There are several rooftop bars and restaurants across Athens but there is none closer to the Acropolis, the ancient citadel that overlooks the city. Point A Bar and Restaurant is on the fifth floor of the beautiful boutique Herodion Hotel, a member of the Warwick Hotels and Resorts Collection.
Since winning second place in the “Top 10 Hidden Gems” restaurant category of the 2017 Restaurant 100 Greece Awards to being mentioned as the best rooftop in Athens by Lonely Planet, Point A is fast becoming the most popular place for dinner and drinks in the city. Open from May until October, the limited number of tables sell out each week so do call ahead to book.
Its success lies in the rare combination of both spectacular food and views. I’ve come every year for the last five and each time I am impressed at how the menu keeps evolving as chefs Manolis Mavriyannakis and Marios Pirpiridis seek new tastes and presentations.
One thing that always remains the same, though, is the sourcing of high quality ingredients from all over Greece. From the olive oil to the cheese and meats, many of the ingredients are not only local but also p.d.o, meaning protected destination of origin and production.
The olive oil and bread brought to the table exemplify all these things. Those are not real olives, but rather olive ice cream, which we were advised to spread over our bread, both divine and refreshing on a hot summers eve.
There are few things I enjoy more than al fresco dining. Evenings in Athens are beautifully warm, usually requiring only the lightest of cover-ups if one at all. I was lucky to come on a breezy night before sunset, enjoying a crisp and fruity pale rose while watching the Acropolis change colour from beige to yellow as the sun set and spotlights flickered on.
The menu is eclectic and daring. Inspired by Greek flavours and Mediterranean cuisine, each dish an unexpected twist. We ordered several starters and mains to try between the three of us, each one a delight.
Pork skewers in a pistachio crust, coming three pieces per order, one piece per stick. The nutty crust adding texture to succulent pork dipped in a tangy BBQ sauce. Seared tuna with charcoal grilled foie gras and a type of black potato, unusual but delicious. Mousaka tartar, fresh rare mince with a side of potato crisps, chilli and sauces.
For our mains, I loved the Asian style shrimps with the giant couscous, the octopus ragu ravioli, and the pork belly with courgettes and lemon creme. We shared a lemon sorbet encased in dark mint chocolate for dessert. Overall the menu is extremely refreshing both in originality and flavour and deserving of its #10 spot out of 3,231 Restaurants in Athens.
After a spectacular sunset, the rooftop bar began to fill up with people meeting for a drink. Lounge music played in the background, a mix of songs from different ages, genres and countries, eclectic like the menu.
As if the gorgeous views were not enough, the rooftop is also decorated with fabulous Greek art pieces that light up spectacularly against the black night sky. I love this bronze mosquito piece by Greek sculptor Aggelika Korovessi (below, left).
Mixologist Alexandros Previstas is the one responsible for the fantastic cocktails. If you’re not quite hungry for a full meal, try one of their tapas cocktails or bar snacks. I love the tapas concept as I’m always peckish! I’m a huge negroni fan, so I went for their Med Negroni cocktail that includes a subtle hint of raspberry and basil. Another favourite is their KBC, Kentucky Barbados Cocktail, which has Buffalo trace Bourbon, Mount gay eclipse rum, cardamom, pineapple, lemon and agave.
Before heading back to wintery London, I popped by one last time for cocktails and bar snacks with friends. It was late at night and I was really enjoying the cocktails and company. I didn’t manage to take photos but I can tell you that the food is super. With items like bao, ceviche, kebab, edamame, tataki and loukoumades, it’s exactly what it says on the tin “a tasting journey of global flavours starting at Point A.”