Cyprus Mail
EntertainmentRestaurant & Bar Reviews

Restaurant Review: Louis Taverna, Nicosia

By Alexander McCowan

At some time last year Trip Adviser rated this establishment as the best restaurant in Nicosia, which prompted me to investigate because none of the ‘knowing ones’ had ever mentioned it. Well, shame on me for not visiting sooner.

Louis Taverna is located on one of the dreariest roads in the city, dereliction abounds, but the unprepossessing building houses one of the best small enterprises in Nicosia. We arrived early on a damp Wednesday night to be greeted by the famous Louis and his centrally located log fire and placed on a table for two close to the kitchen. There are no menus, just meze. Every aspect of the place is orderly but comfortable, and reflects the management’s intention of feeding the hungry masses with plain food perfectly prepared.

Mrs Louis is mistress of the kitchen; Mr Louis the maitre d’ and son Sotiris does the waiting. First up yoghurt, tahini, green olives, celery and finger size toast drizzled in olive oil. Next a substantial dressed salad to accompany butter fried mushroom slices with a grilled pressed pork fillet and fried tomatoes, all of a size that doesn’t immediately trigger the need for a doggy bag. To aid our digestion we select a bottle of very reasonably priced Onoufrios which arrives on the table at room temperature – most unusual – and just in time to complement the plates of sausages, sheftalia, French fries and toasted pitta. Within half an hour groups of jolly diners fill the space, all of them seem to be on personal terms with Maitre Louis; this is a clear case of customer satisfaction.

Our next course contains the most tender souvla I have eaten in a long while and Sotiris is concerned that his delivery may be too rapid for our consumption: we assure him he has it just about right. By now we have reached that stage in a meze when the arrival of another dish might be waved away but these contained thin slices of grilled liver and an as yet never previously encountered dish of rocket and scrambled egg. Both were excellent. The meal was completed by a bowl of fresh fruit and a dish of glikkis.

This was a memorable visit. After many years of dining out in Cyprus I would avoid a meze, but if they were all cooked and served to the standard of this establishment I could change my opinion.

Full marks to the Louis family – I can understand how you made number one.

VITAL STATISTICS
SPECIALTY Cypriot cuisine. Meze.
WHERE 84, Ayios Andreas, Pallouriotissa, Nicosia. Same road as the main church.
CONTACT 22-345881. Booking advisable.
PRICE Very reasonable

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