Thessaloniki: a journey of Greek memories and flavors in Maitre & Margarita
Traditionally known for its culture around food, Thessaloniki has been recently adding more cool places on its map in spite of the crisis on the economy and the trend of young experimental chefs. Maitr & Margarita, a cute and cosy Greek bistrot in the revamped old commercial centre of the city, should definitely be getting on your list.
Located on Veroias street, Maitr & Margarita was one the first few places to open in the rough location of Plateia Emporeiou a little over 2 years ago before the whole revitalisation of the area. Chef Labros Lalaridis and a group of friends wanted to bring to a life a simply designed space with emphasis on high quality Greek produce and a lot of love for what they do.
Fresh industrial design, a handful of tables and an open kitchen invite you in to come in for a real treat of what Greece has to offer. The space, although somewhat poorly made, will not deter you as the food overdelivers. The menu is filled with a wide range of Greek wine and a great selection of cheese, some of which you must try! Skotyri from Ios, Arseniko from Naxos and gryere cheese from Crete to name a few...
Although some visit Maitre & Margarita for some cheese and wine, I'd definitely recommend trying some of their sophisticated dishes. They offer a good mix of Mediterranean starters, such as the exceptional version of their Greek salad: oven-roasted pomodorini, diced cucumber and cheese spread over a bed of smashed carob rusks mixed with walnuts!
Their pumpkin soup is also very tasty and perfectly balanced, decorated way better than most of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Greece. As for main courses, their specialties are the pork neck chops that are glazed and cooked to perfection, as well as their schioufichta pasta with a tangy feel from a scoop of apaki cheese. Last but not least, their rabbit pasta with carrots, rapeseed and chive is also a very delicate dish enough to cater even for 2 people.
No reservations are needed; just make sure you visit for lunch and arrive before 3pm to avoid a big crowd. All in all a great gastronomic experience on a super friendly budget that deserves our hat off!