Let’s start with the basics you need to know when you are going to a Greek restaurant.
Be it a beach taverna,with your table and chairs next to, or in the water, or a posh city or resort restaurant that follows the good-old Greek tradition, the story goes like that…
Mezedes means... Starters !!!
Little plates with vegetables, salads, pies, dips, little fish or octopus grilled on the charcoal, different meats, with lots of herbs coming from the Greek land, with some fantastic sauces, that unless you dip in them chunks of the freshly baked bread that comes before everything else, you don’t really know what life is all about !!!
Drinks for the starters that go well with both the fishy and the meaty stuff are…
Ouzo, with the special anise smell and taste taken straight or with ice and water…
Tsikoudia (Raki), from Crete, with a delicate smell and after taste, best served right out of the deep freezer and taken ONLY straight (Sac religion for the Cretans to mix with ice or water) and…
Tsipouro, some with, others without anise, which is something between Ouzo and Tsikoudia, preferably not mixed with ice or water.
Of course you can have wine with your starters but, for those of you who are religiously following the rules about what goes with which type of food you might as well stick to white wine and for the very adventurous ones there is always the very strong white Retsina (with a bit of raisin from pine trees in it).
Yes, it is probably 35 Celsius and you are dying for something cold so, if beer is the choice, try some ones with a very delicate taste coming from small Greek startup breweries.
Salata means...Salad !!!
The Queen of the Greek Salads is the...Greek salad or Horiatiki (Village salad) as the Greeks call it. Slices of tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion, feta cheese and olives with lots of olive oil (never make a comment about it cause, from each and every area they consider as theirs of being the best Virgin oil of Greece) and that's for the basic one but, depending of the imagination of each chef might also have rochet, capers, pomegranate seeds, etc.
Kiria Piata means... Main Dishes !!!
Fish, meat, pasta, vegetables served straight or in a combination, make up the main meals, some cooked in the same manner as the great grandmothers used to cook them, like Mousaka (eggplant with minced meat, potato and crème), or Youvetsi (little pasta with pieces of meat in red sauce), or in a rather modern way that young talented Greek chefs propose, in an effort to mix the traditional and the modern cuisines without missing the essence of the magic of the Mediterranean tastes and flavors.
Gliko e Frouto...means Dessert or Fruit
Most restaurants, tavernas or ouzo and raki places, when you ask for the bill they offer you either "Halva" (Semelina cooked with sugar and nuts), or Yogurt with honey on top or whichever fruit is on season and don't be surprised if they bring one or two plates with lots of spoons or forks, cause that's how Greeks are used to share and enjoy their Dessert.