday night in early September and we asked our house guests where they would like to eat. They come to Crete every year and a Portes meal is always top of their must do list. With local friends wishing to join in we booked an outside table for ten - definitely phone and book during the summer months if you don't want to wait for a table - and turned up at 9.30.
The Portes Red and White House wine is good (regular visitors to Crete will know most local restaurants serve a resinated 'village wine' which is hit and mainly miss) and we ordered a couple of litre carafes whilst reading the menu. With a table for ten it's best to do the Greek thing and order a meze so everyone gets a taste of all the dishes. We normally order an array of freshly prepared starters and then top up with a few main course selections off the chalk board.
Suffice to say the food, as ever, was excellent as was the smiling and very personal service. I should say here that I'm probably biased because having tried other Chania restaurants I still think Portes is head and shoulders above the rest. We live here year round and probably eat at Portes every six weeks or so and therefore know which are the top dishes. I'd also suggest asking Suzanne to recommend her dishes of the day because she even manages to surprise her regulars with new creations. Try the her roasted vegetable salad, the mixed vegetable fritters, the three types of meatballs, the Fava and caramelised onions, the spicy chicken livers and the Portes Pie. Also, and if its on, the oven cooked pork shank is a must have main course.
Lamb here on Crete tends to be a little fatty and is butchered differently than the UK so unless you like Cretan lamb it might not be what you hope for. However the pork and chicken dishes here are fantastic and definitely worth trying.
There is no better place in Chania, and that's after after seven years of living here, to relax, laugh, eat and drink and if you love your food, good company and family service this is a must visit restaurant.
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