Restaurant Rating: ****
Greek Mezedes Bar
20 Old Town Rodos
Review Date: 22 April 2018
Reservations: +30 22413 05005
Two people are enjoying a drink and conversation on a hot sunny day. The next thing, Joke walks into a bar and proceeds to strike up a conversation with these two strangers. You might be wondering if I’m misquoting and ruining a gag with this opening but I assure you I’m not and this is something that really happened this week. I’ll explain all later in the review.
It’s not every day you get to spend your birthday abroad exploring Old Town, Rhodes, but this year that’s exactly what happened to me. This was my second trip; I last visited Greece 15 years ago in 2003. That’s such a long time ago that this felt like a completely new visit to an unexplored Island.
This time I visited with my wife and we started off by visiting the highly recommended Archaeological Museum and then followed the long and winding Rhode to The Palace of the Grand Master and The Byzantine Museum. Both were said to be ‘must see’s’ and I now know why having experienced their magnificent grandeur and ancient history. Unfortunately there were no guides on duty (tour guides, not girl guides, that would be so wrong) which would have been ever so helpful. However one of the guards at The Grand Palace (all were female strangely enough, so in a way we did get to meet girl guides after all … not that we were looking for any, honest!) Ours was very knowledgeable indeed, almost too much if there can be such a thing … as she never stopped talking once she got going. Perhaps she was using the opportunity to practice her English! The last time I crammed in this much history was whilst preparing to take my ‘A’ level history many moons ago.
After these visits and having walked and explored many of the streets and roads of Rhodes we were, unsurprisingly, feeling extremely parched on this very hot day (22c) and were in need of a drink and sit down. In search of this, we stumbled across ‘To Rodi’ Bar and Restaurant and ordered a couple of local Alpha beers. These went down a treat and nicely cooled us down from the Greek heat. The ambiance of the place was wonderful and very cool in the shade compared to many other places catching the sun directly. However there is street level dining area for those wanting to be right in the sun, but we sat upstairs in the shade for some respite. The bar on the third floor was another well thought through space. In total To Rodi can comfortably seat 65 diners.
So back to our joke. The drink and chatter was flowing nicely, when suddenly, mid conversation, Joke walks across the bar and asks if she can take some photos. That’s fine we say. How does Joke take photographs and speak you might be wondering? Well Joke is one of the co-founders of To Rodi. (Yes, you may well have guessed by this point that Joke is a name). She and her husband and Head Chef Dimitri opened the restaurant on Friday 20 April 2018. This tickled me as I couldn’t quite take it in, thinking that Joke was winding me up. Here I am, a stand up comedy reviewer, on holiday, enjoying his sightseeing birthday, stumbling across a female restauranteur called Joke, from Holland. It was all too true. You couldn’t make this up!
To Rodi focuses on locally grown products and prides itself on serving fresh, home cooked food.
We sampled a little appetiser to get a flavour of their offerings which consisted of delicious Greek pitta bread and various dips; humous, aubergine salad and spicy cheese. They were indeed pretty spicy and very complimentary with the pitta bread. It all tasted very fresh. For those who like dips on the very spicy side this would be a delight. The humous was more to my palate. Some nice little meatballs were served up too. It was a “pitta” we weren’t feeling all that hungry as we’d have eaten a lot more from the menu.
I’d certainly travel back to eat here again for not only was the food and drink delicious, the setting was attractive with its beautiful floral decor set against white walls; all this and a discreet location just off the main thoroughfares off old town.
In fact one of the highlights of the day out was taking detours off the beaten track to experience real Greece where actual Rhodians, as opposed to tourists, live. Hence why we stumbled across an authentic and non touristy area which was well worth the detour.
So! The food and drink here is no joke. I was informed ahead of our visit that Greece produces wonderful food and this visit proved that to be the case, not only here, but right across the Island. I wish Dimitri and Joke well with this lovely new addition to the Rhodes culinary scene.
© Review and Photographs – Tiemo Talk of the Town
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