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To Petrino, Kokkini Hani, Crete

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#1 Francis Boyle

Francis Boyle


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Posted 19 July 2006 - 04:06 PM

To Petrino (The Stone House) Restaurant, Kokkini Hani.

To Petrino can be found on the main through road in the seaside resort of Kokkini Hani, twenty minutes east of Heraklion. Although I am not given much to superlatives I would have to rate this restaurant 9-10.
At the front you will see a few tables sitting on the paved courtyard. On the central table sits the menu for passers-by to browse. The main menu is in English. However, you may notice that there is also a menu in French. On entering the restaurant, a smiling proprietor guides you through into the garden behind. It is a hidden gem: quiet, secluded and romantic. Greek bouzouki music plays quietly in the background. Very soon, you will be greeted by Amanda, the waitress. Amanda is marvel. She hails from the Channel Islands, so English-speaking guests are easily catered for, but, being a natural communicator, she seems able to serve guests from any country, whatever the language. Amanda is efficient, chatty, friendly and cheerful. And then there is the menu. Besides the usual large range of dishes as is found in many Cretan eating-places, there is a full vegetarian menu. The chef is also a marvel. The food is so good it is hard to describe. It would not be out of place in some of the finest restaurants in Europe rather than a modest establishment in a relatively small seaside resort in Crete. It was so delicious that we went back three times in one week; it was clearly the best food in a town with a wide selection of tavernas all of which served good food. Even the raki was especially nice. Looking at the comments in the little book that they keep for such things, we were by no means the only ones. I would more than recommend a visit. It is a little more expensive than some of the other eating-places in Kokkini Hani, although it is still much cheaper than the inflated prices asked in the lakeside tavernas at Agios Nikolaos, for instance. It is worth every cent.

Francis Boyle, United Kingdom