Last weekends brief trip to Greece was unforgettable; there for a wedding, the boyfriend and I made a little vacation out of it. We spent two days in Athens and three days in Paros (an island in the Cyclades on the Aegean Sea) for what was a truly unforgettable trip. Prior to our departure we were inundated with tips and well wishes for a country that is basically on the brink of financial and possibly social collapse, but none proved more on the money than a bridesmaids dinner suggestion.
While the topic of Greece’s economy and an upcoming election (this Sunday) made its way into every conversation, we found the country obviously beautiful but also the people to be incredibly hospitable and friendly. We did not meet a Greek man or woman who did not engage us in conversation and want to tell us more about them, their country and their hopes for the future.
I knew even before I stepped foot on Greek soil that I would want to come back. I must admit, I thought my first trip would be to islands I have been dreaming of going to almost my entire life like Santorini or Mykonos, but Paros wasn’t a consolation prize, not in the slightest! Paros was more than I could have ever imagined and the site of my favorite meal (or two favorite meals) of the entire trip!
Upon the suggestion of Belinda the bridesmaid, we dined at Barbarossa on the 2nd night of our stay. On the edge of the Naoussa harbor lies this elegant outdoor restaurant decorated in the simplest of ways with white tables and white chairs in the shadow of a church and the various shipping boats that call Naoussa their home port.
We dined at the beginning of the season and found no issues with getting a prime table, in speaking to some regulars we were told that in the high season (July and August) you have to book a table way in advance and that menu items can disappear quickly with the high volume. As with all Greek dining, you eat late… like 10:30 is almost too early to dine anywhere (which is when we went).
The menu is quite extensive but we barely looked at it as we were here for the fresh fish (caught that morning) and really nothing else. Our server escorted us to the raw bar where we picked out the very squid, lobster, sea bream and red snapper they were to grill and we were to eat shortly thereafter.
To say that I am in love with the Mediterranean/Greek way of cooking is an understatement. Olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe oregano or basil and you are done! This simplistic seasoning is how I want to cook everything savory that I put in my mouth. All of our dishes were prepared this way and I savored every single bite.
Barbarossa undoubtedly has the best location in Naoussa and prices to match. It was the cheapest and best meal we had and made such an impression on Sunday night that we returned Monday for lunch just before we departed Paros and headed back to Athens! If you make plans to hit up the Greek islands (which you should put at top priority on the vacation list) then make a beeline for Paros. It isn’t as well-known as some others may be but its less touristy and just as beautiful. And don’t forget to hit up Barbarossa, it’s been 5 days since I dined there and I cannot stop thinking about how much I loved those few hours I spent eating, relaxing and truly enjoying my vacation on the docks
Naoussa, Paros, Greece