When Milan begins to turn grey and cold and wet, it means that the long winter has begun and that my countdown to summer has officially begun. I am a fanatic for all things Mediterranean. The islands, the climate, the diet. I feel its essence to the core, and in particular, I love Greece – its myths (Medea amongst my many favorites), the Meltemi, and it goes without saying, the Greek food. Here in Milan, in via Clusone, opened an absolutely flawless place that smells of Greece: Vasilki Kouzina.
The owner is Vasiliki Pierrakea, a tall young woman who is full of smiles, charm and kindness. Originally from Pelopponese, Pierrakea flew to Italy for Masters at Bocconi, and after years spent cooking at home and in the homes of friends, decided to share the secrets and delights of traditional Greek cuisine with a small catering bsuiness. She decided to open her business, not far from Porta Romana.
But don’t expect your bog-standard Greek diner here, with white and blue tablecloths. Vasiliki Kouzina delivers the unexpected, a true bistro, elegant, warm , bright and full of colour. Vasiliki has treated the furnishings in every detail: mirrors on the walls that create some play of light, and almost Kubrik-esque velvet-upholstered chairs, and designer laps in brass. It’s a style somewhere between the Ottoman Empire, and Pompei. Powerful and warm colors envelop you as soon as you cross the threshold.
The menu, developed by chef Giannis Baxevanis, is definitely inviting and creative. With recipes that range from the most traditional tzatziki and melitzanosalata, and of course moussaka, to the more elaborate dishes such as octopus with honey or pork loin with figs. For lunch there is a gourmet menu, so for 15€ you can choose a dip as an appetizer, to spread over their wonderful black bread, a main course, bottled water and a coffee.
The wine list features a number of Greek winners. I tried a classic varietal called Paranga (yes, just like the famous Mykonos beach) from the vineyard Kir Yianni. It was an absolute pleasure, with nice structure. It’s a sparkling wine that perfectly accompanied our celebrations.
Efharisto, dear Vasilki. Your dining room really is a little gem!