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Athens: overly complex menu yet pleasantly casual vibe at Proveleggios

Dimitris Kossyfas | January 25, 2020
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When it comes to new openings of restaurants we’re kind of excited but also skeptical at the same time. More so, when the news come with heavy luggage such as those carried by the renowned Masterchef of Greece, Sotiris Kontizas. And rightfully so it seems, as Proveleggios does not necessarily live up to all the hype created around its launch.

The Bauhaus-inspired facade at Proveleggios

The news came in late 2019 with a disclaimer of this not being a restaurant and more of an interactive food workshop. Promise fail promise #1. Sotiris Kontizas and the team were going to be teaming up with the Baba au Rum bar team for some funky cocktails. Promise fail #2. And whilst building up the hype, reviews from all major free-press magazines and the likes were identical… exactly like a (not so) carefully planned PR wave. Fail #3.

However, the food is indeed tasty. The decor and vibe is indeed inviting, casual and funky. And the value (aka price vs food quality) is indeed very high. And so we begin to dig into the numerous plates to share that the team of this new establishment creates (almost daily) on a late Wednesday night.

Colorful printed menus are cleverly sneaked under your silver-colored plate. A long list of small-to-medium sized dishes that feature mostly meat with odd seafood offering also being present. We start with some home-baked bread and a lettuce salad dressed in a light mango topping and some gruyere cheese from Ios island. Both equally good! Our favourite dish arrives – smoked eggplant from the oven topped with shitake mushrooms… yum yum yum!

The night goes on and we’re kind of taken by our convos that revolve around new flavors, social dining and the likes. On the rare occasion we’re being interrupted by service waiters bumping us on their way as the space is kind of limited at Proveleggios. Nonetheless, we very appreciate the loud music as well as the food that is nicely executed.

The pizza arrives – four options on the menu in total – and its piping hot from the oven with a very promising dough to go with it. Indeed it is as we dig in and devour in just a few minutes a very delicious smoked mozarella and n’duja pizza. Next in line are the infamous meatballs, prepared grilled this time (there’s been some back and forth between chef and owner on whether they taste best grilled or fried). Although tender and tasty, the jury is still not out with the verdict on whether the fried version would have been better. Regardless, we re-order another portion as these were also quite good.

Wine is poured, music is getting louder and we’re still enjoying a nice casual Wednesday dinner with some high quality food. For dessert, we opt for the only option on the day – homebaked apple pie. A carefully baked pie with some thin-sliced apple chunks few of which have been caramelized in the oven. Very, very good!

The check arrives and its surprisingly low for the meal we had (including a bottle of wine)! Well done for the food, still a long way to go on service and experience Mr Pisiotis and Mr Kontizas.

Pizza from the wood-fired oven

Their signature apple tart

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