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Hermion, Epmeion: Great Athens Restaurant

April 22nd, 2009

Frankly, I’m not even sure what the name of this restaurant is; it says “Hermion” at the main entrance, but “Epmeion” at the restaurant itself. (Web site here.) All I know is that we liked the restaurant a lot.

We found this place while walking around Athens. Out of Monastiraki Station, there is a narrow shopping street heading due east, named Pandrosou on the maps. Just before it hits Mnisikleous Street, you can see the entrance to the restaurant:



Just go down the small walkway, and there is a relatively secluded, quiet garden setup. We noted it along the way after having eaten a not-so-great McDonald’s lunch (we just wanted something familiar and hopefully clean), and thought it would make a nice dinner spot. In fact, when a helpful jeweler volunteered directions on the street to help us when we were lost, he noted that we had the card for the restaurant, and said it was a great place, that he always ate there himself.

And it was. First off, the waiters are great. They speak English very well, but most notably, they have a great sense of humor. Often joking, but never losing the touch of class that makes the restaurant special.


The food was excellent. They started us off with a bread roll that tasted very good, and some pruned olives along with herb-flavored cream cheese. We passed on the olives, but the cream cheese went terrific with the bread rolls. We ordered the Traditional Greek Salad, Tortellini a la Creme, and a Pork Souvlaki. For drinks, we accepted the offer of bottled water (not free, it’s 2 Euros) and two Heinekens; all drinks were ice cold.


The salad consisted of firm tomatoes, soft thick cucumber chunks, sliced peppers, onion, anchovies, a little lettuce, and a nice large pad of feta cheese. You can top this off with vinegar and olive oil, in the table. I usually go for a Caesar Salad, but this did nicely.


The main dishes were fantastic: the Tortellini had four different kinds of cheese and tasted it; it was delicious and quite filling. The Souvlaki was a pork shish kabob, six generous pieces served with a mix of small veggies including peas, corn and string beans, and a side of french fries. The pork was really good, and went very well with the tortellini. After eating that, we both felt very full.



After we finished, I asked for the check (“Only if you insist!” the waited asserted; I did, and he asked the head waiter to get the check in Greek, then added in English, “He insists!”), and they served us a nice liqueur which was faintly reminiscent of juniper, along with the bill.

The restaurant is a bit pricier than other places you might find, but really not that bad; our bill came to 41.20 Euros (about $54, or ¥5300), about what Sachi and I would expect to pay at a medium-to-cheap place in Tokyo. We did not choose the most expensive dishes by far, however–but they certainly were good enough for us! I don’t have any reference for other restaurants in Athens, but I have a feeling that it is well above par for its price range. But it felt a lot more expensive than it was.

If you’re in Athens and want to eat well, I’d recommend this place.

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