Leventis Gallery, Anastasios G. Leventis st, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA), 22668820
There’s something different about museum or gallery restaurants, which I can’t explain, a special vibe, an elegance and prestige which makes them fascinating. And the last one I’ve been to was just that. The chic ambiance, the creative cuisine and the overall result was exactly what the restaurant of a gallery should be.
The minute I entered I smiled, when I saw the menu I felt happy, when the food came it was like all the pieces of the puzzle came together. It’s quite chic in a minimalistic way although there are elements of a more classic decor. Perhaps it’s the long marble bar or the white floors but there was a slightly cold and aristocratic mood going on. I loved how different type of people from the museum (visitors, tourists and locals), kept walking in and out to enjoy a cup of coffee or even a glass of wine during the whole time of our lunch there, and I also liked how there was a continuous movement around us.
And now the food. The menu is very attractive with creative dishes based on Greek and Cypriot ingredients. It’s not too big – a very positive sign in such a restaurant. I particularly appreciated how some of the dishes had names according to certain periods in history like “Rennaisance Salad” and “Impressionist’s salad”. The shrimps with ouzo, rose jam and feta cream that we tried were very well prepared and presented. The word “jam” scared me at first as I am not a fan of sweet flavours in my food but being quite balanced I didn’t even feel the sweetness. The cuttlefish with white “taramas”, smoked paprika and lemon confit were equally tasty, light and an interesting combination with the cuttlefish being quite tender and easy to eat.
The aubergine salad was very impressively presented in a tower, served with tahini and orange vinegraitte.
The highlight for me was definitely the ruster ragou. The meat was very tender and the bechamel which was actually a type of cream made with yogurt and it was very well prepared. The summer risotto “El Greco” was not far behind, quite light and easy to eat. By the time the meat came we were quite full but admittedly the lemon chicken with baked potato was flavourful and a great dish to have if you are after something light yet filling. My least favourite dish was the pork fillets served with sun-dried tomatoes on a bed of mashed potato. The overall flavour was not bad but as I am not a fan of pork I preferred the rest of the main dishes.
The 2 desserts we tried were a great ending to a refined meal. I preferred the “portokalopitta” (orange pie) with “kaimaki” ice cream, which was delicious, very moist and rich. The millefeuille served with mastic cream was a good alternative to the usual version and a good option for the fans of this classic dessert.
The service was very attentive and friendly and so was the chef who kindly came to check how everything was. Overall I left satisfied and happy.
Starters were priced 7€-10€ while main courses at 10€-14€ and the restaurant is open all day every day.