By The Glass Top-Rated Wine Bar Athens Greece
There are no prizes for guessing the idea behind ‘By The Glass’ top-rated Wine Bar in Athens. With over 500 wines available and a special vending machine-style service system, you can sample several bottles in a convenient fashion. This prevents aeration of the wine you’re about to sample. We chose a little table out in the square as the sun fell over the city. The vibe was relaxed with classic French music playing and it felt very romantic. It’s clearly a popular spot and I doubt we would have been able to get a seat anywhere other than at the bar without a reservation. So, bear that in mind if you do decide to come here.
Being a wine bar in Athens, the food is largely focused on small plates and charcuterie boards. But don’t let that deceive you. The food is by no means an afterthought and the menu is filled with delicious dishes. Enhancing your wine-driven experience is an understatement. Being a classic French-style wine bar, you’ll struggle as a vegan because very few dishes lack both meat and dairy. However, there were plenty of gluten-free options.
I was largely impressed with the complexity and exotic nature of the food on offer. They did sell some French classics like tartar, but they also branched out. We shared a tamarisk salad and tuna tataki to start. I’d never eaten tamarisk before! I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour, adding a slightly sour note to cut through the saltiness of the cheese. The tuna was to die for to0! It was fresh enough to still taste the sea, without being blunted by the alcohol and acidic dressing.
I couldn’t resist indulging in their mushroom risotto as my main. Still feeling quite hungry after the smallish appetizers, I was delighted by the richness of the dish. I tend to hesitate when truffle is on the menu as it so regularly drowns out any other flavour. But I was pleasantly surprised by its subtlety. I genuinely don’t think you can go wrong with a rich and creamy risotto and I’m confident By The Glass would have gotten the Italians seal of approval on this one.
Naturally, we have to talk about the wine. If anything your spoilt for choice which is why I’m grateful our waitress was able to make recommendations for pairing each glass with our food. We started with a local glass of ice cold white, very dry, before indulging in a richer red with my risotto which complimented the food perfectly. All the wines we were served were local and delicious and I can’t imagine anywhere else would offer a finer selection.
Great food, great wine, great atmosphere. I can’t quite say the same for the service as I often felt like we were fighting for the waitresses attention even when she wasn’t always serving people. My impression is that locals and regulars do get a better level of service and we regularly saw the owner sharing bits of banter with what looked like friends and locally celebrities without paying us a whole lot of attention. It wasn’t enough to ruin our dinner but having to ask for the bill several times can suck you out of the romance of an otherwise lovely evening.