RESTAURANTS IN OMODOS
PLAYIA restaurant IN OMODOS
BY VAL LLOYD
Restaurants in Omodos- At the beginning of Lockdown, we had decided to plan something special for the first weekend, when we were allowed out again, and chose to revisit the Playia Restaurant at the incredible Oenou Yi – Ktima Vassiliades Winery. It is set in stunning scenery, just outside the village of Omodos. As the time grew closer and the opportunity to escape to the mountains loomed, we were so excited and full of anticipation. We were not disappointed!
You just know you are in for something special the moment you sweep into the imposing driveway and discover this beautifully designed contemporary winery, which is sympathetically built in the local stone. It gives a nod to tradition but is unmistakably stylish and modern. It sits majestically on top of a mountain, surrounded by countryside. We were instantly struck by the attention to detail which has gone into every aspect of creating this unique building, even before we crossed the threshold. As a result, it oozes quality and sophistication.
The spacious entranceway and reception areas house the wines and produce of Oenou Yi Winery and lead directly into the interior dining room and onto the expansive terrace. There are huge parasols providing shade for diners to eat comfortably, whilst enjoying the magnificent 180-degree views over the mountains, vineyards and the village below. We were welcomed and taken straight to our table, at which point, menus and iced water promptly appeared.
The degustation menu is four courses, including a salad. There was a choice of three different salads to share between two people. The options included Halloumi (Oenou Yi style), Spinach and Avocado, or a Greek salad. We chose the Halloumi Salad, which had a contemporary twist on the traditional version. It came with perfectly fried small crispy balls of halloumi, nestled amongst green leaves, dried figs, grapes, toasted walnuts, raisins and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, all carefully tossed in a basil and grape syrup vinaigrette. It was delicious!
It was made even more so accompanied with a glass of Playiá Dry White Wine. This wine is 50% Xynisteri and 50% Malaga grape, giving rise to a lovely crisp white, full of exotic fruit but light, aromatic florals. It was the perfect balance to the salad and a hint of the wonderful things to come.
After the salad, we had the choice of three starters. A Risotto with Baby Squid and Red Peppers, Empanada with Spinach and Kasseri cheese, or Ravioli Quattro Formaggio, which I had tasted once before and dreamt of ever since. I was keen to taste it again, and it fully met our expectations.
The Ravioli was perfectly cooked plump pillows of homemade pasta, filled with a delicate Roasted Pumpkin Purée and fragrant Oyster Mushrooms, nestling in a delicious Creamy Parmesan Sauce. The rich taste and texture were sublime and perfectly complemented with a glass of the wonderful and full-bodied Geróklima Maratheftiko, which was correctly served at the right temperature. This dish would equally have been perfect in a larger portion as a main course.
A small, but very welcome gap between the starter and the main course, allowed us to take in the stunning scenery and surroundings, whilst enjoying the atmosphere and fresh mountain air. Oenou Yi Winery is in an exceptional setting, and one could not help but feel privileged to be enjoy it.
The pièce de résistance main course duly arrived from a choice of six options, including two fish dishes and a vegan. We opted to pay the 5-euro surcharge to enjoy the Beef Fillet. This is a very generous portion of succulent, lean Australian Beef, perfectly cooked to order, and served with an Artichoke and Spinach Ragù. On the side were Dauphinoise Potatoes and Broccoli Florets, all served with a Green Peppercorn Sauce. It was absolutely delicious, and the only thing we could have wished for was a little more of the sauce!
By the time we had finished, we wondered how we could ever manage the Apple Tarte Tatin we had optimistically ordered in advance, but after a short, much-needed pause, we managed it! A delightfully crisp and light pastry, with chunks of caramelised apple, accompanied by a ball of cinnamon and vanilla ice cream sitting on a bed of light crumble, was just too good to resist for even the most calorie-conscious diner.
Service throughout was extremely courteous and unobtrusive. Not only was the red wine swiftly decanted without us even asking, our glasses were never empty!
THE WINE LIST
All the wines from the winery are available in the restaurant. We selected the Geróklima Wine, which is created from age-old vines. The Geróklima is a majestic blend of 85% Maratheftiko and 15% Giannoudi grapes. It is a wonderfully crafted and balanced red wine, full of forest fruit flavours with a generous hint of oak and spices, and begs to be enjoyed with red meats or cheese.
As we sat in the late afternoon, high above Omodos, sipping our coffees, we paused to reflect on how lucky we were to be free again and able to enjoy the best that Cyprus has to offer in such an excellent environment. Everything about the place, the design, the staff, the food and the wine was of the highest possible standard, and after our experience we recognised the dedication and expertise of the management. I would thoroughly recommend Playia Restaurant to anyone looking for a unique and memorable experience.
I will definitely be back soon to indulge in that scrumptious warm Focaccia and try the Lobster Ravioli…and maybe order the Strawberry Waffle too!
- WHERE: OENOU YI – KTIMA VASSILIADES, DEMETRI LIPERTI ST, OMODOS
- OPEN: CHECK WITH THE RESTAURANT
- TO BOOK, CALL: 25 446 000 / 25446001 OR EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
- FURTHER INFORMATION: www.oenouyi.wine
Published by Cyprus in Style – June 2021
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