What a find …
It’s right in the centre of Larnaca, but slightly off the beaten track and definitely one of my favourite finds so far this year, maybe more … We found ‘Eliά’ by accident as it’s unlikely you’ll drive past it, tucked down a cul-de-sac behind the Sun Hall Hotel in Larnaca. All you can see from the front is an arched entrance, down an alleyway, beautifully edged with trees, hundreds of twinkly lights followed by gorgeous lampshades leading to the restaurant. ‘Eliά’ means Olive in Greek, but it was the ‘backyard‘ subtitle that grabbed my attention and I thought this looks lovely … I wasn’t wrong!
The Back Garden
Down the alleyway, a few little cosy corners to enjoy your meal, a credit to the designers, co owners, Stephanos and Nicos, the influence obviously Panorama, Thessaloniki, Greece, the inside area rustic, authentic, wooden tables and comfy chairs, two hanging whisky barrels, wooden roof beams up high and displays and ornaments that were obviously well thought out, if you like a glass of wine. Out back, the backyard, just perfect, I can imagine in the summer this place will be packed! … Here’s our Live video
I had to try their cuisine and before dinner, I had a chance to chat to owners Stephanos and Nicos to find out more. Over a delicious espresso coffee or two, Stephanos told me how it all started … “we met whilst both studying logistics in Kozanis, Thessaloniki, we became really good friends and we had many similar ideas! After our studies, I went back to Thessaloniki and Nicos back to his parents’ restaurant in Germany.
We got together often, looking for the best place where we could open an authentic Greek Restaurant. We could have done it in Thessaloniki, but there’s lots of Greek Restaurants there, so it was a calculated decision and we chose Larnaca because it reminded us most of Thessaloniki and then the weather here in Cyprus for al fresco dinning of course had something to do with it”
I wanted to find out more about the menu and asked Stephanos if the menu included Cypriot dishes? I understood immediately what to expect, when he smiled and said, “Only Halloumi”, Mmm, where would we be without it? … The menu was designed by Nicos and their 4 chefs, a 2 Greek and 2 Cypriot team. The influence of course, authentic, Thessaloniki and Greece, aiming partly at Cypriots who have visited Greece and loved the traditional cuisine!
We looked at the menu, only 10 starters, but to me that shows they concentrate on the good things. A few that tempted my taste buds were; The Zucchini Fritters with yoghurt, the Salads sounded gorgeous, especially the Backyard Salad, baby spinach, seasonal fruits, almonds, goats cheese and raspberry dressing. The Beetroot Cheesecake sounded interesting, apparently many a guests favourite. Nicos’ favourite the Octopus with fava beans, but we just couldn’t resist sharing some fresh warm bread and a few dips and ‘The Slice of Feta’ covered with red pepper, onion and fresh dill, an excellent choice I have to say, it was delicious.
You can tell the menu was carefully selected authentic Greek recipes and they all sounded delicious so we we asked for suggestions from the owners. Stephanos said “the Lamb Shanks with Eggplant” and Nicos said he loves their steaks, saying the he cant choose between the T-Bone, Rib-Eye or the Irish Tomahawk or the famous Picanha Fillet from Brazil. Tbh, they all sounded tempting, but Louise chose the Chicken stuffed with feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olive, with baby potatoes and grilled vegetables, of course I had a taste and sort of wish I chose that but the Beef Cheeks, slow cooked and served on a bed of orzo pasta sounded irresistible! Here’s a link to our Live video on that evening.
All the dishes sounded tempting and we noticed a few go past our table. On my next visit it’s a hard choice between the Pork Fillet with cranberry sauce, maybe the Meat Platter, or the Sweet Pumpkin created with an Italian influence and topped with parmesan cheese! … Here’s a link to the full Menu and be warned their portions are plentiful.
I also noticed they have a separate menu just for the fasting seasons, so vegetarian and vegan clients will be in heaven. Stephanos also mentioned if you book in advance you can even request they cook your favourite Greek dish for you … Why not check out their Trip Advisor reviews here.
Next time we go I’ll definitely save room for a dessert. The Profiteroles stuffed with fresh cream drizzled in hot chocolate looked very tempting, but The Backyard Crumble with hazel nuts, chocolate mouse and caramel is going to be my choice! I might even pop in just for dessert and a coffee.
Cava & Surprises
Their cava of wines is an excellent selection of our favourites from Greece and Cyprus plus more than a few that are very special. Alternatively your favourite tipple by the shot or bottle and Beers from Greece and Cyprus. Oh and, I noticed a nice little collection of malt whiskies apparently not for sale, but Mention What’s On and you might get a nice surprise.
Stephanos and Nicos welcome enquiries for parties and events of all types and promise to give you a night you’ll never forget … They will also occasionally be inviting top international chefs to create an array of culinary experiences from around the world … More recently Pilipino master chef ‘Erica Paredes’ helped celebrate 42 years of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and the Philippines, conjuring up her culinary delights for that special evening.
They only opened in June 2021, their excellent reputation spread quickly and now it’s best to make a reservation although it’s not always necessary … Check out their facebook reviews here … A take away service is available but sorry no home delivery at the moment.
Open all year
Daily: 6.30 pm ’til 10.30 pm
Sunday: 12.30 pm ’til 10.30 pm
You’ll find Eliά Backyard Restaurant at 11, Plateia Vasileos Paulou, Larnaca 6023 … It’s sort of to the side and behind Sun Hall Hotel just off The Finigoudes, opposite the Taxi Rank … and just to the right behind the Central Post Office … See Google Map icon below …
GPS: 34.916523, 33.637077
Traditionally Greek Cuisine & Hospitality!