I can’t say enough about Vezene! I am very picky when it comes to food and this restaurant did not disappoint us at all. It has an elegant atmosphere and reminiscent mood of New York bistros -the style of Italian restaurants.
We dined here a couple of days ago while staying at the Hilton. It is actually across the street on a serene little lane. As always I like to recommend one or two restaurants in the area where we stay because I know that several guests like to taste something different besides the cuisine of the hotel they stay at. So, this restaurant is my alternative if you happen to be staying at the Hilton or any neighboring hotel.
It is a Bistro type of restaurant with beef and seafood ruling the menu with a feel of urban. An all-steel bolted wood brick oven coexists with induction cook tops and a red vintage Berkel meat slicer –a harmonious culinary marriage of tradition with technology. An in-house dry aging meat cooler holds the keys to the depth of flavour, -a guarantee for delicious meal. The atmosphere has an energetic vibe and the long menu list tantalizes the appetite!
What I really enjoyed was the fact that every single dish served here is made on the spot from scratch, and every dish has its unique taste and ingredients. You hardly see this happening nowadays! We loved its cozy atmosphere, its warm contemporary design, and the fabulous culinary creations that can please the most demanding guest.
Ari Vezene –a chef-restaurateur is the owner and designer of this amazing spot. His primary objective was to create a crystal clear identity of informal, unpretentious and unobtrusive elegance. The colours of the sand otherwise the perfect Beige monopolize the interiors in the form of authentic natural Italian cow skin leather, oak wood surfaces and most importantly hand applied eco friendly Persian Khorasani grained texture materials. The dimmed filament adds an extra orange color, giving the customer the illusion of dining under the streetlights. “Authenticity and originality are what I am after” these words come from the owner through the short chat we had that night.
I recommend that you make a booking before you come here especially if you plan visiting this place during the weekend. Some friends who come here often were telling us that it is daily packed with businessmen, sophisticate crowd of Athenians and several knowledgeable tourists from the round hotels. Well, it was exactly what we came across when we got here. The restaurant is quite popular and even though it was a weekday it was almost full. The space in the room is not that big, yet we were sitting in comfort and even though at the other end some people were smoking, the restaurant has good ventilation and the non smoking area was extremely clear.
The obvious specialization here is in meat, yet you can find delicious seafood dishes in interesting tasteful starters. We had several of those.
We had a paper bag with different interesting kinds of bread, crispy rolls, pop-over. This last one was exceptionally good and looks like muffin.
Don’t leave without tasting the Shrip Fritta. It was heaven! We have never tasted something similar. It was shrimps in thyme honey, pecans, wasabi cream and chilli flakes. –The cost 16 euros.
We had the Black Beluga lentils for 12.50, (Exarcho’s smoked Salmon, red onion, datteri, feta, but this dish did not excite us that much. It was nicely presented and the salmon was amazing but lentils were too hard.
We had the Scallop Capesante Al Forno for 5.50 the piece which were irresistible. (chives, guanciale iberico, chilli garlic, Alba truffle oil). Worth a try!
We had the Beef Tartar for 16.50. My husband liked it because he is after meat -I tried it though out of curiosity. I liked its slight sour –quite interesting taste that matched so well with our wine.
We had the Alpha Rose –Ktima Alpha for 29 euros the bottle. It comes from Amyndeon viticulture zone. It has a bright rose colour with saumon hints, fruity nose with rich expression. It is quite full, fat but balanced with long aftertaste. It was really nice and matching with what we had, with aromatic complexity. (Xyromayro 50%, Syrah 50%)
The other starter, -and I love the idea of starters myself, was the Mini Wagyu Burger. Meat lovers will love this. I only tasted it again out of curiosity but it is worth a try for those who love meat. It costs 4.50 (Wagyu Chuck Flap, brioche, foi gras, onion marmelata.
The last starter we had was the Beef Bone Marrow –Os Moelle De Boeuf. 12.50 euros. It was an interesting dish, that again excites meat lovers but I have a way to appreciate good food even if I am not after meat. I have travelled a lot and have become a food travel enthusiast and want to believe I am a good restaurant critic as well, with much taste and experience through the 37 countries I have already visited and plan to double in the coming years. I gained confidence through this experience so I can enjoy everything some more others less. The Beef Bone Marrow was accompanied by sour dough bread, pickled porcini, mustard, and parsley salad. I am sure it is another interesting dish to consider.
We finished this amazing trip of tastes with two highly recommended dishes from the main menu. The one was the Braised Oxtail Youvetsi in Nebbiolo for 18.50. It was simply yummy! (24hr slow braised buffalo oxtail and cheeks Sementine (100gr), aged piave vecchio cheese, and marjoram. Anything that is cooked slowly deserves every credit. It was exceptional and certainly worth to try.
The last dish which was out of the Beef menu was the Onglet. It might cost 23.50 but it pays for the money. (Hanging Tender, Marinade: green apple –soy- shallot ) It is so nicely presented in a cast iron pan straight from the fire! It is another dish not to be missed.
The dessert list included a Banana pie, Amedei Toscana chocolate, Key lime pie for 9 euros each, and gelato of the day for 3.50 a scoop.
Although we were just the two of us, we wanted to try something really special and ignored the price which was 31 euros…but the portion is for 4 persons in reality.
We had the ‘Deal Closer’ which was a –mountain of Madagascar vanilla ice cream, bitter chocolate tart, macademia nuts, gianduja flakes, fudge and rivers of butterscotch flowing all over it. The taste and flavours of all what I mentioned above, makes it exceptional and worth trying, and it comes with a huge butcher’s knife to handle it!
We had no idea how to serve it, and the waiter explained that we don’t move the knife on top we just take spoonfuls out of this –mountain of ice-cream! It was a bit sweet, but it worth the extra calories just for a try and the fun! It was an arresting spectacle on our table, highly recommended!
I found the wine list long and interesting with wines coming from Greece, the U.S.A., South Africa, and Europe. Price varies with the cheapest starting from 15 euros to 363 a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Schafer –U.S.A. 2003.
Champagne starts from 28, to 1.400 –Krug winery, Blanc de Blancs-Chardonnay.
If you happen to be in Zakynthos and visit the little island of Meganisi between May to October, don’t miss the Trattoria Vezene restaurant. It is just as good, popular for its cozy atmosphere and its northern Italian Seafood. Our daughter visited it last summer and it is from her that I heard about the Vezene in Athens! It is surrounded by jasmine, basil and lavender and it faces Onassis’ Scorpios.
In all the Vezene of Athens is a Signature restaurant of excellent cuisine and interesting tastes of high gastronomy. Guests can find dishes not to be found anywhere else with plenty of complex tastes that strangely highlight the characteristics of each ingredient.
Last but not least, the prices are reasonable enough considering the quality of the food.
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