Telling people that Dan and I were traveling to Rhodes, we received a lot of feedback stating that it was too touristy, too crowded, and that we would find “meh” food, at least for Greece (where honestly, even some “meh” food is great!). So I made it my missing to pre-book some, what I thought would be excellent dinners. In researching good food in Rhodes Town, I came across Taverna Piatakia, and it was a fantastic find. Definitely good high-end food at a very reasonable price! And spoiler alert, Rhodes, especially Rhodes Town, is super touristy and you can certainly find a not-so-great meal that is over priced; I do recommend doing some researching in choosing dinner spots.
Taverna Piatakia is located just outside of Rhodes Town’s Old Town (meaning outside of the Old Town walls) on Leontos street. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the centrally located Suleiman Mosque in Old Town. Piatakia is located on the second level of the building with open air seating over looking the street. Piatakia is small, so we made a reservation via Facebook Messenger before we left home.
The menu at Piatakia is inventive and what I would describe as traditional Rhodes fare with a modern, and high-end, flair. Think food that you would find at a fancy, modern-Greek restaurant. That being said, the prices at Piatakia are incredibly reasonable: 24 Euros per person for 9 courses (i.e. the entire menu)! Plates are small, so doing the tasting menu is not crazy. If you don’t want so much food, patrons can also order a la carte, and tables can split between the tasting menu and a la care. Here is a picture of the menu, which changes regularly to use fresh, in-season ingredients, during our visit.
Another pro of Piatakia, they have a great, Greek wine list. We ordered a 2016 Cair Tempranillo with our meal for 31 Euros. The wine was quite good and it is from Rhodes! I truly had no idea Tempranillos are made in Rhodes, or in Greece period!
We ordered the tasting menu, and our meal started with the loveliest Halloumi salad with peach and mint vinaigrette! In short, this was a greek salad mixed with beaches, sunflower seeds, and warm Halloumi. As for portions, the below picture was for me and Dan to split. The salad was great and the Halloumi was excellent! And for those thinking that Halloumi is not traditionally Greek, it is frequently found on Rhodes, probably due to its proximity to Turkey. We found Rhodes to be almost more Turkish than Greek, in a fantastically interesting way.
Our next course was a bit of a play on the traditional Greek pita bread that is typically served with meals. This bread, called Rhodian pita bread with herb oil, was thinner and crispier than the standard pita bread, and it was seasoned with Rosemary and sea salt. The bread was served with a pair of dips: artichoke dip and an eggplant and apricot dip. The dips were quite good, although we both preferred the artichoke to the eggplant dip.
The next course was a small zucchini fritter with romesco sauce and pickled fennel. This had the consistency of a crab cake but it was made with zucchini! I was worried that Dan would not love this dish, as he is not a zucchini fan, but he very much enjoyed it, and it was one of my favorite dishes on the tasting menu!
Next we were brought another vegetarian dish: cauliflower with burnt cream and anchovies. I was totally not expecting to love this plate, but it was DELICIOUS. I don’t know how to describe it; it was a sweet and savory mix that tasted like it had meat in it. This was absolutely the big surprise of the evening!
We received the final vegetarian course next, garlic lemon mushrooms. The mushrooms were good, very meaty, and the lemon garlic sauce made them taste very good. That being said, we were ready for some non-vegetarian food after this course!
The first meat course was spicy calamari with garlic lemon and greens – a class Greek dish! The calamari was, as expected, quite good and simply prepared. The calamari was also served Greek style, with all the tentacles.
Another seafood course followed: prawn and mussel risotto. We skipped the mussels due to Dan’s allergy. The prawns were more like normal shrimp (rather than the large shrimp I associate with “prawns”. The risotto was very tasty. It reminded us a lot of Portuguese shrimp dishes.
The final non-dessert course was a slow roasted lamb with honey lemon thyme jus and carrot puree. And this was one of my favorite dishes, possibly the favorite! Classically and simply Greek and cooked well. I finished the remainder of the Rhodian pita bread with this lamb.
The dessert served was a small, and light in dessert terms, yogurt panna cotta. The red top was a lemon and some sort of berry sauce and the bottom was, obviously, the panna cotta. The dessert was not too sweet and not too heavy to finish off our meal!
STEAL OUR DINNER
Taverna Piatakia: Leontos 13, Rodos 851 00, Greece. Open daily 18h – 00h. Casual attire. Decent amount of open air seating. Reservations recommended (made via Facebook message). Piatakia also runs a taqueria downstairs. We didn’t visit, but it looked interesting.
ON A BUDGET
For an upscale tasting menu restaurant, Taverna Piatakia is a steal, especially since you can order a la carte. However, if you are on more of a shoe string budget, try Grill House Augoustino’s Quick Service restaurant just into the New Town. €7,90 for the entire below plate! Service is fast and the food is really good. It was packed with locals every time we walked by, which prompted us to stop in!