Besides offering amazing views, the rooftop restaurants of four renowned Athenian hotels presented below also serve delicious food. We checked them out and offer our impressions to help guide your atmospheric outings at elevated spots in the capital.
Mappemonde – Athens Capital Hotel
The view could probably be considered the strongest attribute of this place, given its central location, just steps away from Syntagma Square, which offers a marvellous look out to the city from high above. The view of Panepistimiou St when lit up at night, as well as the imposing Lycabettus Hill, is truly fabulous. Add to this frame the quality of the food, a wonderful surprise. Chef Dimitris Boutsalis, backed by a tenure at the GB Roof Garden, presents dishes of exceptional interest such as Black Angus tartare, served with bone and mixed with marrow, plus caper mayonnaise.
This dish will definitely lure you back to the restaurant for repeat pleasure. The same goes for the handmade Tortelli with confit egg yolk, guanciale, prosciutto and parmesan foam, an intelligently prepared carbonara alternative. Another menu delight is the lamb with eggplant, smoked yoghurt, black garlic, lavender oil and homemade tomato paste. Carefully prepared, like a special Sunday dish, I believe this selection will prove particularly popular among diners. The restaurant’s desserts, curated by pastry chef Nadia Makrygianni, top off meals here in the best way possible. The tiramisu with coffee cookies is recommended.
New Taste – New Hotel
The New Hotel, featuring stylish design, is renowned for its brunch meals as it was one of Athens’ early birds of this trend, now enormously popular. In summer, the New Taste restaurant moves to the hotel’s top floor. This past summer, I tried some very interesting and delicious proposals of clear-cut flavour, with the lit-up Parliament House as a backdrop setting along with Lycabettus Hill, further in the distance. Young chef Babis Kountouris, now at the helm of the kitchen, prepares dishes such as cold tomato soup (gazpacho) with finely chopped vegetables and fennel oil; a delicious, perfectly textured risotto with mildly cured prawns from the Ambracian Gulf, in Greece’s northwest, and plenty of saffron; as well as octopus prepared the Spetses island way with a rich sauce and creamy mashed potato with fennel. Finally, I cannot skip making note of the lamb kebab that was sided by sun-dried tomato pesto, grilled tomato and béchamel, even though it did lack needed crispness. Overall, though, New Taste is a very good proposal for dining with a view.
Sense – Athens Was
Sense is situated on the seventh floor of the Athens Was boutique hotel. The combination of view and delicious Greek cuisine, I can say, is fully applied here. The spot offers, on the one hand, a panoramic view that takes in everything from the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill to the Arch of Hadrian and Temple of Olympian Zeus, and on the other, the dishes of gifted chef Alexandros Haralambopoulos, which come close to claiming some of the magnificence of the historic monuments. The menu is purely Greek in character and based on traditional recipes, presented, however, as more modern and creative renditions. The appetisers, served on a tray with a map of Greece as its base, over the locations that inspired them, make a great first impression. The restaurant’s briam (roasted vegetables) version is interesting, as is the vegan moussaka with a lovely basil béchamel. I’ll also make mention of the guinea fowl with okra cream, crispy pickled onion, and polenta, a dish filled with aromas and profound flavour, which made my list of favourites for the year.
The Zillers – The Zillers Boutique Hotel
The small, tasteful veranda of The Zillers hotel, housed at one of the neoclassical buildings left as cultural heritage by German architect Ernst Ziller, may well offer the most charming Acropolis view. Its restaurant of the same name is headed by chef Pavlos Kyriakis, who has prepared three different degustation menus, one over five stages, another over eight, as well as a vegetarian option. The philosophy behind the dishes here is based on ingenuity of combinations and top-quality ingredients. The artichoke with egg-and-lemon foam, flavoured with coffee, typifies the menu content. The lobster spaghetti with very expressive bisque is particularly delicious, while the cod with eggplant and white wine sauce, as well as the lamb with pea puree and many aromatic herbs are also interesting. Add to these delights the signature cocktails prepared and proposed by bartender Fotis Kouletos.