Floga – Tomatoes, Vin Santo, and a Flaming Dessert!

Santorini is…an unbelievably mystical, magical place. I am not one for views or sitting back and watching the world go by but, wow…if I lived in Santorini, I could imagine making it my full-time occupation. The vistas are incredible. The sunsets are incomparable. And the food that you eat all the while…nothing less than extraordinary.

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Floga is a casual restaurant in Oia that is ideal for anyone from honeymooners to a rowdy group celebrating a birthday. It’s upmarket but not fancy, and you won’t get in trouble for just ordering an appetizer and a drink for your meal. The restaurant is entirely outside, with clear plastic sheets that come down in case of exceptionally windy nights, like the one when we dined here. However, it can still be pretty chilly, so bring a jacket or drink enough wine to drown out the cold.

We did both.

20140503_204736 Refreshing salad with feta, watermelon, and balsamic drizzle in a pastry crust

The best salad of our trip, and keep in mind that we ate salad at every meal including breakfast. This is what salad should taste like – a harmonious union of vegetables and seasonings, with one or 2 unexpected elements. The lettuce is so sweet and tender that it almost melts in the mouth. The watermelon is so sugary that it might have been dipped in honey, and the feta is so full fat and creamy that it almost creates its own dressing. The balsamic drizzle, made with local wine, is syrupy and tart, highlighting the sweet watermelon. And that puff pastry crust puts our taco salad shell bowls to shame. This isn’t at all hard to make – I could make it at home – but the ingredients are so high quality that it would be hard to reproduce it anywhere else in the world.
20140503_210127 Spaghetti with Santorini tomato sauce

Just stop it, Santorini. STOP IT. Stop it with your sweet, juicy, earthy tomatoes that taste EXACTLY like the sun on your shoulders on a warm May day. Stop it with your homemade pasta that is tender and JUST this side of too soft. Stop it with your inspired sprinkling of nutty, meaty sesame seeds and your unabashed use of spicy garlic. Stop it with your making me gain 8 lbs in 10 days.

Just stop it.  20140503_210134 Pan fried perch with hollandaise

I have no idea what they called this dish, but it was just the most tender, mild, flaky within and crispy without whitefish served with a lemony hollandaise sauce. The thick sauce manages to be bright with lemon and those wonderful Santorini capers. It’s a revelation – who would have thought that such a thick sauce wouldn’t hide the fish but would actually elevate it? The accompanying rice is al dente, studded with roasted zucchini and sweet cherry tomatoes.  20140503_213312 Chocolate souffle 

It comes to the table in a flaming glass, because it ain’t a honeymoon without at least one flambeed dessert, right? This souffle is more of a molten cake than anything else – rich and chocolaty, with a silky tunnel of fudgy batter in the middle. 20140503_214140 The island’s famous vin Santo wine shooter after dinner? Less delicious, more like cough syrup.

Floga was my husband’s favorite dinner of the trip. The atmosphere was romantic but not formal, the view over the caldera was lovely, and the food couldn’t have been improved upon. It was also very fairly priced – a magnificent first meal on a truly amazing island.