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“What could be better .....”
Review of Dounias

Dounias
Ranked #2 of 2 Restaurants in Drakona
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $11 - $22
Cuisines: Greek
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Ntounias restaurant is a traditional Cretan restaurant with authentic tastes cooked in the wood oven, even the bread is hand made and cooked in the restaurant. Most ingredients are taken from the family farm and many are harvested from the neighboring area. Stelios is a unique person with love for life and cooking, and this spirit you can see, smell and taste in his food! When you visit Ntounias, take your time as we will produce to you to taste our plates, which are different every day. The restaurant is located at Drakona village, east of Therisso village at Keramia, Chania prefecture in west Crete.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Than life in the slow lane! It seems the charming Stelios, owner/chef at Dounias has found the answer to life's troubles - clean mountain air, pure, unadulterated Cretan food cooked slow over wood fires and served in charming rustic surroundings. After an afternoon there it's not hard to understand why Stelios and his wife decided to return to the simple life and his childhood home to bring up their children and offer a taste of real Crete to visitors who take the trouble to find them. Leave Chania and the coast behind, drive through the beautiful Therissos gorge into the mountains to Drakona. Go in daylight to enjoy the spectacular scenery, grab a hillside table and settle down ... slow food served slowly with love. Stelios grows, harvests, forages & prepares fresh seasonal food every day : all products, wine, oil, meat & vegetables come from the family's land. You're invited into the kitchen to see what's on offer; a multitude of dishes all cooked over wood either in the oven or over the flames - it's an unforgettable taste. The goat & lamb dishes are amazingly tasty as is the pork in orange with a subtle taste of fresh juice. Both the snails and liver dishes are succulent and their juice well worth mopping up with the home cooked bread. But it's his vegetable dishes which truly stand out (this is a true accolade from a dedicated carnivore) ... you might find Gigantos, the local large white beans with herbs & fresh tomatoes, greens of every sort, local stutfed & baked vegetables and quite the best potato fries I have EVER eaten anywhere : slow cooked on the stove in olive oil until soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside, slightly smoked and scattered with local salt & herbs : I would happily dine on just these! His wine is good and if you're well behaved he'll take you down and offer a tasting from the barrels in the cellar ..... make your choice and make sure you've brought a dedicated driver!

Date of visit: May 2013
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Thank EPM15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 16, 2013

We seldom miss the chance to drive the beautiful if slightly scary mountain roads up to Drakona and eat at Stelios' remarkable place. This is the way Cretan food should be (and largely was before the curse of the standard taverna menu struck). Stelios grows, shoots and gathers most of what he and his wife then cook on wood fired stoves; this is slow food at its best. There is no menu, you either go take a look at what's in the pots or else ask Stelios to just bring it on - if while you are there something turns out particularly well he will probably bring it over anyway. Many of the dishes are casseroles and stews of local meats in various sauces flavored with mountain herbs but over the years we have had superb grilled meat, snails, fresh vegetables, salads, amazing fried potatoes - whatever is in season. Stelios makes his own bread too, as well as his own wines including one of the best romeikos around.
Seating is at tables under shade on a grassy mound opposite the restaurant proper; service is stately; the dishes come as they are ready so be ready to share and enjoy the food for what it is, real food cooked with love, talent and respect. Cost: extraordinarly reasonable.

Date of visit: May 2013
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1  Thank Walpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Arriving here we were immediately taken to the kitchen to see what was cooking - unable to decide we asked the chef to put something together for us. It took a while (as is appropriate for slow food), but it was worth the wait. A totally charming place - if you are in the area, make a detour here.

Date of visit: May 2013
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Thank RachelE188590
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Traditional Cretan Foods , cooked on wood burning ovens. Raw materials from the local farms, great service, nice atmosphere & good value for money. Highly recomended!

Date of visit: May 2013
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Thank bouksaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Dounias is one of the very special places where eating is an experience much richer than you would expect. The food served is purely traditional cretan food. Recipes that I have never tasted before even though I originate from Crete. The ingredients are all pure biological, most of them grown by the owner of the restaurant.

However, the experience that you get when you visit Dounias is not just the amazing taste of the food. Stelios, the owner, has managed to make real a restaurant as you would imagine your own traditional taverna. When you arrive you get to have a tour in his kitchen and have a look into the pots with the fresh-cooked food. You have a seat and Stelios and his wife let you taste several dishes including fresh cheeses, lamp, and own-grown vegetables. A have been there two times and I tried different foods, full of herbs and cretan olive oil. You should definately try this place, the whole scenery just adds up to the magic of the taverna.

Dounias is not just a restaurant. It's a trip to the secrets of cooking, eating and hosting. Most of all it is the originality of Stelios and his family that make the whole experience so special

Date of visit: May 2013
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Thank Christos_Spath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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