When it comes to pizza, many of us have strong opinions when it comes to the best slice . . . . wherever we may be living! Our preferences for the type of pizza and toppings may differ but I always say . . . great pizza crust with creative topping combinations and a little time in a really good wood-burning or other pizza oven . . . behold the magic!
Here in Athens, I haven’t found many places that have glimpsed pizza greatness! So you can imagine my surprise when last Saturday, my husband, on a recommendation of a friend, took me to the Smili Cocktail Pizza Bar in the Athens suburb of Penteli, where we were served one of the best pizza we’ve had for some time!
Upon entering the place, we were greeted by the friendly master-mind owner, Harry Gorgapoulos, who showed us to our table and took care of all our needs throughout our meal. When asked, he told us that he had opened the two story place in 2013, which originally housed the local grocery store together with an old fashioned barber shop! Nowadays, the restaurant's atmosphere is modern and comfy.
There is also a lovely terrace where you can enjoy coffee, drinks and meals which, I’m sure is a popular hang out on sunny spring or hot summer days!
Since we had arrived early, we had the ground floor all to ourselves and decided for a slow paced affair . . . to be savored. Harry told us though, that if ever we wanted to come in the evening, to make sure to reserve a table . . . . as during peak hours they tend to get very busy!
Having studied the menu that offered a wide range of choices for all tastes, we decided to share a grilled veggie salad topped with Talagani cheese and then move on to a pizza with prosciutto, parmigiana and arugula.
Since my husband wanted a beer I decided to try the house plonk which wasn’t bad at all . . . and brought to the table with pizza bread slices and a rich, smooth curry flavored cheese dip which was perhaps the only thing I ended up not liking!!!
The grilled veggies, a combination of zucchini, eggplant and mushroom slices topped with a scrumptious tasting roasted pepper and a generous slice of grilled Talagani cheese were truly outstanding and perfectly prepared by Chef Stelios Goliotis.
The red Florina pepper was to die for and while savoring its taste I decided to visit the kitchen after the meal to sniff out its secret . . . . and was rewarded with a tray of freshly roasted peppers that I’m sure were later devoured by other guests, with much pleasure!
The pizza, with a thin crust was tender and pliable with a snappy groove that merged perfectly with the high-quality toppings we had chosen. It was truly delicious, resilient, and light in its simplicity and balance.
Although Harry offered us a dessert, on the house, we had indulged enough and got ready to leave . . . already thinking about our next visit when I also want to try one of the many trendy cocktails Smili Pizza Cocktail Bar has to offer!
Smili – Pizza Cocktail Bar
Plateia Agias Triados
152 36 Penteli
Tel: +30 210 6136334
Weekdays from 06.00pm – 01.00 am
Week-ends: From lunchtime