Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean cuisine’

Exploring Greece: A Stay at The Kenshō Boutique Hotel on Mykonos

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The glam/rustic Lobby of the Kenshō

If you’re planning a trip to Mykonos and looking for someplace chic and interesting to stay, be sure to check out the Kensho Boutique Hotel in Ornos Beach. It’s just a short walk to the upscale beach clubs on Ornos Beach, and has a more laid-back vibe than touristy Mykonos Town.

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Exterior of the Kenshō Boutique Hotel & Suites

Mykonos Town is only a short cab ride away. After dark, the Kensho is ideally situated halfway between Mykonos town and the after dark hot spot of Psarou Beach. My visit was during shoulder season, and the beach clubs were being boarded up for the season.

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Whitewashed exterior of the Kensho

The concierge staff at the Kensho was top notch and made sure we had plenty of things to see and do and gave great restaurant, activity and recommendations.img_8471

View of Ornos from the Kensho

The property has 35 rooms, suites and a villa and the top rated spa in the area. There is an award winning on-site restaurant which serves Mediterranean specialties and excellent cocktails which can be enjoyed in the glamorous dining space, by the pool, or on the rooftop deck space.

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Live edge table in the restaurant

The modern bohemian vibe of the Kensho makes it a great choice for design lovers. While the decor is mostly warm whites and wood, the layers of texture make the property very special and welcoming. The Kensho opened in 2016 and still feels new yet it has hit a stride with it’s well polished service.

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Left: Lounge chairs Right: Pool vibes at the Kensho

The Kensho boasts a hot tub on the roof and several rooms with private plunge pools. There are swings in the lounge area and cozy throw blankets for guests to use if the famous Mykonos winds kick up. My room was a VIP Junior Suite with a swing on the deck and a plunge pool, which was not surprisingly brisk during the October weather. The room was cozy despite it’s large size. The setup would be ideal during peak summer heat.

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Poolside lounging at the Kensho

With only 35 rooms, the Kensho is intimate. The prime pool side lounge chairs and sundeck can get packed during sundown. The vibe is buzzy but not over the top.

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The rooftop lounge is a popular spot for cocktails

Get a spot early!

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Roof top hot tub at the Kensho

The hotel car is a gleaming Range Rover  that offers complimentary transfers to and from Mykonos Town and other nearby locations.

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Left: Sunset in Ornos Right: Bougainvillea 

Wifi was strong and free throughout the property. The gym was small but had all the essential equipment.

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Cool lighting fixtures at the Kensho

While large, my Junior Suite was cool and cave like and had a comfortable work area. The shower was a bit dark, but there was ample closet space and a well stocked mini-bar.

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Outdoor yoga space at the Kensho

If you’re a first time visitor to Mykonos and aren’t sure where to stay, consider dividing your time and spending a few days in Ornos. It’s happening but less chaotic than other parts of the the island including Mykonos town.

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Basket swings in the lounge area

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Cozy lounging area at the Kensho

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Left: wood, stone and warm shades of white Right: cool planter 

The breakfast spread at the Kensho was impressive with a variety of cold dishes as well as eggs made to order. Don’t miss the strapastranda (Greek style scrambled eggs) and the tasty bougatsa (filled phyllo pastries).

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Enjoying the swing at the Kensho

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Lobby of the Kensho Spa

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Left: slightly steam punk details in the spa bathroom Right: groovy details in the Kensho spa

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Thoughtful furnishing choices in the dining area of the Kensho

One of my favorite things about the Kensho is how thoughtful the design of the property is. Not only does the furniture in the Kensho look stylish but it is all comfortable and works well for guests.

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Left: Tasty gyro from room service Right: Aperol Spritz by the Kensho’s fire pit

The hotel is happening but quiet by Mykonos standards. It’s a perfect choice for sophisticated guests who are foodies and appreciate design. The crowd was cool — and like the property itself- good looking.

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Mediterranean tapas at the Kensho

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Details are everything at the Kensho

The spa has a boutique for products and there is a well curated gift cabinet.

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Left: Cappuccino froth Right: Egg menu at the Kensho breakfast

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Salmon, cheese and meats at breakfast

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Left: Bread selection Right: Choice of cheese

My suite had a coffee maker in case I needed a caffeine boost before breakfast service began. The minibar had a nice edit of treats.

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Fruit featured on the breakfast spread

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Impressive selection of  bite-sized desserts on the breakfast buffett

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Rainbow at the Kensho reception

I booked my stay at the Kensho through JMAK Hospitality, which has a small but on point edit of properties in Greece.

KENSHŌ Boutique Hotel & Suites
Ornos Beach, 84600
Mykonos, Greece
T. +30 22890 29001 / +30 22890 78788
F. +30 22890 27010
Athens offices: +30 210 7209911-4
E. info@kenshomykonos.com

Rates start at $355 USD

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Where to Eat in Nashville: Rolf and Daughters

Rolf and Daughters is located in a converted old factory

Checking out the foodie scene in Nashville was one of the main items on my agenda for my recent trip. First on my list: Rolf and Daughters, located in a cool converted factory in Germantown. The menu skews a bit Italian/Mediterranean but specializes in peasant comfort food. We arrived early on a Friday night, and lucked into the last two seats at one of the large communal tables.

