“Deka Trapezia”, the second culinary project in a row by Chef Manolis Papoutsakis and his team, which opened on Christmas 2019 at number 4 of the renovated Stratigou Kallari street, has managed to pass, in just four years, from the stadium of a new venture, to something timeless. Awarded and beloved, now, for many, it is perhaps the only tavern in Thessaloniki, where one has the opportunity to try, at the same time, proposals that one would try in a fine dining restaurant or in one with a “Michelin” distinction and at the same time dishes from a simple tavern in a simple space.

There may be 10 tables at the moment, but this is a coincidence and the number has never really bothered the owners, Manolis Papoutsakis, Yiannis Papadogiannakis and sous-chef Paschalina Kamtsikis, long-time collaborators from the award-winning Cretan restaurant Charoupi , in Ladadika.

The name was chosen symbolically from the beginning, to mean “good luck” and this small, warm and friendly space, with its strongly party atmosphere, has incorporated, in its menu, the philosophy of “small dishes”. This was, after all, the goal of its team from the beginning: smaller dishes, for “sharing” at the table, to be enjoyed by groups together with their raki and tsikoudia, having the possibility to choose between many different flavors, in a menu that has been labeled … “multicultural”.

The whole range of proposals

As mentioned above, what makes “Deka Trapezia” a very interesting venture, is that in the same menu, one will find dishes of a fine dining or a Michelin-starred restaurant, together with the simple, humble small dishes , which we all choose for our outings, on a more daily basis. In the same restaurant, essentially, two worlds co-exist and the menu includes options for everyone, something that is certainly rare in Greece, with the restaurants’ identities usually being more restrictive.

The co-owners here propose a freer menu, wanting to “break” the logic of the specific level or category in restaurants. For them, this makes it even more “seductive” and certainly suits their temperament.

The menu at “Deka Trapezia” moves closer to fish, with obvious experimentation with Cretan products and the great investment in raw materials. Culinary traditions and cultures are “mixed”, in a kitchen that is more “personal”, with elements of Greek cooking, such as Cretan potatoes with staka – no coincidence, since two of the co-owners are from Crete – but more, much more technical and imaginative, which we would only try in a gastronomic restaurant. Its people combine both, doing what they love most: investing in flavors.

Free small dishes

The “free small dishes” include, on a daily basis, fish and seafood like we have never seen before, such as mackerel with grilled vegetables and sweet potato tarama, bruschetta with grilled onion, parsley cream, smoked mussels and lunza, croustade smetana, with crab, soy and trout caviar and the raw stuffed with sushi rice, stuffed herbs, kinchi (Asian pickle), salted tuna and golden herring brick.

The also imaginative meat dishes include, among others, lamb meatballs with chickpea cream, Florinis pepper and hot paprika, fried lamb with trachana cream, sheep yogurt and fried wheat, as well as quail with sour trachana, eggplant and sunflower seeds. Plenty of dishes, which change by season, depending on the raw materials that determine them, but also daily dishes, which promise delicious experiences.

As a whole, the proposals are accompanied by a large list of Greek wines, mainly vineyard – about 80 labels are included – but also ouzo, tsikoudia and tsipouro, while the desserts are literally enchanting.

“Deka Trapezia” creates a more elevated culinary mood in Thessaloniki, something more daring, where the essence remains, always, the deliciousness of the food and the good raw material. Isn’t that what we all look for, in an unforgettable meal?