Cookoovaya: The urban side of comfort food in Athens

Cookoovaya

From the very first day Cookoovaya opened, bets were made on how long it would last. It was something new and unique for Greek gastronomy: five renowned chefs under the same roof. You would call it a challenging task.

And yet, it stood the test of time.

It was established, it evolved, and it continues.

Cookoovaya

In recent years, chef Pericles Koskinas, one of the five, has fully taken over Cookoovaya, giving it his own stamp and philosophy - an urban, delicious philosophy that taps into the chef's culinary memories from his hometown, Corfu, his love for traditional Greek cuisine and, of course, the current trends in gastronomy.

Although Pericles's cooking style may be classic, that doesn't mean he abandons modern techniques.

Cookoovaya

At Cookoovaya, we usually go for fish. The chef loves fish as a raw ingredient, and he knows how to manage it to the fullest by exploiting all parts of the fish from "scale to tail."

But this time, we decided to be more carnivorous. Let's see the other side of the chef...

We started with the herb pie baked in the wood oven and served with mint yogurt. It is rich in herbs, enough cheese and nice crispy phyllo pastry.

Along came the artichokes, which are boiled slightly and then fried from their leaves to open them up and acquire a crispy texture to contrast with their soft stalk. On the same plate was a nettle pesto and a concentrated sauce with plenty of delicious intensity from the artichokes.

Moving slowly to the meats, the first dish we ordered was the bone marrow. It was buttery, soft, and delicious. It was garnished with a little caper and onion and served with little toasted slices of bread.

And before we forget the velvety taste left by the marrow, the baked goat came with the quince potatoes.

It was a Sunday, motherly dish that spoke warmly, bringing back memories of the family lunch table and bringing smiles to all of us. We forgot that we were in a packed restaurant somewhere, and behind us was the open kitchen with the fires and the stovetops on.

For a moment, everything disappeared, and we were taken back to the living room of a friendly house. The return to reality was made with various cuts and meats prepared for us by Pericles and his team.

The pickles are from Spain, the skirt steak is from America, and the fillet and rib eye are from Argentina. They were all cooked just right to retain their juices and deliciousness; all they needed was coarse salt—nothing more and nothing less.

Cookoovaya

Cookoovaya

We ended our evening over a delicious pear tarte tatin and a syrupy ekmek.

Cookoovaya is the signature urban restaurant that every city must have. Pericles Koskinas is a chef who continually proves that he has a talent for culinary understanding and a passion for what he does.

And yes, we will be back again.

Cookoovaya
Info:

Hatzigianni Mexi 2, Ilisia, Athens tel. 210 7235 005
prices: 50 – 65 euros without wine.

Vasilis Dimaras is a columnist for Olive Magazine.

READ MORE: Eidikon: The 100+year-old taverna in Piraeus.

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Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor

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