Hervé: Fine dining in Petralona
Acclaimed chef Hervé Pronzato moves back to Greece to launch his eponymous restaurant in Petralona. Hervé, mercifully doesn’t fall into a narrow culinary category, and that is what makes a meal there worth all the anticipation! Flavour-packed with whiffs from Pronzato’s itinerant forays into India, the Middle East and Malaysia, Hervé wraps a fine dining experience into Athens’ layered character. Jungle-style vertical gardens share space with colour-drenched street art; sublimely-plated dishes served without the fussiness of a fine dining establishment; and an inviting 18-seat bar that morphs into an informal chef’s table – what’s not to love?
Chef Hervé Pronzato might be French-Italian by heritage, but his heart has always been Greek. So when he revisited his old stomping grounds to launch his eponymous restaurant Hervé in Petralona, his legions of fans promptly lined up to pay homage to his masterful cookery. The restaurant, in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Petralona, plays on Athens’ gritty urban character and celebrates its street art by #misterachilles with wall-to-wall murals with themes that range from economic resilience to romance in the time of Corona! This neighbourhood has become an alternative scene to eat, unwind, and shop at eclectic thrift shops and bookstores. Historic buildings stand as a backdrop for edgy restaurants, offbeat art, record stores and live music venues, making this neighbourhood popular for young crowds looking for an alternative foodie scene. Hervé ticks all the boxes serving up haute cuisine with a side of attitude. Even before you step in, you know you’re stepping into hallowed territory: you need to punch in a code to enter, all part of the elaborate anticipation-seduction game to follow. A beautiful green-veined marble top bar dominates the space. Pronzato wants the bar to be a meeting point, where ideas get discussed and opinions are voiced over crispy whites and sublime mouthfuls.
New restaurants opening their doors (in what has been a trying year) are an affirmation of the faith entrepreneurs place in Athens as a resilient destination. Pronzato concurs, “Athens is having a renaissance and there’s a rejuvenation of creative energy in the culinary and artistic fields.”
Watch this space for a detailed review next week but as old-time fans of Chef Hervé Pronzato’s prowess, we’re thrilled!