A tale of how a food blogger filled her belly and soul in the Mediterranean
If you follow me on Instagram, then you have seen me talk about this a ton now. However, for those who don’t -
- you should go check out the pictures and follow here and
- we went on the most incredible & special vacation with my in-laws to Italy and Greece on a Mediterranean cruise
We are just going to jump right in. I could talk about this for hours. Sorry in advance that this is long! I tried. 🙂
I am just going to hit the highlights. My main goal was to eat and drink the local cuisine at each stop we visited. I successfully accomplished that - like anyone was doubting I would. 😉
I have been dreaming to go back ever since and continue to eat all the food and drink all the wine! I have since tried to recreate some things that will be coming your way shortly (like this Frappe). So let's get into it!
Also, apologies in advance for the excessive use of exclamation marks in this post! 😉
I keep going back and forth of which was my favorite day, but I think I have settled on Venice (it’s a close tie with Athens!). It is a literal dream! Everything you think it would be and go much more. We arrived there a day early from how our flights worked out and I am so glad we did!
After being up for 24 hours, we landed in Venice at 9 am. We tried to figure out how to exchange money, ate lunch, and took a much-needed nap - then we all felt like new people and ready to go explore!
I tried to look up places to eat in Venice before we left and had a really hard time. Now I understand why. There is literally a cute tiny restaurant every 3 doors with a couple of small tables outside on the streets and an aroma that just says “please come in”.
From gelato to pizza to pastries, I was crying tears of happiness! What I did learn in my research is that they have a version of tapas called Cicchetti and I definitely had to try some. Apparently, they eat this every day around 1ish with a glass of house wine, relax for who knows how long, then go back to work and finish their days.
I mean, why isn’t America like this?!
We picked this adorable place to go into and stayed for I am not sure how long. Hours. Justin made a new friend (are we surprised? no 🙂 ), Simon, our waiter who was the most friendly and happiest person I have met and just kept bringing us all the things. His mom made all of the food homemade and when asked for a glass of wine he asked
in which we responded,
Not really knowing how much that was, because jet lag and math is hard, only to then realize it was more than a bottle and I was not upset about it!
We sat and talked and ate and just enjoyed being in this precious tiny Italian restaurant in what felt like a dream!
Before we left we asked to try the Tiramisu and
Y’all! That may have been one of the best things I put in my mouth the whole trip. Life-changing.
Ok, we must move on - this is getting long already and we are just one day one. 🙂
This is a very small little town that reminded me of medieval times. It is surrounded by a big fortress wall on a mountainside and absolutely beautiful.
Kotor surprised me with its food. Justin and my father-in-law enjoyed a cold brew at a local pub while the girls shopped. By late afternoon and a lot of walking later, we were all starving and finally just walked into a random place that looked cute and sat down.
Insert “pro tip”
That is how we picked out all of the places we ate at, very strategic, and it never steered us wrong!
Here I had a cold glass of prosecco since it was very hot that day. Little did we know that we were all getting ready to be blown away at the food (and amount of food) that we were getting ready to be served.
Justin ordered a pizza and it was HANDS DOWN the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life. Period. I could have eaten 2 of them by myself. Greg and Maggie ordered this meat and cheese plate that was MASSIVE and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Bread, cheese, and all kind of prosciutto. The Montenegrins know how to make a charcuterie board!
I ordered my first Greek salad of the trip, and promptly ordered one every day after that.
It was very simple - huge chunks of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, olives, and feta all just dressed with some olive oil. Goodness, gracious was it good!
Here is one of the big takeaways since I have been home and since tried to replicate some dishes. The food there is better. The produce is so fresh and flavorful. The dairy and cheese -I can't even describe it - I am drooling thinking about it. I just can’t find anything like it here in the States. The feta in Greece was unreal. It didn’t have any “holes” in it as it does here and when you bite into it, it was much more mellow in flavor (not as salty and briny) and creamy almost like goat cheese.
And the olives! I am actually not a huge olive fan, but I couldn’t quit eating them there. They were like tiny bites of salty goodness and I was here for it!
So get the Greek salads. Everywhere you go!
