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|Socrates Restaurant, Milatos, Crete|
|Written by Gary Thomson | Posted in Restaurants Updated 22-May|
Socrates Restaurant & Accomodation is in the lovely quiet coastal village of Milatos (Milatou) on the northern coast of Crete. The restaurant is run and managed by the expert family team led by Socrates himself. His wealth of restaurant knowledge has allowed him to provide absolutely splendid authentic traditional Greek food in this most wonderful peaceful setting.
Proprietor: Socrates Astroulakiss
Tel: 28410 81375 or 0030 6987485868
Bookings: Accommodation Click here
Socrates Restaurant sits literally 10m from the mediteranean sea...and when it gently spashes over the seawall that 10m becomes 5m. If you eat in the evening you will be treated to the clean, clear sunlight on the front of the restaurant followed by the beautiful and magical sunset accompanied by the lapping of the sea and the smell of souvlaki cooking on the open fire. This is as authentic a Greek experience as you can imagine...a real "Shirley Valentine" feel to the place.
The restaurant has a large seating area under cover from the searing Greek sunshine and has the benefit of another balcony seating area directly alongside the main restaurant. All of these seating areas are spacious, allowing both private and relaxed meals to be had. Even though you are under cover, the whole area is open along all sides, giving a cooling breeze from the sea.The restaurant sits with a small access road seperating the diners from the sea but there is very infrequent traffic due to it being a dead end road. Local kids play happily in the street with children of families dining and their laughter lightens your meal as they toy with the waves landing on the road....a happy, healthy feel.
Socrates and his wife Elena are the driving force in the restaurant but the "front of house" duties lie with his son and daughter Georgous and Maria. Two nicer more relaxed and pleasant people you will not find anywhere in Crete. Totally committed to making your meal a pleasure.
All the food is sourced locally (when in season or available) and Socrates purchases his fresh fish directly every morning from Manolis, the boat owner/fisherman, who sits and drinks in the restaurant and eats the very
fish he caught the previous evening!!!
Most of the vegetables used in his cooking come diirectly from his own garden and are prepared on the premises by he and Elena. The menu varies daily dependent upon the freshest produce and the availability of the fish from the fishermen. The lamb and goat used come from locally reared animals feeding in the hills surrounding the fertile Lasathi Plateau.Socrates met his wife whilst he was head waiter in the prestigeous and busy Malia Beach Hotel and the Kernos Beach Hotel both in Malia and after 25 years they decided to start their own business in their home village of Milatos. The restaurant has now been serving food for the past 17 years and still attracts as many regular local customers as the seasonal tourists.
Because of it's unique position the Socrates Restaurant entertains many of the guests from other larger hotels in the area and specifically the Minos Imperial Hotel, a 5* Resort at the western end of Milatos. Socrates Apartments are part of the restaurant and provide their own accommodation and the family host many returning visitors. One couple from Germany sat with me and discussed the fact that they had been coming once or twice a year for over 12 years. I have now been living in a suite in the Socrates Apartments and have been so very well looked after. The location is fantastic and even though the rooms have air conditioning it is not really needed since the gentle sea breeze provides natural cooling.
The food in the restaurant is a mix of all the expected Greek grill food but with some very fine authentic "Family" starters and main course dishes. Sundays are special and Socrates fires up the traditional wood fired oven from early in the morning cooking whichever meat dishes he decides upon. My last meal was a lamb dish when the meat simply fell off the bone but more importantly the rich tastes if the herbs and spices allowed me to savour this meal rather than bolt it down! All cooking in the restaurant uses the olive oil produced by the family during the autumn and winter months; somewhere in excess of 1000lt is required to manage the restaurant and all of this is totally organic.
No meal is served here without the follow up of local fruit (often fresh cold watermelon) and the local spirit Raki. This is produced from the pulp pressings of the grape harvest and is the result of a distilling process which differs slightly in every part of Crete. Many would call this a for of "moonshine" but I actually found it surprisingly smooth...lethal...but smooth!!
Your meal can be enjoyed with a cold pint of local beer which after a day in the sun is simply a smooth nectar. The local wine is quite palatable too and the red or white should complement the food pretty well. The following map will showyou the area of Milatos.
I wish the family continued success in their business and do know I will visit again.
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