Breakfast, coffee, dinner or lunch… this tiny new place in the middle of nowhere (but so bang on in the heart of Athens) is the best hideaway for tasty treats and a comfy vibe!
It’s a hot summer evening when some friends invite me to join them for dinner at this newly launched place that is close to Exarchia where we’re having pre-drinks. To Rini is the brainchild of Marina and Nikos, a couple that has decided to give their relationship a new course in this refreshing all-day resto.
Finding this spot behind the Archaeological Museum is a breeze but despite it being central, the street that it’s in is so quiet. Tucked away between three tall residential buildings from the 70s, the lush patio they form together with some smart dimmed lighting is the best combo for a quiet night out.
Marina comes to take our order and I immediately recognise her face from somewhere. “If you’re watching TV food shows, then you may have seen me there!” she prods and we go into a banter of TV, cuisines and her culinary background in Paris and elsewhere. Soon enough, Nikos joins, who is manning the rest of the tables greeting everyone as they come in, and the chatter goes on. The menu is a refreshing Greek-focused list of tasty treats to share, together with a couple of main dishes.
We order a couple of salads and a starters, all of which are a lot photogenic so we dig in! Greek burrata from Kastoria with lightly charred peach and toasted bread. The zucchini salad is also very refreshing but what delights even more is the tomato salad with watermelon and cheese… remarkable!
We carry on talking about the life as a restaurateur and find out the real story of this young couple at work. And as we drink under the summer Athenian starlit sky we appreciate those little hidden corners of the city waiting to be explored.
On a different day we also visit for a quick ice coffee in the morning to enjoy the unique lighting of this back alley. Marina is again here tending to this night’s dinner. Everything just works!