Traditional and modern meze restaurants.
The market ‘constant’ of flavour
The reputation of older restaurants is sky-rocketing, paving the road for new ones, as the prestige of traditional meze restaurants is continuously increasing. Meze restaurants are truly the top up-and-coming ‘share’ in the gastronomic stock market. And it appears that all ‘investors’, whether entrepreneurs or gourmets, are coming out on top. Hip meze restaurants with well-thought menus in term of flavour, with a traditional and nostalgic aesthetic and atmosphere, are unquestionably one of the prevalent gastronomic trends. If one wonders why this is taking place and particularly why now, we believe that the answer - or rather the numerous answers - to this question is obvious.
The Greek meze restaurant, with everything this entails, represents and symbolises, has been an integral element of Greek gastronomic tradition for over a century. Available for a taste of classic ouzo, wine or tsipouro, the meze restaurant is a meeting place for friends and family to exchange views, indulge in flavours and experience different gastronomic cultures. Such restaurants are open since early afternoon, offer a large variety of flavours and can be visited on any occasion, whether formal or informal. This is why the meze restaurant is currently re-inventing itself and investing in new aesthetics, new products, new flavours and new tactics.
The modern meze restaurant is taking a step beyond the traditional meat and fish appetizers and is introducing new dishes using a variety of products, such as pickles, cured meat and cheeses for the connoisseur, mushrooms, pasta, legumes, spreads, salted, fried and marinated fish and meat, sun-dried tomatoes and, of course, dishes with new and inspired flavours, both savoury and sweet, amazing marinades, breaded products and much more. The classic dishes have become gourmet creations and are joined by new, unique flavours - all accompanied by delicious wine, cold beer and - of course - Greek ouzo. In fact, many meze restaurants also function as delis (and numerous delicatessens have taken on the characteristics of meze restaurants), where one can not only taste but also purchase traditional and novel products to enjoy seconds at home.
The wonderful atmosphere and the continuously excellent quality and flavour are non-negotiable elements of success. Because there can be no meze restaurant without them. During this time of crisis, it is not the meze restaurant that is being tested, but how entrepreneurs will handle what they have at hand, as well as how they will adapt quickly and successfully to the latest gastronomic trends and dietary habits of consumers. This is the bet that must be won. What is certain is that all types of appetizers, whether traditional or modern, will continue to be one of the trump cards for the food market; for this reason, we must keep our reflexes honed and utilise all our knowledge and imagination in order to contribute to this market with innovative ideas and products.