Greece in California

California

South Lake Tahoe

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Perfect view for perfect food experience

I will tell you two words and YOU will have to think about the first things to pop in your mind. Ready? Let’s do that!

United States and FOOD.

So?… What was that? Burger? Fries? McDonalds? Haha. P R O B A B L Y. But do you know what pops up in my mind?

…Well, firstly…Pancakes with bacon on a side… But then! Tomato baklava… grilled cheese… figs and honey… (???)

Weird? Not at all! Well of course only if you are working in five-star restaurant which offers contemporary Greek Californian cuisine. And yep, I did that. I was lucky enough! Because the food I ate there was definitely the best I tried in South Lake Tahoe! Actually, the best I ever had in any restaurant!!! (Short interruption: You may say that my posts are always positive and not objective… BUT. Why should I write about stuff which is not impressive or why should I share bad emotions? ;))

So… Little bits about the restaurant. During my summer work and travel experience I was working at “Jimmy’s at the Landing” – five-star restaurant. The head chef there was a famous cook Maria Elias who had worked in many high class restaurants all over the planet including “El Bully” (a Michelin 3-star restaurant near the town of Roses, Catalonia, Spain, run by chef Ferrand Adria – often called the best chef in the world).

Depending on the fact that Maria is half Greek (her father is Greek and her mother is from UK) she got creative at Jimmys’s and that is the reason why the food served there is described as contemporary Greek Californian . . .

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Kataifi wrapped feta cheese (with honey and figs!!!)

And what did I learn about Greek food while I was working there???
It is really tasty and healthy. ;D Greeks eat lots of veggies, nuts and berries, but all the secrets are hidden inside of the glass bottles and ceramic boxes… Olive oil, honey, dried fruit and huge variety of green herbs make every dish unique and full of diverse flavors. What is more, lamb is also a big ‘deal’ in Greek cuisine… Pulled lamb burger, greek brochette, lamb loin and many other dishes are proposed for meet lovers. Though, I’m not a huge fan of lamb, because it is heavy, so my guilty pleasure in the restaurant was mostly cheese and deserts… Overall, my extra-super-very favorite dish of all was cold soup! Sounds funny, but it really is a masterpiece. From the start of serving till the very last drop you try to secretly lick from your plate.

A plate of gazpacho is served really nicely. First you get a glimpse at everything what is going to be inside of the soup (besides the soup…haha, my English sometimes is really funny, I know 😀 ). You get a plate with all the ingredients: small pieces of chopped watermelon and crab meat, cherry tomatoes and some green herbs (I apologize for forgetting everything else…). After that your super friendly server pours gazpacho soup into your plate nicely and most necessarily –> clockwise! 😀 Vualia, you’ve done one more thing you had to (before you die)!

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And deserts… Ou wow, deserts at Jimmy’s… It’s hard even to talk about them, because everything I tried was just tiny little miracle on a plate. Strawberry trifle, merengue roulade, berry tasting, almond apricot baklava and greek coffe. Mhmm.. And those chocolate – metaxa pots!.. Everything!!! Except for the cheesecake made of greek cheese which wasn’t my favorite, but people always give me a weird look when I tell them that I don’t like it, so…Probably it’s just me.

Actually I could talk about Jimmy’s food for hours and hours, not to mention a huge collection of fine wines and wonderful set of house made cocktails… But for I’ll just leave you with some pictures. I know that they look nice, but , BELIEVE ME, it tastes even better than you imagine…!

Kali Orexi! .. or  Bon Appétit 😉

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Bomb –> Berry Tasting. Semi freddo, sorbet, vanilla soil…and berries! Totally brings one to heaven

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Superb lunch: cezar salad with chicken and shaved kefalotyri cheese and side of fries with home made ketchup. OMG

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Strawberry trifle

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Corn polenta with asparagus, mushrooms and kefalotyri cheese. Tastes like clouds in heaven… SO soooooft, but full of flavors!

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And me…with tears in my eyes, that I have to leave ;D

 

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