I have a privilege to reside in Limassol, Cyprus for two monhts. During my time on this wonderful island, I have visited Xristakis Taverna, a place where I witnessed a truly beautiful story.
Xristakis Taverna, like all traditional Cypriot taverns, is decorated with antique ornaments in a unique, but attractive manner. The ceiling is filled with remarkable vintage settings that are shaped to give the impression that you are just in the right place. With traditional lanterns hanging by a variety of metallic and fruit shape ornaments, the ceiling is simply attractive.
The tavern, owned by Andreas, originally belonged to his father who worked for and looked after it with passion and love. For nine years he has taken the joy of making food and offering the delight of delicious Cypriot food to anyone who came to the Taverna. Having the pleasure of working as the owner of the taverna was forwarded to Andreas by his father four years ago. Andreas, young and high spirited back then, took no interest in the work initially because he thought differently about his life.
On the walls, several photographs of crazy Limassol people are also there that told stories on their own. They show how truly delightful food can bring joy to even the saddest moments in life.
Slowly but surely, Andreas realized the true happiness in the job his father did so passionately for years. When he realized that he could make visitors, people from all around the globe, happy through the food he makes, Andreas started taking more and more joy in his work. He does the job with love for the art of making food and passion of making people happy - nothing can take away the delight he gets with every plate he serves.
The decorated walls are eye catching and filled with pictures which are telling amazing stories in themselves. They are filled with wooden planks with quotes written on them, that are both fun and deep.
One of the most precious pieces of art in tavern is a black and white photo showing an old Limassol. This image was taken by one of the first photographers in Cyprus, Albert Voskeritchian, founder of Seb & Albert Edwards Photographers, which is one of the most successful studios in Cyprus nowadays.
I had the chance to witness Andreas in the kitchen working his charm. Though his appearance might put you off with the young rocker look, his work with food will truly delight you. Love, passion, care, preciseness and delicacy; this is what you will witness when you see him making the food for the people he treats as his friend.
That time, Andreas prepared grilled Haloumi, soft cheese made from a mix of goat and cow’s milk, some pork souvlaki, small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer, pork chop and spare ribs, served with homemade pita, french fries and fresh vegetables.
Making and tasting delightful food can bring great joy. I realized this when I was served with a glass of fine red wine with some of the most delicious dishes Andreas makes.
Sti̱n ygeía mas! :)