An FNL event with a Cuban flair and freshness from the source!

11 October 2022

Impressions and pictures from the first cigar-dinner in Thessaloniki. Delicious comfort food with Greek color, fine wines from Italy and France, a great malt whisky, a Cuban cigar that we hadn’t seen for a long time and most importantly a beautiful group of young friends who love blue tobacco.

The elegant, sheltered setting of Classico was the perfect backdrop for our first cigar-dinner in Thessaloniki at the end of September. The talented duo of chefs Thodoris Mitoglou & Konstantinos Tsavdaridis created a delectable and exuberant Greek-inspired menu that was successfully paired with a range of excellent My Cava wines from Frescobaldi and Jaboulet as well as the Greek gastronomic water Doubia.

The evening started, as always, on time with the refreshing and aromatic Italicus Cup cocktail (the fine Italian Rosolio di Bergamotto along withThree Cents Pink Grapefruit Soda) or any of the premium Three Cents Greek soft drinks for anyone who didn’t want to start with alcohol. The first introductory conversations began and of course the topic that every Havana lover is concerned about dominated the conversation: what about the shortages and price rises…

Then we went to the table and the chefs won the impressions with the “good morning” thanks to a different and delicious “papoutsaki” and the amazing arancini with spinach and rice. Both appetizer dishes paired beautifully with Frescobaldi’s elegant Alie rosé, which thanks to its sharp acidity and delicate aroma offers excellent combinations at the table.

Another take on the classic pastiche with calamarata (paste) was very appealing and paired delightfully with Frescobaldi’s very good Chianti Rufina Reserva, the famous Castello di Nipozzano. Main course we had Iberico pork cheeks with smoked potato puree, an exuberant dish of deep flavour that was looking for a rich red wine. It found its perfect partner in Jaboulet’s top Cornas, the superb Les Grandes Terrasses from the 2014 vintage! A truly exceptional wine at the peak of its evolution.

As with all cigar dinners, however, the anticipation was the closing. Along with a nice chocolate dessert we pulled out the cigar of the evening: the Por Larranaga Galanes, an elegant Havana a little bigger than robusto that was launched in the Greek market not even a year ago, left the best impressions but disappeared within a few days and we have been waiting for it ever since. Along with it we enjoyed top coffee from Taf and a great malt whisky, Aberlour Casg Annamh which translates as “Rare Cask” in Gaelic and is created from a limited number of carefully selected casks. The casks that previously housed Oloroso Sherry have a significant impact on the final blend and perfectly complement its flavour profile.

The evening ended late at night, giving us a date for the next FNL event in Thessaloniki… on November 14th at Moldee restaurant for which we will have all the details very soon!

*Photographs Studio Dimitris Andritsos