This actually may have been my most favorite meal - or closely tied to Venice. But honestly, it's truly hard to pick because I did not eat one bad thing out and about.
This day was packed. We did an excursion and only had about 40 minutes in the crowded town to explore. Which was a little disappointing for us all. So all we had time for was a crepe from a "walk up to the window and order" type place and like everything else, it was amazing!
We were able to watch the lady make it right in for too us, which you can watch here. It was stuffed with spinach, that glorious and creamy feta, and a drizzle of lemon - piping hot. Justin and I took turns scarfing it down while we walked around like happy little people 🙂
It was magical.
I want to go back tomorrow. Seeing the Parthenon in person was unreal and unlike anything I have experienced before. I couldn't believe we were actually there and looking at this massive structure. It was breathtaking and a highlight of the trip. I think everyone should experience this in their life.
This day was so hot! With walking about 10 miles a day, by 3 pm we were all fading and hangry. Again, we just walked around trying to find a place that looked good and found somewhere that I think was most everyone's favorite meal of the trip.
This was the first time for authentic gyros this week! They had a vertical rotisserie that they shaved the meat off right in front of you and had you drooling before you were even eating.
Justin and I shared a half-liter of house red wine - YUM - while we ordered and waited.
There was this particular menu item that caught my eye and I got it to share as an app. I don’t know the real name but it was a piece of feta wrapped in puff pastry, drizzled with honey topped with sesame seeds.
Do I need to say this again? OMG!
We promptly ordered a second one after we demolished the first! I have since tried to remake that, and I am telling you, it is the feta there that makes it. Being so creamy and mellow in flavor - it just melted in your mouth. And the honey was the perfect pairing - a little salty and a little sweet. My a kinda treat!
I will try again and get it as close to the real thing as possible because it's a great app to serve to guests or to have at a dinner party - but I just have to find better feta! If you have any recs, send them my way!
We were supposed to go to Mykonos this day, but the weather there had other plans for us. So we rerouted and went to Katakolon - which is where Olympia is and this day ended up being one of the coolest!
We ended up stumbling on an almost private tour by accident and it was so special. After our guide showed us all around, he made us stop and eat at this place where we again order gyros, feta honey pastry thing, greek salad, and wine! Can you see a theme here? lol
At the end of the tour, he took us to an olive oil and wine tasting where I promptly bought some olives, olive oil and wine to bring back home with us.
We had some time to spare for the rest of the afternoon so we walked around the town at the port and shopped for a while. Before we headed back to the boat, Justin and I did our favorite thing and stopped at a local restaurant by the sea and had a glass of wine. This was my most favorite wine of the tip. None were bad by any means, but this wine was my favorite.
Is there anything better than being by the water with your most favorite person in the world sipping now wine without a care in the world? No way!
This was our last port and it was a beach day. Like at Corfu, I have never experienced water so blue and clear in my life. There was a cafe on the hill by where we parked ourselves for the day and where we ate for lunch in between swimming, paddle boarding, and napping in the sun.
We all got gyros again …shocker…and wine…..another shocker…..and this was my favorite gyro I had that week.
Funny thing - they put french fries in their gyros. And call them “vegetables”. It was weird but I wasn’t upset about it - especially smothered in tzatziki sauce!
Also, side note - I have got to find these cute little glasses that we were served wine out of in more places than this. The almost remind me of just a Libby glass that's sold here in the states.
We again had time to shop and walk around the town before we got on the boat that night, and after Justin and I had picked up the last of our gifts to take back home, I strangely had the sudden craving for some calamari as a snack. We found a seafood restaurant by the water, ordered our wine, and asked for their calamari. In which they do not serve as the states, as seen below, but it was delicious! They just serve them whole instead of cutting them up as we do.
So the moral of this extremely long post (and if you made it to this part, I AM IMPRESSED!) - the food in Italy and Greece is some of the best I have ever eaten, the wine is delicious and I was in the morning not having a glass at lunch every day and a Greek salad when I got home.
I want to go back SO BAD!
I hope you enjoyed this recap. Have you ever been to any of these places? Or anywhere in Italy or Greece before? If so, let me know down below your favorite eats of your trip!
Happy Friday! See you on Monday for another yummy recipe.