When we thought of doing an FNL event with an 80’s theme I will not hide from you that I was excited. A throwback to the past, in a restaurant that I particularly love and which in that decade was already a successful hangout, with flavours and music that bring back happy memories… A chance for us older people to remember our youth and for the younger ones to get a taste (literally) of that time. As the advertisement says, priceless value.
*And, indeed, our idea was enthusiastically received, so much so that the event sold out in just one day. So, on the evening of Monday, March 6, everything was ready to welcome the friends and readers who decided to take this walk down memory lane with us.
The Blue Pine was dressed up, the tables were covered with linen tablecloths, and the loudspeakers played 80’s hits from the list prepared especially for the occasion by the well-known Pepper’s radio producer and FNL partner Kostas Papazetis.
The welcome was another surprise for the older members of the group, those who lived in the 80’s, as it was a glass of Mateus Rose, the semi-dry and semi-sparkling wine from Portugal, which in those years was one of the musts of the most “initiated” in gastronomy. I personally hadn’t had it since then, and the truth is that 40 years later it seemed sweeter than I remembered and I honestly wondered how we paired it with our food. I guess over the years our taste in wine has evolved, which is a good thing. I should add of course that the flowers waiting for the ladies at their seats were no surprise as our faithful florist Tasos Roubeidis always takes care of them!
The menu included all the iconic dishes of the 80’s, from the all time classic shrimp cocktail served in a foot glass to the Roquefort salad, and from the St Jaques shell to the Chateaubriand with two sauces – Bearnaise and Café de Paris – and accompanied by French fries, to finish with two authentic soufflés, a chocolate and a Grand Marnier. The soufflés even became a topic of conversation among the younger people since most of them hadn’t tasted the authentic version – the one that takes at least half an hour to make – until that day, and thought soufflés were the flans that most restaurants serve nowadays. See? #fnlevents are educational as well as entertaining. And of course, as always, Greek culinary water Doubia took over to refresh us and prepare us for each new taste.
Our dinner was accompanied by two wines with special significance for the ’80s, at least as we remember them. For the first courses we chose an excellent Chablis (of Domaine Louis Moreau from MyCava), the white wine with which I think we all began our introduction to the discerning French vineyard.
The follow-up was a “must” choice: “Ktima Chatzimichali»! I don’t think there is a more successful example of a new -at the time- wine producer that started to grow, establish himself and become fashionable in the 80s and always at a very high level! Older people also remember how much Cabernet Sauvignon worked and established itself, so we chose the iconic Kapnias, the estate’s premium Cabernet label that was born in the late 80s and has never ceased to fascinate as one of the best Greek red wines. We enjoyed the 2017 vintage from magnum bottles.
I should say here that there were also some guests who got into the mood and aesthetics of the decade with looks that created waves of excitement, such as the two ladies – Flora Paraskevopoulou and Antigoni Giannoukakos – who, as a matter of honour, held the draw in which four lucky winners won a bottle of magnum Kapnia 2017 from the Chatzimichalis Vineyard, which delighted that evening with its velvety, exuberant body and complex aroma.
In closing, I would like to thank Blue Pine and its team for the excellent food and excellent service that proved once again that nothing in life is accidental. Nor, of course, the enduring success, and the joy – I imagine – of welcoming in the same place for 50 years generations of loyal customers, from grandparents to grandchildren, with their own young children.
*Photos by Panos Smirniotis