Most of us have a favourite ‘go to’ restaurant where we like to take visitors, celebrate special occasions or just start the weekend off in style. Gourmet Taverna in Kato Paphos is that for many. The stylish restaurant has been a family owned and run for the last three decades, and is a lovely venue where you’re ensured a warm welcome, excellent food and wine, and a memorable experience.
Found on the seafront, with a fountain outside, this venue is hugely popular with all sorts of customers, serving Mediterranean and international cuisine.
Dishes burst with flavour, and important extra touches lacking in many other venues, give the right amount of decadence to an overall reasonably priced evening. Our amuse-bouche is a demitasse of chef Nikolas’ tasty soup and a smaller version of a regular sized traditional village bread accompanies.
We are a party of two and chose to sit inside the restaurant. An enclosed outdoor area to the front of the restaurant has heaters and fills up fast. During the summer tables and chairs are placed outside to the front ensuring an optimum view of the sea.
The interior of stone, wood and glass manages to hold onto a traditional charm while incorporating a stylish, modern aspect.
We start with Grilled Foie Gras with sweet onion and balsamico, and Smoked Salmon with Chilled Prawns and avocado and seaweed salad. Both starters are simply plated and the foie gras is light and moreish, while the prawns are set off with a sweet chilli punch. The Gourmet salad is also a popular choice, a concoction of lettuce, rocket, baked brie, sweet onions, almonds, balsamico and honey.
My companion orders my usual choice, a medium rare tenderloin steak which comes with caramelised onions and mild garlic butter, I sneak a taste, its perfect and melts in the mouth. I decide to try the Broiled King Prawns for the first time, unbelievably, as they are one of my favourite foods. They come with a sumptuous and decadent lobster and ouzo sauce; it is delicious. Everything is cooked to perfection and the prawns are a good size. (A finger bowl may be a good idea.) Both of our mains come with local potatoes (pureed) and fresh seasonal vegetables.
The table next to ours orders a main course of Sea Bream BLT. The grilled fillet is accompanied by wood smoked bacon, spicy lentils and sun dried tomatoes and judging by the appreciative murmurs, its tasty too. Kleftiko, suckling pig, stifado and mousaka are also on the menu as are pastas and a mixed grill.
Service is slick and unobtrusive and the staff interact just the right amount with customers, despite it being a busy evening. Tables and chairs are well spaced and comfortable.
Leave room for desert, they are a must. We both opt for the homemade Milk Chocolate Lava Cake with vanilla ice cream. It was expertly cooked and full of an incredible, melted flow of chocolate lava that streamed across the plate once cut into.
We both ordered coffee and the chef’s wife Eva offered us complimentary drinks; this happens on a regular basis here, a nice touch which used to be the norm in all restaurants in Cyprus.
Gourmet have honed their skills and this is apparent on every visit; consistently good food and service and a bill that won’t break the bank.
WHERE Gourmet Taverna, Posidonos & Dionysou 1, Paphos
WHEN Monday to Saturday 6pm- 10.30pm. From March 1: Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm, dinner 6.30pm- 10.30pm
HOW MUCH Special lunch menu for two €19, wine €17-90, fillet steak €24
CONTACT 99 563020