Thessaloniki meaning “victory of the Thessalians”: the second largest city of Greece, over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, a city I knew nothing about until I got whisked away and exposed all the country has to offer. Yes, I got whisked away, I can finally for once utter that fabulous sentence.
Greece, the country of tzatziki and olive branches. It is also where olive oil, is said to have, originated from. Just providing you with some knowledge I learned while here: the olive branch symbolizes wealth, beauty, health, abundance and wisdom. It was also used a symbol of peace whenever the Greeks entered into a truce with their enemies and the olive branch is used at the Olympic Games to award any winning athlete.
For those of you not familiar with European roads, brace yourself, the streets in Greece go up high, well more steep like and very narrow. I have never prayed so much to the Gods before while driving.
After a day of sightseeing, Coquille Seafood restaurant is where shared a delicious evening meal. Not your typical Greek restaurant, a fish restaurant with a great sea view and beautiful staff. Our waitress was a pure gem, providing us with great information on the various Greek wines available, (white of course…the best combination to drink with fish), their catch of the day and other delicious dishes available on their menu.
We decided on with Coquilles Saint Jacques, Terrine of Octopus and Sea Bass. The coquilles were seared to perfection with enhanced sweetness and quite the match with my glass of white wine. They are to me one of the most delicious under the seafoods. Octopus is not my preferred taste and was according to my dinner date served with the right herbs and full-flavored (The presentation was on point).
Our main course of Sea Bass was filleted by our waitress to perfection. She tested our fish knowledge on whether we wanted the cheeks served, after receiving her nod of approval, “It is said that the cheek of the fish – the tiny pocket of meat below the eye- is the best part due to its tenderness and great taste.”, we dug in. So worth the walking around to find this restaurant. The seabass did not make it for his picture debut, we were no match for my camera.
Dessert was a Greek aperitive: mastiha. Mastiha comes from the mastic tree which only grows on the island of Chios. The tree produces a sticky resin, which are referred to as “tears: of the tree, as they resemble that. The “tears” are wanted all throughout the world. It is traditionally used to make gum and modern day used even within the cosmetics industry, for cocktails and even within Greek cuisine. What makes me share it with you is that our waitress took the time to share and educate us on Mastiha’s origin, yet the way she shared it with us made me think that at any moment the tree would appear behind her shoulder by form of clouds like one of the scenes in Gladiator. Lol.
I had a wonderful evening, a delicious meal and the best company. And yes, the staff wore masks and we washed our hands.
“Adio” my fellow foodies.