Restaurant Review: Mystilli, Athens, Greece.

Dan and I dined at an amazing restaurant in Athens, Greece last summer – Mystilli. It was my favorite meal of our trip and I still think about it! Mystilli is located very, very close to the Temple of Hephaestus with views of the Acropolis in the background. Mystilli offers indoor and outdoor seating along a pedestrian thoroughfare and, in the summer at least, Mystilli is decorated with bright flowers. Offering modern Greek and Mediterranean fare, don’t miss a meal at Mystilli when in Athens!

Mystilli views of the Acropolis in the background.

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24 Hour Layover: Athens, Greece Edition.

Dan and I had 24 hours in Athens at the end of our Greece trip last summer. We had been to Athens twice previously, so just wanted to hit the highlights and enjoy our last day of vacation. It felt like a Bourdain The Layover episode. Our 24 hours began with a short 25 minute flight from Milos to Athens International Airport, arriving at 10:20 AM.

Approach into Athens.

We quickly grabbed a taxi and went directly to our hotel – the Fresh Hotel. We checked in and set out for, at least what we call, traditional Greek food – AKA a gyro and saganaki. We found generally what we were looking for at a casual restaurant called Oavaons (my English spelling of Greek letters…) just off Monastiriki Square. The food was pretty good and satisfied our “traditional Greek food” request. That being said, I would not necessarily recommend Oavaons over other similar places.

Saganaki cheese with lemon! A personal Greek favorite.

Finally, a proper gyro!

Another view.

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A Lovely Food Tour Through Trastevere, Roma!

As part of our big family trip to Italy in November 2021, Dan and I signed everyone up for an evening food tour through Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. We did this for three reasons: (1) several of us on this tour love a good food tour, (2) Dan and I lived in Trastevere when we studied in Rome wayyyy back in 2008 and we wanted our families to see the area, and (3) we previously did a food tour through Testaccio and really loved it!  We booked our tour with Eating Italy Food Tours for our first evening in Rome, meeting on Tiber Island around 5:00 PM. Unfortunately, we got hit with an insane rain storm en route to the meeting point and we all got soaked… In any case, the tour went on! Due to the rain, we quickly moved to our first location in Trastevere, which I was verrrrry excited about!

En route back from our food tour, without rain!

Stop 1: Trattoria Da Enzo al 29

Yes, you read that correctly. Our first stop was at the famous Trattoria Da Enzo al 29. Da Enzo is a well known Roman trattoria that is very, very popular. You will frequently find it on “best food in Rome” lists. Da Enzo does not take reservations and there is almost always a wait. As such, our group actually got in before the restaurant opened to the public, something we never could have pulled off on our own! Our group and another couple on the tour were seated between two tables dressed in red checkered tablecloths. Classic southern Italy. Our guide poured everyone a glass of Prosecco and out came the food. First, the famous carciofi alla giudìa (or Jewish fried artichokes). These artichokes are  famous Rome and not difficult to find when in season, but tough to find elsewhere in Italy. Basically, this is a deep fried artichoke topped with quality sea salt. Very simple, yet incredibly good. On the table was also Italian bread, burrata, tomatoes, and olive oil, which were suggested together as a type of little bruschetta. I loved the burrata and actually preferred it to the artichoke. Stop 1 was off to a good start.

The famous Carciofi alla Giudìa.

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Bonus Lounge Review: American Express Centurion Suite, US Open Tennis Tournament (New York)!

Monday night I finally got to experience the American Express Centurion Suite at the US Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York! It was so much fun and great for American Express Centurion or Platinum card holders. This article shares my experience at the American Express Centurion Suite!

THE LOCATION AND OPEN HOURS

The American Express Centurion Suite at the US Open is located on the second floor of the Louis Armstrong stadium, directly above the Wilson store. You do not need to enter the Louis Armstrong stadium to access the lounge, nor do you need tickets to the Louis Armstrong stadium to access the Centurion Suite, making it convenient for those with tickets to the larger Arthur Ashe stadium. The Centurion Suite is open from 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM August 29 – September 7, with the last reservation being around 7:30 PM. Note – if you have evening tickets to the US Open, you cannot access the grounds, and thus the Centurion Suite, until 6:00 PM (meaning you are limited on what reservation you can make).

There she is – the American Express Centurion Suite!

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Airport Lounge Review: American Express Centurion Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal 3

Dan and I flew through the dreaded Heathrow airport earlier this year, connecting en route to Tirana, Albania. We had a 5.5 hour connection, which was decreased to about 4 due to delays, and were luckily able to visit the American Express Centurion Lounge in Terminal 3! Much having enjoyed our time in other American Express Centurion Lounges (read about it here, here, here, and here), we had high hopes for Heathrow’s outpost, and it did not disappoint.

LOCATION & CHECK-IN TO LONDON’S AMEX CENTURION LOUNGE

Heathrow’s American Express Centurion Lounge is located in Terminal 3’s “A Area” on the second floor above the bulk of the shops, stores, and restaurants (not near the gates where most of the other Terminal 3 lounges are located). We followed signs and took the elevator up to the lounge entrance. While there was a small line to check-in, we entered without delay by showing our American Express Platinum card and boarding passes. And just like that, we were in strolling past the famous greenery wall!

Love this wall!

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