Anna’s taverna in Daliani is an anomaly, because it’s full every night, even in winter
It’s really a meze or tapas bar and looks a bit old fashioned with lots of dark pine tables and chairs and old, sepia photo-prints in frames on the walls.
The sort of place you see all over the Mediterranean, usually with old men sitting outside drinking strong coffee, playing backgammon and smoking hand rolled cigarettes.
The welcome is enthusiastic and only this year have they provided an English translated menu.
Go there at 9 pm on a chilly, wet evening and the place is empty, but the waiter always asks how many there will be in your party.
A large piece of brown wrapping paper is laid on the table and the lone waiter explains the menu.
This is standard fare, but they have a few unique specialities like chicken and almonds or mixed country sausages and the local house wine is excellent.
By 10 pm every table is taken, and extra chairs are squeezed in to allow more to sit around and we count 32 people in total, split equally between men and women…this place is cosily small.
The way it works is that all dishes, much bigger than tapas, are ordered together and shared. But because food is fresh cooked, they come one at a time as there’re ready, and staggered over the evening.
Therefore there is always food on the table, even though it may take some time for the last dish to arrive. However as dishes are shared nobody is left hungry.
This slow pace also allows plenty of time to chat and the noise level is high.
Annas is laid back and has superb food, atmosphere, location, prices and the service is excellent, but if you’re an up tight person please give it a miss.
My version of Anna’s Chicken with Almonds recipe, with apologies to Anna.
Take a large chicken breast, cut sideways, splay open and flatten.
Mix beaten egg with your favourite herb, salt and pepper and dip or coat both sides of the chicken fillet with mixture.
Smother both sticky sides with flaked (not ground) almonds and fry in olive oil on a medium heat, turning over until the chicken is well cooked, but moist and the almonds are light toasted brown.
Cut into large pieces and share, with a simple salad.
καλή όρεξη or kalh oreksh
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