My relationship with Kourmas started many many years ago. Actually, when I firstly came to Laconia to live, one of my colleagues in the office that I used to work, suggested that i visit Kourmas in Limeni. I didn’t even know where Limeni was back then… But, I did visit the place and since then, I go back every chance I have!
Limeni is a small picturesque seaside town and Kourmas is a very picturesque tavern by the crystal blue water of the golf. It’s hard to decide from where to start describing Kourmas! The location? The team? The decoration? The food? The scenery? The curated Greek spirits lists? The fact that this is a food blog, makes it easier, so I will start with the food and drinks and if you are interested read on…
Kourmas is a fish tavern. Fish and sea food is their thing. What’s very special though about Kourmas is the “kolohtipa”, the slipper lobster that comes with pasta in a fresh tomato sauce. Slipper lobster is more meaty and tender than the lobster and much less messy to eat. It is fished sustainably in Messinian golf by local fishermen and also by Giannis, one of the owners, who loves diving. Thus, there is a certain period to enjoy the slipper lobster, in spring and early summer.
For fish lovers, Kourmas offers a plethora of fresh, locally fished, in open water fishes in different styles to try them all. In any case, do not miss the marinated gavro (anchovies) with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and sea salt from Mani served with fresh herbs. Anastasia, Giannis sister, marinates 300 kilos of anchovies per week every summer, following diligently 3 steps of marination before it will end to our plate.
Octopus slow cooked for many hours until tender with vinegar and oregano is also one of my favorites, while Frangiskos always prefers the grilled one. The truth is that both are so umami flavorful, capturing the saltiness of the sea with a subtle taste of wild Greek herbs and fresh extra virgin olive oil. The secret of the tenderness of the octopus is slapping them in the rocks for no more than 40 times and sun drying them for a couple of days, hanged octopuses under the sun are part of the picturesque scenery of seaside areas.
We keep our meals simple, so for appetizers we usually get a seasonal salad which in winter can be boiled vegetables or handpicked horta and in summer a Greek salad of course or boiled summer horta “vlita”, which are so sweet and herbal. However, we never miss out on the freshly cut fried potatoes (Jason would never forgive us for that) and the homemade tzatziki with a yummy recipe that soon enough will be posted here (also given by Anastasia)
What to drink? Kourmas has a very interesting list of ouzo, a dry anise-flavored aperitif. Try the “ouzo kazanisto” from Chios Island, which is flavored with anise from the island and is distilled 100% in copper distillery in the traditional way.
The gastronomic experience is not limited to food in Kourmas. The scenery is astonishing while the decoration is minimal based on upcycled old cooking materials with a women’s touch by Dimitra, Giannis wife. During the summer, in Limeni you can enjoy an idyllic sunset, the perfect pairing for your meal. Keep in mind that it is extremely difficult to resist diving in the sea in that small golf, so you’d better do that before you enter Kourmas door.