Many times I think about what matters most, to make a place your hangout; the honest food, the nice environment, the people? And every time I come to the same conclusion: the hangouts are their people.
This is exactly what I confirmed, when I met Harry Koutelias entering his “Pseira”. A social and cheerful man, "the joy of life", in a tavern that encloses a history of 35 years and year after year acquires more and more loyal friends.
It is a lovely day and I sit at a table outside, watching the traffic on March 25th street. Passers-by greet Harry exchanging a couple of words, the news of the day or jokes. Really, who doesn't know “Pseira”, the tavern that Harry’s and Chryssa's father first opened, who are now in charge together with their mother, Mrs. Fani…
With love for history and tradition
We talk a bit about art, we criticize "advanced" art works, we laugh, and while Harry tells me that they themselves undertook the decoration of Pseira, I go inside to see that, yes, they have done wonderfully. A wall clad in stone on the left, a sweet pomegranate color dominating in the background and in another piece of wall, elements in harmony with each other.
An antique clock of 1900 draws my attention and fascinated I hear its story, while next to it an old pot and a grandmother’s pan, copper-plated in Ioannina, betray the love of the owners for the Greek tradition.
I travel in the past through the framed old photos of Nafplio, while Harry explains to me, that the three black and white magnifications of old photos show, what the specific area of the city was like decades ago.
Rolling-pins hanging from the ceiling present a collection of rosaries, typical of Nafplio and favorite objects of the owner, while above the counter in the background, dried peppers, tomatoes, garlic and zucchinis are hanging...
Greek delicacies on your plate
What better, than to find yourself in such a warm environment and enjoy flavors of Greece prepared with pure ingredients and love! So let's begin our meal!
From the appetizers, don't forget to try the homemade cheese pie (called “tiropitari”) and the zucchini meatballs, while from the salads, in addition to boiled greens -which is my favorite choice- I recommend the Pseira salad with lettuce, sour apple, crispy bacon and balsamic-orange sauce.
Mrs. Fani is already wearing her apron and prepares delicious dishes in her kitchen: “dolma” bites (vine leaves’ wraps stuffed with rice and herbs), braised meat in the pot, octopus, cuttlefish with spinach, pork with celery, lamb with artichokes and of course her famous sweets: “ravani”, baklava, “galaktoboureko” (custard cream pastry), kiounefe” (a real fast-seller) and quince sweet.
Harry, who is in charge of the grilled delicacies, prepares on his charcoal: “kokoretsi” (roasted intestine wrapped meat on the spit), “kontosouvli” (spicy pork and colored peppers on the spit), lamb ribs, souvlaki, steaks, pancetta, burgers, chicken, lamb cutlet and ewe. On the other hand, he also makes excellent moussaka himself, as well as the delicious lamb in lemon sauce, a trademark of Pseira and one of the customers’ favorite dishes.
A group of friends all together
Here on the weekdays, evenings and weekends all day, the conversations of friends gently mingle with Greek folk songs, while the wine flows in abundance: Agiorgitiko of Nemea and Moschofilero in bulk, but also selected labels, while you can accompany your meal with ouzo, tsipouro and beer.
And as time passes and the tables of Pseira start to fill with people, I think that in this tavern, everything is shouting Greece: Its warm, familiar environment, the carefree moments, the casual mood, the delicacies on the plates, the wine and, yes, people, who win you over with their honesty and temperament and make you feel like a friend from the very first moment.
Did you know that?
The name "Pseiras" came from the nickname they had previously given to Mr. Koutelias, the father.
If you are a vegetarian, you will find many delicious flavors on the menu, while seafood lovers can enjoy squid, octopus in vinegar or grilled, grilled shrimp or “saganaki” (shrimps cooked with feta cheese and tomato).
You will find out for yourself when you go: the portions in Pseiras are hearty and the prices are very good.
Very important: Harry is always open to criticism! Did a dish excite you? Tell him! Did you find something you didn't like? Tell him that as well! He will listen to your opinion and will gladly discuss it.
If you go on a Saturday night, you may find live music there.
Do not forget to ask for the daily specials!
On Carnival days, every Saturday, the famous carnival parties go on in Pseira, with skewers, hot grills, live music and dancing!
Greek traditional cuisine; on the grill; oven baked food
Take away, homemade sweets, WiFi
Closed on Monday
Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday - Friday from 17:00
Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 24:00.