Oia is very known for its sunset. It can, however, get too crowded, so if you would like to combine your visit to Oia with a more “private” sunset during an excellent dinner, we have the perfect itinerary for you. Start with a walk on the old path that connects Fira with Oia and, before sunset, book a table in the restaurant of Santo Maris Oia hotel. It is connected through a 5 minute walk on a path that connects is with the main village of Oia.
The Latin Alios Ilios translates to the sun which rises and sets in the sea. The excellent position of the restaurant allows you to see the sun setting right in front of you most months of the year.
Mr. George the maitre of the restaurant welcomed us warmly and showed us the exterior part where there is a big lighted swimming pool and the interior for the nights that are more chilly. You can notice from the decoration that they are inspired from Crete. The walls and the ceiling are decorated with the Minoan script, giving an elegance to the restaurant. When we asked him what to choose from the menu, we started a “short trip” to their philosophy. All dishes in the list are made à la minute. For their preparation, fresh ingredients are used both from Santorini and Crete. This is where their menu is based on. The main characteristic is simple traditional flavors that are presented in a sophisticated way.
We started with Koukouvayia topped with fresh ground tomato on barley rusk, xigalo cheese (gently sour) from Sitia region in Crete, pickled sea fennel and fresh marjoram. A fresh Cretan salad followed, that has peeled tomato, katsouni (Santorinian cucumber), oven baked baby potatoes with their skin, arugula, olives, caper, xinomizithra creamy cheese from Amari region and eftazimo bread rocks. The tradition says that eftazimo bread rocks was made only by women in Crete!
Mr. George served our plates and he said that next we had to taste fresh sea food. He brought us a sea bass fillet served with freshly picked greens, lemon sauce and saffron aroma from Anafi island and also a sundried octopus on the grill which was served with warm lentils salad and.. chocolate sauce! The combination of octopus with chocolate was more than perfect.
As a main course we decided to taste the knuckle of lamb which is slow cooked in the oven for 5 hours. It was served with skioufichta (traditional Cretan pasta), staka (butter) and anthotiro cheese.. Simply delicious!
We enjoyed our food with the beautiful view of the moon which was keeping us great company, reminding us that it always gives a unique atmosphere!
Of course I could not forget to tell you about the dessert. Sfakianes pies are traditional myzithra cheese pies with raki essence, served with thyme honey and fresh berries.. I wish I could have more for the next morning, or even for the whole week!
Alios Ilios restaurant in Santo Maris Oia has excellent staff, amazing food and enjoys a unique spot, perfect for those who wish to have an unforgettable dinner experience. Most days of the week they have live music with saxophone, piano or harp.