Take a look at Matt Barrett’s site – a LOT of people follow his travel guides to Greece. And look what he put up for Margarita’s Restaurant -Ambelas
Margarita’s Restaurant – Ambelas
by Lornie ‘n’ Miriam
This very special family owned restaurant has the most inviting swimming pool I have ever seen and we found it every bit as attractive as any coastal scene to gaze at over our meal. A huge «rubber tree plant» shades the toddlers pool while the mountains of Naxos provide a beautiful backdrop to this lovely setting.
This is the ideal place to bring the whole family as they pride themselves on being «kid and pet friendly» and there is an extensive, grassy playground where children can also eat if desired. A basketball hoop might appeal to the older offspring and a selection of board games ensure all the little ones will be kept amused for hours.
The restaurant has undercover tables for those who prefer shade or for windy days, and many poolside tables for those who want to eat outside. These become lantern- and candle-lit by night to provide a romantic atmosphere. Roses adorn every table in season and the whole feel is relaxed, comfortable, clean and friendly.
The surprisingly extensive menu contains unusually large selections in each section and ranges from traditional to innovative. Thirteen cold and fifteen hot starters include some we hadn’t come across elsewhere like mackerel salad. A bit too salty for me but I can imagine it going well with ouzo. (I had to put that in or you would never believe all the superlatives in the rest and we were worried about getting thrown out of the food critics union!)
Their homemade taramosalata is the best we have tasted in thirty years of enjoying Greek food. It came served with the best French toasts I have ever eaten (you see what I mean!). I don’t know how something can be moist as well as crumbly and crunchy but they were!
The potato salad was bursting with flavour as were the tomato and courgette fritters. Even the most familiar dishes like stuffed vine leaves, moussaka and the Greek salad were all much tastier than usual.
More than fifteen types of salad include some unusual ingredients for example a Spinach Salad with raw spinach, rocket, orange segments, San Mihali cheese and sunflower seeds with a dressing made from balsamic vinegar, orange juice and honey.
The next section of the menu is intriguingly entitled «For The Adventurous» and includes some dishes that were new to me like the Chickpea Balls with Prawns and the Tuna Fricasse (the dish we are used to enjoying made from Iamb). They have a large choice of cooked to order dishes including lobster chosen from a tank (could you?) and your meal can be finished off with a dessert and coffee.
There is a modest selection of Greek wines as well as beers and soft drinks.
Kiria Margarita who does the cooking insists on using only fresh and pure ingredients, never frozen meats or fish (with the exception of the prawns and then this is clearly marked on the menu). Margarita says that she loves cooking and wants every customer to be delighted with their meal and that she prepares each dish with love and from the look in her eyes I really believe that she does! Her charming daughter Stella speaks excellent English and is a member of the Paros Tourism Committee.
Ramps make the dining and pool areas wheelchair friendly but the loo doorway might be a little too narrow.
Buffet breakfast is served from 09.00 at 10€ for as much as you can eat and drink. A wide variety of herbal and fruit teas (including some made from fresh ingredients) are provided and homemade jams and marmalade complement the freshly baked rolls.
Our lunch here was an occasion that we will remember fondly and repeat often.
Prices are very inexpensive especially when considering the surroundings and facilities. Children’s meals are available for 4.50 €.
A huge field ensures that unless Ambelas hosts the World Cup, they will never run out of parking space.
Located in Ambelas village on the northeast coast of Paros just 3kms east of Naoussa and signposted from the seafront.
Tel 22840 52362.
Thanks to Vicki Preston, the publisher of Paros Life and Naxos Life magazine who sent me these reviews since I have not spent enough time in Paros to eat at all the good restaurants there. For those who have ever thought about living on a Greek Island Paros Life will give you an idea of what it is like for the people who are actually doing it. With restaurant reviews and articles about a number of island topics there is no better way to be introduced to an island community. For information on subscriptions e-mail Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org