CULTURE

Hot spots for cool moments

With establishments ready for a typically hot summer season, Athenian hotels are throwing their own little twists of made-in-Greece hospitality and service. Facing the Argo-Saronic gulf, the Metropolitan Hotel’s La Veranda restaurant-bar brushes against the rooftop deep-blue swimming pool. This is where chef Gaitano Fresa has come up with an Italian menu full of Tuscan shades: Veal piccata a la Marsala, duck breast a la Toscana with truffles and porcini mushrooms, or even carre d’agneau with wild mountain herbs and smoked aubergine – not to mention pasta treats, led by popular lobster pasta. (For reservations, call 210.947.1000.) On Wednesday evenings the outdoor pool at the Athenaeum Inter-Continental hotel becomes the center of attention, as a lavish barbecue of Greek flavors awaits guests. Meals are accompanied by a selection of local wines and live guitar and bouzouki music. (For reservations, call cafezoe, tel 210.920.6655.) Defined by its newfound minimalist environment, the recently revamped Athens Hilton now offers the Galaxy BBQ experience, where diners are offered a selection of a la minute grills together with fresh salads and home-made desserts, complemented by the panoramic view. (For reservations, call 210.728.1403.) Summertime at the Syntagma Square NJV Athens Plaza is all about cool «hugs» of ice cream. Generous scoops of ice cream and sherbets featuring a rich palette of flavors wait to be savored at the city center hotel’s lounges – leaving the heat behind. A recent addition to the St George Lycabettus hotel, the Frame restaurant offered splashes of color in the heart of the city’s fashionable Kolonaki area over the past winter season. For the current season, Frame’s Garden Bar recently opened in the restaurant’s upper level, where interior designer Angelos Angelopoulos came up with a New Bohemian decor. This translates into bright colors, flower arrangements, and elements of vintage and crystal chandeliers, where visitors can enjoy a drink listening to smooth grooves and conga beat. (For reservations, call 210.7214368.)