Athens: all time classic French eclecticism at L'Abreuvoir
Some classics don’t really need an introduction. For L’Abreuvoir, let’s just simply state that not only is it a classic establishment for more than 50 years, but that it remains to stay popular with those in the know even up to today. And it also serves a killer French menu!
Located in a quiet area on the hills of Kolonaki, Abreuvoir first opened its doors back in 1965 with Alexis Kotsis and his wife Joanna making this place ever so popular within the first few years of operation. Visiting this restaurant had forever been on my list but couldn’t resist a winter weekday evening in need for some ranch-inspired delicacies and some good red wine to go with it.
As soon as we stepped into the long dining room, we could witness signs of a classic establishment from the bold furniture and the white-cloth tables to the heavy big-sized menu and the white-dressed waiters meticulously tending to every single request left and right. A lengthy menu, strictly focusing on French classics, with rare items once can find in Athens like frog legs a la provencal, beef fillet with peppercorn sauce and Nicoise salad.
Our take? Classic. Whatever Abreuvoir is known for.
Two mid-sized entrecôte fillets with cafe de Paris sauce and crunchy French fries sticks. Wow! Tender and herby with enough garlic and butter not to disturb the palate - simply irresistible! For starters, we tried a portion of oven-cooked snails (they only come in 12), a delicate portion of foie gras with black truffle and a green salad with goat’s cheese. And to accompany everything, we chose one of the best Greek wines in limited production, a bottle of Kikones Syrah from Komotini. Everything was impeccable and delicious.
The night was slowly approaching midnight (their closing time) and we had just enough time for a ceremonial preparation of their signature dessert: a flamboyant and citrusy portion of Crêpes Suzette. Carefully prepared by experienced staff that start making this recipe from scratch, melting sugar, butter and half an orange right in front of you - a unique experience!
The price may have been a bit over the top but we didn’t mind that as we enjoyed a four-course menu of such high quality and taste. Regardless, we can’t wait to come back and taste some more of that juicy entrecôte and the irresistible Crêpes Suzette.