The Grazie Italian Restaurant in Kato Paphos must surely rank among the town’s top 10 restaurants, a place where the menu, the chef and the food that exits the kitchen take priority over the senselessness and chronic rudeness displayed these days by so many phone-addicted punters who seem to be following the credo that they ‘eat to live’ and instead of ‘living to eat’. I love food and always relish the theatrical experience a restaurant can offer, with the good ones allowing us to indulge in the fantasy that we can become someone else at least for a little while by offering extraordinary food and removing us from our mundane reality.
Grazie has been plying dining theatre at its very best for over 15 years. This time we were a group and we started with a delicious bowl of Cozze Nere Freshe, fresh black mussels cooked in onion, white wine, fresh cream and garlic and that sauce plus perfect triangles of warm Focaccia had us all wanting to lick the outside of the mussels shells and drain the bowl dry. Next was a plate of stuffed juicy mushrooms to share as we awaited the arrival of my favourite dish: Tortelli Neri Con Gamberi, a comfortingly tasty and deeply dense dish combining homemade black tortelli stuffed with prawns, onions and mascarpone cheese topped with an exquisite butter and saffron sauce. Owner/manager George Sotiriou credits a Russian lady with the task of being his pasta maker describing her as “a woman who has the right hands for the job”.
The mains dishes included a perfectly cooked fillet steak cooked a top George’s Green Egg, this is a high-end slow grill and smoker and George was one of the first to acquire such an appliance so one’s steaks along with crayfish/lobster have all been ‘Green Egged’. Grazie is big on seafood and oysters were resting silently in a giant marine aquarium with those mammoths of the deep, crusty and important looking crabs and lobsters. My sea bream arrived, again gently cooked and simply attired in a butter sauce and there was George asking if we wished to sample his Dolci? Seriously? was the answer but we did weaken and spoons flew as a perfect quivering Panna Cotta and Tiramisu were reverently placed in the middle of the table, suffice to say there was some wriggle room left to relish this sweet finale.
Grazie offers not only great dinner but also lunchtime food, they also have the best seating – high-back chairs and very comfy, padded seats so one does linger longer. I am back there next week to have that Tortelli and a plate of mussels as it’s rare to find yourself salivating and wanting a quick repeat visit as one gazes disappointingly at the boring cheese roll you managed to put swiftly together in an effort to keep ‘living’ till ones work was completed. Seriously this is a genuine love affair…
WHERE Grazie, 3-5 Ayias Anastasias, Kato Paphos
WHEN lunch and dinner daily.
CONTACT 26 818298, [email protected]
PRICE from €15-47