Corfu, the small Greek island with a secluded feel, welcomed us with its beauty, charm and unexpected fabulous cuisine. Upon arrival, everyone’s stomachs were grumbling to be filled. We had an idea of where to eat, and it was clear once the friendly, honest recommendation from locals at the hotel. What better way to eat than to Go Greek by eating mezé at Avli Restaurant?
Mezé (meh-zeh) refers to appetizers or snacks chosen to compliment drinks and shared with all at the table similar to the Spanish tapas. The key to mezé extends beyond a meal by creating an environment for light-hearted, fun conversation. Usually a party of friends sit around a table enjoying wine, beer and other drinks. An order of 3 or 4 various mezé dishes are placed in the middle for everyone. We were introduced to this custom from our kind, incredibly helpful waiter after we ordered one dish per person.
After a 6-hour drive and hour and a half rocky ferry ride from Saranda, Albania (take the ferry from Greece) we were beyond hungry, so we settled for sharing 5 dishes, which fed all 8. To start, we chose the delectably sweet, warm honey patties. The rich, pure flavor pleased the palate with every bite.
For the meat lovers, we ordered the homemade sausage, chicken tigana and the meatball patties. The sausage and meatball patties were fresh off the grill, and satisfied all the boys at the table. The sauce on the chicken tigana exceeded expectations. The zest of the lemon and smooth white wine complimented the chicken well. Per the kids’ requests, we also snacked on the fresh fried chips. These tasty, well-seasoned fresh potatoes calmed the kids’ cravings and seemed addicting to the adults as well.Sitting around the table gazing at the sun setting over the sea along with the staff providing every little need like a high chair for our toddler (which is a treat in the Balkans) and with prompt assistance, Avli Restaurant presented the perfect, relaxed, social environment. Beside the patio seating lies an area and playground great for children entertainment once they finished eating. This allowed for the adults to continue conversing and enjoying the food and drink.Peering around, every table was full of guests some eating with a little bumping of forks at an attempt to spear the next mezé, others drinking, and all laughing. According to the Greeks, why sit through a quiet meal where everyone is eating from his or her own individual dish when It’s possible to delight the taste buds in a meal that encourages conversation, which only comes with mezé. Avli Restaurant introduced us to a new communal mealtime which we plan to return and enjoy again.