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The Best Greek Restaurants: The Same and Again…

I write this post, because the numbers are relentless. I'm not implying anything at all, I just express my wondering and frustration...

A few days ago I read the list of the best Greek restaurants for 2021, published by the site "The FNL Guide". The fact that I appreciate Panos Deligiannis (the owner of the site) and his work, is well known to those who read my posts...

Spondi is the first restaurant. Again! So I wondered how many years Spondi comes out first. And I looked back to the past where I found out that, from 2016 when they started until this year, for 6 consecutive years (except one) the first restaurant is Spondi!

I also referred to the "Skoufous" of Athinorama; things are not so perfect there: "Spondi", and a restaurant by Botrini! And that's all!

Given that "Spondi" remains the only popular Michelin restaurant in Greece for many years and in combination with the FNL-Athinorama options (somethin confirmed by Michelin), the conclusion that emerges is rather sad and dissapointing for the Greek gastronomic scene…

For so many years, two restaurants remain first, and no other Greek restaurant has managed to surpass them! No Greek chef has managed to offer creations over the successive chefs of "Spondi" or Botrini! I wonder how this is possible!

But beyond that, the first six are the same almost every year : Hytra, Pelagos, Matsuhisa and Varoulko (the last will always be there, I guess, even if it... shuts down!)

What I am implying is, -quoting the thoughts of my friend Sommelier-, that Greek cuisine and restaurants have been divided into two distinct levels in the minds of the judges, where the transition from one level to the other is almost impossible. Are restaurants ignored outside the expensive gourmets, where the public does not go to "try", but to have a good time with his company? Because anyone who tells us that they had a good time with friends in recently opened "Delta" restaurant, will probably make fun of us: excellent dishes, yes… excellent "minimal" almost aseptic environment, absolutely cold, and dozens of (excellent) menu dishes with the agony "to be served in time"… yes, an experience for sure, but noone has a really good time under this pressure!… Will restaurants like the excellent "Aleria", or the equally excellent "Vasileinas" ever cross, -whatever they do-, this artificial line of their category?

I urge the judges reconsider… a fresh look I think is necessary… at least to restore the lost honor of the Greek chefs… the judges verdict being unfair for them up to now (or not?)….

I would like to hear the opinion of my friends….

PS: I point out here - just for comparison - that the famous elBulli of Chef Ferrand Adria, which had 3 Michelin stars and was one of the best restaurants in the world, did not "equal" the record of "Spondi". It took first place in the Restaurant Top 50 in 2002. Then, in 2005, it took the second place. It ranked first again in 2006 and kept this title in 2007, 2008 and 2009, setting a unique record of 5 times in the first place and 4 of them consecutive…

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