$12 will get you a Frances Bean: Broker’s Gin, Punt e Mes, Amaro CioCiaro, Campari, and chocolate bitters

Communal dining is one of those foodie trends that I didn’t think I’d be down with until I realized I was always a big fan. I’ve eaten solo happily at many a sushi bar and always appreciate the casual ordering advice. The communal table thing is much the same thing. You’re not required to have a full blown conversation with your neighbors, but you don’t feel strange asking if the pasta is as good as it looks.

Go for the communal dining table

Because we sat down at a bit of an in between time– late for early birds but early for the date crowd, the communal diners on either side changed over during my meal and there is no doubt, the first group was far better company. It could have been because they weren’t on serious dates, or just luck of the draw, but it was definitely changed the energy in the room.

The unusually presented beet salad was delicious

The menu had an Italian slant, with the housemade pastas arriving for almost everyone. Portions are large enough to be shared (with more than enough to take home afterwards). Starters ranged in price from $5-$10, with definitely caught my eye. The cocktail menu had drinks in the $10-$12 range. I went for the $12 Frances Bean made with Broker’s Gin, Punt e Mes, Amaro CioCiaro, Campari, Hum and  chocolate bitters. It was tasty, but not a great match with my food, so I did not order a second. There is large wine beer selection on the menu as well a variety of alcohol free drinks.

Left: homemade garganelli verde with heritage pork ragout Right: Jerusalem artichokes

We ordered based on the advice of our communal dining neighbors– going for the beet salad, Jerusalem artichokes, the house made garganelli with pork ragout, and the sausage. The sausage seemed like a throwback to the restaurant’s Germantown roots, but was the most forgettable of the dishes.

The Yorkshire pork with sauerkraut,potato, and apple sauce was the evening’s lone “meh.”

Rolf and Daughters has a great vibe and lovely atmosphere and the volume didn’t get unpleasant despite the converted industrial space. If you’re in the mood for romance, book a table. For a fun evening out, even solo diners will enjoy a meal at the bar.

The Rolf and Daughters exterior

Rolf and Daughters

700 Taylor St. Nashville, TN 37208

Hours: mon thru sun 5:30pm – 10pm

for reservations please call 615.866.9897

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Dining Caprese Style at J.K. Place Capri

Mozzarella di Bufala or Smoked Mozarella di Bufala? That is the Question…

It’s pretty much a given that if you go an a vacation to Italy, you’re going to eat well. But guests at the J.K. Place Capri eat exceptionally well– and in beautiful surroundings. Room rates at the hotel include an incredible breakfast buffet, which in addition to being tasty, is also a feast for your eyes.

J.K. Capri is Not Joking Around With This Breakfast Buffet– This is just the breakfast antipasti

Since you’re on Capri, you can expect that Caprese Salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil drizzled with extra virgin olive oil) is going to be on offer at all times.

Left: A variety of perfectly ripe tomatoes Right: The Usual Cereal Suspects

Several varieties of cheese on offer were delicious. While I was comfortable with the burrata and buffalo mozzarella, I was first reluctant to try some of the smoked options. Since every meal came with an amuse bouche- including a bite-sized portion of the chef’s selection of smoked cheese– I got over it and tried a few options I’m unlikely to eat back home in the states. I also discovered Caprese cake is exceptionally delicious.

Fruit on the Breakfast Buffet

Left: The Smoked Cheese with the Antipasti Was Exceptional Right: Food Porn Still Life

Justin Deciding how to order his eggs on the terrace

Left: Soy Latte with a View Right: Caprese Salad for Breakfast

Eggs Made to Order: Perfectly Poached or Fried

The staff at J.K. Place had no problem with special requests for soy milk which was nice. They also make exceptionally good cappuccino and lattes.

The View from the Pagoda at JK Place Capri

Lunch was also noteworthy. I liked to eat in the pagoda- the area of the patio covered by umbrellas, and it was really all about the fresh fish. The octopus salad with potatoes was a standout and the kind of clean, simple food that makes people love the Mediterranean diet. I felt the need to try a burger one day and while it was tasty, I preferred sticking to the local specialties, but I could see how the burger would hit the spot if you were in need of comfort food.

Seared Tuna for Lunch

Our favorit lunch options were the grilled fish and octopus.

Meals from JKitchen (that’s what the restaurant is officially called)  can be eaten inside the restaurant’s charming nautical chic dining room, but when the weather was gorgeous we ate outside and enjoyed the panoramic view of Capri from the sweeping terrace.

I had the burger for lunch.

Left: Seared tuna salad for lunch Right: Each meal came with an amuse bouche- this was smoked cheese

Lunch was all about this grilled octopus & potato salad

Lunch’s amuse bouche was a bite sized variation on Caprese Salad

Left: Olives served with a glass of Red wine Right: Justin at the Bar

The olives were exceptional but I skipped them at breakfast since they were offered as snacks throughout the day and any time I ordered a drink on the terrace.

The dining room at JKitchen has a relaxed Mediterranean elegance

The dining room, was rather beautiful but I only ate one meal there– when it was raining.

J.K. Place Capri Sign

If you aren’t staying at the hotel but would like to dine at the JKitchen Restaurant, you can book a table through the hotel’s website.
Address: Provinciale Marina Grande, 225, 80073 Capri Province of Naples, Italy
Phone:+39 081 838 4001

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