Lunch with a View!
I always love it when the food at a restaurant I visit for the first time is truly outstanding . . . and even better than anticipated!
My latest discovery, MOURIA (which means mulberry tree), is a seafront restaurant that is part of a small family run hospitality business in Ancient Epidaurus; a short distance from the Theater of Epidaurus that is marveled for its exceptional acoustics and productions which, without a doubt, represent some of the best examples of classical Greek theater.
The restaurants history dates back to the 1950’s and is closely intertwined with the annual summer Festival of Epidaurus and its entourage. During rehearsal breaks the Festival’s actors and technicians would escape the summer heat and go to the nearby beach to cool off under the shade of mulberry trees.
As the story goes . . . one day after swimming the actors, in search of some fresh water, knocked on the door of a small shack where Nicolas, a local fisherman and his wife Ourania lived with their four children (the present restaurant owners). True to Greek hospitality, the actors were welcomed and treated not only to fresh water from the family’s well but also to Ourania’s delicious home cooked food made with home grown veggies, milk from family’s goat, eggs from their chicken and fresh fish caught by Nicolas . . . and the rest is history!
Today, as then, the food is cooked by the women in the family who follow Ourania’s traditional recipes and cook with great skill and love that can be felt with every bite you swallow.
My husband and I enjoyed a late lunch that was made up of a perfectly cooked tiropitari (large fried cheese pie), crunchy on the outside fluffy on the inner with lots of partially melted and crumbled Feta cheese, a superb tasting eggplant dip (melitzanosalata) with crushed walnuts, a Greek village salad made with tasty locally grown products and . . . an outstanding beef stew with orzo pasta that was oozing with flavor and a hint of cinnamon!
I’m not sure what lured us the most . . . the friendly welcome, the memorable meal, the cozy family style of the place with its stupendous sea view and clear blue waters . . . and since we weren’t in a rush to head back to Athens we ended up staying overnight in the family’s small hotel that has 12 standard rooms and 8 studios that offer all the amenities you need at reasonable prices!
Prolonging our short city-break that had started in Spetses a few days earlier gave us the opportunity to wander around the town of Epidaurus (seen from afar in photo above) in the early evening and also, to get up really early the following morning to swim in the amazingly clean, clear waters while relishing the sunrise and the idyllic atmosphere . . . followed by breakfast with a view!
The breakfast itself, as everything else, was family style; simple with lovely local produce and home-made jams but sadly lacking in presentation . . . perhaps the only thing I would recommend needs a bit of overhaul!
Having said that however, the gorgeous and truly delicious Bougatsa (phyllo custard pie) that I enjoyed with freshly squeezed orange juice made up for any breakfast shortcomings and I can’t wait to return for more . . . as soon as possible!
NB! The restaurant and accommodations close down for winter and open up again in spring time! The owner told me that the exact closure date depends on the weather but normally at the end of October or sometime in November.
So before visiting . . . make sure to call ahead of time to check on opening hours as well as making reservations for a table at the restaurant . . . especially on weekends!
Mouria (Bar, Restaurant, Rooms, Studios)
Argolida, 210 59, Greece
Tel: +30 27530 41218 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile: +30 697 3404 777
2 hours from Athens international airport. 159 km by car otherwise take the proastiakos train to Corinth and then taxi to Epidaurus. There is also a bus that leaves from Kifissos and goes straight to Epidaurus