Greek Holiday 2018: Dinner at Vinaries

Greek Holiday 2018: Dinner at Vinnaries

Thursday: Dinner at Vinnaries

After traveling to Fiskardo we headed back to Argostoli. This was also the last night cousin Sav was with us, so we all decided to eat out at a fancy restaurant. We cycled around and looked at a few restaurants and finally decided on our first choice: Vinaries.

The atmosphere was beautiful! White glowing bulbs were spread across the ceiling net which is decorated by pine twigs that had fallen from the trees that hung above. White tables with white dresses brought out a sense of the sea and the cool breeze off the lagoon gave you goose-bumps. This whole forest setting gave an enchanted vibe to the guests who dined there and advertised a longing to the people who passed by to join in for the evening. Vinarries is right on the bay so you have an amazing view of the boats that are lit passing by. I think is the perfect setting for a date!

The atmosphere was incredible, the service was unfortunately terrible! The atmosphere quickly became distracted as the waiters rushed around up and down, sometimes yelling.

Our waiter arrived to take our order. He is an older man, a lot older than any of the other staff there. We suspected him to be the manager or the owner of the restaurant. Unfortunately, he was very pushy in taking our orders. There weren’t any vegetarian options on the menu, so like always I asked if I could get a spaghetti made up for me as I do at the restaurants back at home. Our conversation went something like this: “Hi, I see there aren’t any vegetarian options on the menu. Is it possible for you to make up a pasta for me with a tomato sauce and some vegetables please?” His response was this: “No! Only the food on the menu.” Wow! I was so shocked he would say that; a bit of anger rose within me. My response was “Well there is nothing I can eat on the menu!” He quickly said, “Yes, I can prepare a plain pasta for you?” “Yeah sure.” I replied in frustration.

I can’t believe this! This completely unacceptable for a restaurant. A plain pasta is quite boring. My cousin Amy suggested that I order some things from the starter section on the menu. I took a look and there were some nice things I could get, but not something that counted as a meal. I skimmed down the starters: “four euros, four euros, six euros, four euros” A few things actually sounded really good and I was thinking I could probably make a dish myself at the table with the pasta I ordered. “Skordalia”, yes! I just remember reading “is a side order dish flavored with olive oil, vinegar, and almonds.” Ahh, this sounds good! I also ordered the Greek red pepper spread. In my mind I was thinking of mixing a nice pasta with some creamy garlic sauce with almonds and some red pepper that I could cut up; I thought this would be pretty good.

Twenty minutes later my cousins’ food arrived; later on, my food arrived. A pathetic boiled pasta cooked with no oil. It was dry but still sticky. The Skordalia that I thought to be a creamy sauce turned out to be half a mashed potato with a little pool of olive oil poured on top. The Greek red pepper spread was just that; three large fried, soft and a bit slimy red peppers. The food arrived in sequences as well. First came the peppers, then the pasta and finally the potato. I was not pleased. There my cousins were eating their gourmet seafoods and I was stuck with this; I didn’t even want to eat it. But since I paid quite a bit of money for it, I felt like I had to.

How do you eat three things alone? I tried tasting the cold peppers and it tasted like cold stir fry except for the other vegetables. I tried the potato, it was lukewarm. It felt like and tasted like pap [porridge] with garlic in it, no almonds and the pasta was cold too.

I asked my cousins, “Can we just leave you guys?”. Amy sprung another genius idea! “Adrian! Why don’t you mix the stuff together?” she suggested in a very convincing tone. You know it could work out. I shoved the potato into the pasta and started mixing. Next was the peppers. I cut up one and placed it in the pasta. Now don’t get me wrong, my cousins were laughing there ass’s off watching me do this and I must say it was kind of funny too! I tasted this pasta mix and it tasted awful. Just imagine a lukewarm dry pasta with mash potato and oily peppers mixed together, yuck! My bill came down to 18 euros, well minus the two drinks I had (beer and a glass of wine) which was 6 euros. Afterward we tried to pay our bill but due to the fact that it was so busy because the waiters were running around, we had to call our waiter three times to get our bill which took a total twenty minutes!

We finally left. Walking to the small parking lot adjacent to us, past the sports cars, we got on our bicycles and left all flicking our hair in disgust; well… minus the last part, but you know what I mean!

I forgot to mention as of editing this post, we actually went back to the restaurant at the campsite and ordered food there again. I got a pizza which I was really pleased about. It felt like getting your mom’s cooking after staying at a friends place for too long, eating their food. Our waiter, Pablo, was happy to see us all again. We told him about our experience at Vinnaries and he commiserated with us (well, me mostly) about the shitty food. This night was the night we played Fines, which is a drinking game where you have to drink a shot for each of the fine’s you receive from the people in the group. I, of course, received the most fines! My biggest feat was the so-called “disproportionate reactions” to things such as overreacting to having to pick up one card in a round of our favourite card game (Shithead) and under-reacting to crashing my bicycle while trying to change gears and record a video at the same time (I had to switch arms to do this) and propelling into a thornbush and calmly saying “oh no…”

Adrian van den Houten

I'm Adrian van Houten, founder of ScholarCoder and a passionate software developer for full-stack web development. Read more about me here.