An old time favourite in Paros, Mario gracefully blends the tradition that comes with this iconic landmark location of the island and the creative cuisine the team has put together. A dinner just before sunset at Mario is a blessing indeed!
Paros has been a success story for tourism in Greece in the last 10 years or so. But even before that, back in 2005, Mario Tsachpinis believed in this place so much that he decided to venture out on his own. Working for a long time at his family’s taverna right next door, Mario at the age of 24 decided to set up shop in a place with great legacy where the infamous restaurant of Argyro Barbarigou was once housed.
Recently we visited with a friend of mine on an early evening just as the sun was setting for a one on one dinner. Although we had reserved a table and there was no wait, we still caught a first apperitivo at Sommaripa Consolato right above with a great view to Naousa’s little port. Soon after the lights were lit, we took our seats and ventured for an al fresco “to-share” seafood dinner.
We ordered a refreshing zucchini salad with grated cheese from Paros and a lemon dressing, a perfectly grilled octopus (very tender and chewy at the same time!) and a mesmerising cheese pie that came in a hard crust and served with tomato paste – oh what a treat!
It was one of those times that restaurant owners and staff tell you about the place’s local ingredients and you tend to kind of nod along. Mario though, has been working on his own farm for decades now cultivating various vegetables like zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes and the likes. No wonder, everything was pretty tasty indeed! It’s this effort and yearn for only the best raw produce that has gotten Mario to were he’s at today.
The staff, together with restaurant manager Paraskevas Vitalis, was very attentive and helpful. They even refilled our wine when I gracefully spilled it all over our table(!).
The main dish we shared was a classic spaghetti ala vongole that came with just about the right amount of jus and a hint of lemon zest. A pure delight! Our table neighbours realised how happy we were they opted for the same dish.
Well done to chef Nikos Goumplias and the team. Well done Mario!