Recently, my husband Ian and I traveled to Istanbul and Greece. To say it was incredible is an understatement. Awe-inspiring history, intriguing culture, spectacular views, and of course, mouth-watering dishes made this an unforgettable trip. When we travel, we like to immerse ourselves in as much of the culture as possible, and the best way we have found to really know a place is to eat their food. For our entire trip, we ate no American food, and it was glorious!
One of our favorite nights included a trip to the village of Oia on the Greek island of Santorini. Choosing a favorite meal to highlight is more difficult than I imagined, but I settled on this one because of the food, ambiance, and location. Santorini truly is a magical place. There is so much rich culture present and such a simple way of living that the locals continue today, even despite the enormous amount of tourists bombarding the island daily. Delicate wines, sweet cherry tomatoes, white eggplant, thyme honey, thick Greek yogurt that requires an ice cream scoop to serve – talk about food heaven. Not to mention, as pescatarians, the Mediterranean is a phenomenal place to get constant, fresh seafood at every bend.
For this meal, we dined at Candouni, a traditional Greek restaurant, which was clearly an old home turned restaurant nestled in the winding cobblestone passageways that cover this centuries-old village. We sat outside on a quaint patio with beautiful hand sewn pillows lining each table, and indentations in the walls with multiple candles that have been burning so long, the wall is stained from soot and smoke above each flame.
I ordered smoked salmon linguine in a vodka butter sauce covered with slivers of Parmesan cheese. The sauce was light and creamy without being overpowering and perfectly complemented the linguine, and the salty cheese and smooth salmon just sang to me! Ian chose a dish of mussels in an ouzo sauce. This plate easily contained over 30 tender mussels and the sauce was deliciously salty and sweet, with the ouzo offering a little kick. To keep it gluten-free, he also ordered the roasted potatoes that were prepared in a combination of Greek spices and olive oil, and managed to be soft to the bite with perfectly crisp edges.
A meal like this was perfectly filling without being heavy, and a walk along the caldera was the best way to let the tastes linger while preparing for a later dessert. I’ve been told there are no bad views in Santorini, and I have to confirm this to be true. The sunsets and caldera are breathtakingly beautiful. Should you ever find yourself on this incredible island, do your taste buds a favor and visit Candouni–you will not be disappointed.