Funky Gourmet, Athens, 4/16/15

Funky Gourmet exterior- lights upstairs is main dining area
Funky Gourmet exterior- lights upstairs is main dining area

The name is enough to put you off this restaurant but after eating there it does seem an appropriate label. They received their second Michelin star last year after 5 years in business. An average size dining room with lots of mirrors and windows to make it feel quite spacious. Diners are offered 3 different menu options, 2 degustation choices and a smaller option all trying to stress unique local products and seasonality. Wine pairings are offered but we chose to pick our own with the help of their sommelier. We ordered the larger of the degustation choices, which had 2 additional courses – the picnic and langoustine. The place is more casual than one would expect of a Michelin rated place but it had a nice vibe and very friendly staff. The tables were black wood and the servers were kept busy wiping off finger prints between all the courses. Another nice touch were the warm, wet clothes they brought you after courses you eat by hand. Some of the course had catchy names that seemed a little contrived but it must sell cause the place was packed.

downstairs dining room
downstairs dining room

We started with the salsify which came off like chip and dip – very tasty but the dip was too rich to want to finish it for fear you’d be too full for the rest of the meal. The Greek Bottarga is fish egg and they mixed it with white chocolate. A really delightful and unexpected combination. The pastitsio was divine and I wanted to lick the bowl here. The “picnic” was made up of several things including a checkered cloth and basket. The meatball was amazingly juicy. The Coulouri bread is sold on every street but I must say this was way better than what you get on the street (mine there went in the trash). The fish soup came with raw grouper that you cooked in the warm broth and dipped in oil before consuming and then when you’re though you can drink the now seasoned broth. Fun to play with and nice fresh tastes.

staircase to upper floor
staircase to upper floor
bar area leading to stairs
bar area leading to stair

The snails were plump and the truffles actually had a good bit of flavor as well as wonderful smell. The Greek salad in sorbet form was just plain weird but if you tasted it with your eyes closed you could taste the salad as clearly as if you’d had to chew it. I was cautious of the lamb brain but it turned out to be delicious – rich and creamy. The Milk Skin bracelet came complete with a little velvet presentation box and tasted strongly of nuts, cinnamon and honey – very good. The chocolate soup was another surprise with the rich liquid inside. Liquid nitrogen courses seem to be a regular part of this style of dining – a spectacular effect but functionless as far as I could tell. Overall a really fun experience, some great tastes and new combinations of flavors. Thumbs up!

Wine
Wine
Salsify in soil: salsify are tall leaves wih a fish roe cream underneath
Salsify in soil: salsify are tall leaves wih a fish roe cream underneath
Greek bottarga with white chocolate
Greek bottarga with white chocolate
Inside
Inside bottarga
Taco: Used corn flour for taco, topped with smokd eel and filled with potatoes
Taco: Used corn flour for taco, topped with smokd eel and filled with potatoes
Pastitsio: pasta with bechamel sauce covered with butter with hazelnut
Pastitsio: pasta with bechamel sauce covered with butter with hazelnut
Picnic: basket with baguettes, aiolo mayo, meatball, boiled egg, cashews in edible bag, BLT sandwich. Vinegar spray next to egg.
Picnic: basket with baguettes, aiolo mayo, meatball, boiled egg, cashews in edible bag, BLT sandwich. Vinegar spray next to egg.
BLT close up
BLT close up
Coulouri bread with Cretan buttermilk butter and salt
Coulouri bread with Cretan buttermilk butter and salt
‘Kakavia’ fish soup Shabu: Grouper marinated in salt and vinegar
‘Kakavia’ fish soup Shabu: Grouper marinated in salt and vinegar
broth to dip into
broth to dip into
dip in oil before you eat
dip in oil before you eat
Frankie goes exploring
Frankie goes exploring
Langoustine from Chios with squid ink mayo
Langoustine from Chios with squid ink mayo
wine
wine
Snails with barley, mushrooms and truffles
Snails with barley, mushrooms and truffles
Greek salad in sorbet form
Greek salad in sorbet form
view from our table
view from our table
Silence of the lamb Part One: lamb brain with marscapone sauce
Silence of the lamb Part One: lamb brain with marscapone sauce
Part 2: grilled and presented on a hot rock over rosemary with a wet cloth (eat by hand)
Part 2: grilled and presented on a hot rock over rosemary with a wet cloth (eat by hand)
The Feta cheese that wished to be a beetroot
The Feta cheese that wished to be a beetroot
Milk skin ‘bracelet’ (presented in velvet jewelry box; made with beef and walnuts, cinnamon and honey
Milk skin ‘bracelet’ (presented in velvet jewelry box; made with beef and walnuts, cinnamon and honey
Chocolate soup: dots are wild fruit, cubes are malt
Chocolate soup: dots are wild fruit, cubes are malt
inside
inside
served with liquid nitrogen
served with liquid nitrogen
decoration in downstairs bar area
decoration in downstairs bar area

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