An Inside Look at Delta, Greece's Michelin-Quality Restaurant
During single nightly seatings for just 12 tables, Delta offers Greek cuisine with a Scandanavian twist.
With its soulful old-world cuisine and exceptional fine-dining destinations, Greece has long been a magnet for great food. The Delta restaurant, located in Athens, is far more than clever variations on Grandma's moussaka. As the city’s first progressive gastronomic destination, Delta is located in a glass-walled space on top of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).
In the sleekly appointed restaurant, there are just 12 tables per night, and a 23-foot, hand-hammered copper bar anchors the space. First, a silken calamari steamed in plum stone oil and lacquered in caramelized butter sets the stage for the incredible 17-course feast of Greek ingredients prepared with Michelin-quality flair that follows.
Having worked in a series of Michelin three-star restaurants in Norway and Copenhagen, the native Greeks and longtime friends returned home.
There are many ingredients that are quintessentially Greek, but the preservation techniques are not Scandinavian. This nuance can be seen in dishes such as a smooth clam with preserved bergamot in tomato water, as well as a chilled beeswax preparation infused with fermented goat's whey and caramelized goat's whey. Veggie scraps are fermented to create a seasoning for homemade bread in the kitchen; the kitchen adheres to zero-waste principles.
This dish is as impressive as the high-flowing techniques because the ingredients are sourced from small farms throughout Greece. The rose sauce, which is used to garnish spring lamb, is made from flowers from a specialty farm in the Peloponnese mountains. The restaurant sources peppers from Thessaloniki, seafood from local fishermen, and much of the rest from its three-acre farm outside of Athens, which is where the restaurant gets its traditional peppers.
There is a strong sense of Greek artistry throughout the entire experience at the restaurant. The plates and bowls were made by Greek artisans, the staff uniforms were designed by Greek designers, and the wine list is filled with many expressions of native Greek varieties. For example, the aromatic, single-plot Thymiopoulos 2017 Naoussa Vrana Petra, an exceptional red wine crafted with Xinomavro grapes, a popular grape.
A bold ambition that feels entirely appropriate, since the Greeks do know a thing or two about making a lasting impact, and the chefs are already looking forward to next year, when they anticipate being able to source all of their ingredients locally from local farms and foraging.