Nyn Esti: A wonderful taste experience at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens

Nyn Esti

To find the entrance of Nyn Esti, I walked around the block of the Museum of Contemporary Art—twice! It was evening, and the main entrance was closed, so I had to find the "secret" door to go inside the museum, through the entire ground floor area, take the elevator, and go up to the fourth floor, where the restaurant is located.

Entering, the eye is drawn to the illuminated Acropolis seen in the background of the austere, Scandinavian-style setting and then to the huge tables on the right with the plates – works of art set up as if in an exhibition.

A few steps down is the open kitchen, which operates nicely and calmly.

Stamatis Misomikes

Chef Stamatis Misomikes is the head of the kitchen at Nyn Esti. After a period abroad, he returned to Greece with more mature and settled ideas and, of course, a lot of experience.

He incorporates all of this into the menus—three degustations, one of which is vegan—that he prepares here in the museum's new restaurant. The menus are based on the flora and fauna of Greece and products from small Greek producers.

Of course, the chef's hometown cuisine, Rhodes, is heavily influenced. Misomikes studied alongside a remarkable chef, George Troumouhis, who has done a fantastic job revitalising and developing Rhodes's cuisine.

Nyn Esti

Nyn Esti

The menu I tried that night was Biotopes, a combination of the other two that gives the full picture of Misomikes's cooking.

We started with Blue Crab with Feneou Vanilla Bean, black truffle, and birch syrup, smoked eel in chickpea pita, and Cretan avocado.

The kitchen team made the pumpkin pie with goat cheese, again amazing.

Nyn Esti

Nyn Esti

And creativity has continuity. For example, the veal heart, a complex but very tasty dish, the lightly seared cuttlefish tagliatelle (one of the dishes I wanted to eat again), or the fish with vines leaves and kumquat.

Nyn Esti

After all that savoury stuff, desserts come next. Olive oil in various ways – ice cream, biscuit, cream – which, as greasy as it sounds, is not. On the contrary, it intelligently cleans the taste buds so that we can move on to the main dessert.

Then "Autumn Leaves" arrive. They are cream-flavoured with quince, wild berries and malt.

At Nyn Esti, food is a journey through the flavours and a delicious experience. Stamatis Misomikes and his team serve dishes with an opinion, taste, interest, and techniques but do not become difficult to understand, chatty, or elitist.

Info: 51-53 Andrea Sygrou Ave., Koukaki, tel. 6989438866
Prices: 60 + euros without wine

Vasilis Dimaras is a columnist for Olive Magazine. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos.

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