By Nathan Morley
If you are looking to go a bit more off the beaten path in Ayia Napa, then I recommend you to venture just off the central square to one of the most authentic local restaurants in the area.
The Limelight Tavern is the perfect intersection of culinary crossroads – it’s traditional as anything I’ve ever seen, but specialises in making the Cypriot cuisine even richer in flavour.
As you enter, the smell of charcoal-fired rotisserie meat fills the air around the restaurant, which has been a favourite with locals and tourists since 1983.
The selection on offer is superb – in fact, it has to be one of the best designed modern menus in Cyprus – brilliantly compiled into four language categories – Russian, Greek, English and German.
A whole page of the menu is devoted to different types of potatoes – they are all there, boiled, jacket, chips, roast, sautéed with garlic, mashed and even sliced jacket with olive oil.
For starters you can’t go wrong with the fresh rocket salad, which comes with sun dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar (€4.70) – if you have a larger appetite, the seafood salad is a pretty special concoction. For €10, you’ll get fine cut lettuce, with a mixture of sea foods, tomato, lemon slices – flamed in Worcestershire sauce, with white wine and brandy!
The tender fresh suckling lamb on the spit is a favourite dish – it has the wonderful melt in your mouth feel. Not for the health conscious perhaps, but if it’s flavour you’re after…
The lamb is roast until crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside that it almost falls off the bone – there is nothing to equal this taste sensation.
The meat has a beautiful, deep but light taste. The delicious smoky flavour of grilled dishes comes as much from the cooking process as it does from the recipe (€14).
The fish selections include locally caught fresh fish favourites either plain grilled, steamed, baked or fried – tsipoura grilled on charcoal is €17 and fresh kalimari is €14. Taking pride at the top of the list is fresh lobster at €48 (by order).
The wine list includes local favourites including Petritis (€20), which is a delicious dry white from Kyperounda winery, which operates from Pitsilia area of the Troodos range.
You can also get a bottle of the lovely Ayioklima Medium Dry Xynisteri for €16. We went a bit bonkers and shared a bottle of Chablis from the Normandy area of France (€35).
If you have still some more room left in your stomach stop at Tio Che for a glass of fresh orchata or a scoop of ice cream.
It’s a busy place during the season for obvious reasons – but be quick, as like most restaurants in Ayia Napa, it will be shutting up soon for the winter.
SPECIALTY Cyprus cuisine
WHERE Lime Light, Lipetris St (opposite the old Post office), Ayia Napa
CONTACT 23 721650
PRICE Souvla €14, fish from €17