The owner of Kokkino Piperi restaurant invites us to taste delicious Greek cuisine!05-02-2016 12:41Mr Dimitris Emmanouil, the owner of Kokkino Piperi (Red Pepper) restaurant in Loutra Pozar of Pella, Macedonia, Greece, invites us all to taste authentic Greek cuisine in an environment of exceptional beauty.
Could you please tell us how did you come up with the idea of opening this restaurant?
Only a few know that red pepper had been for about 80 years our national product, although its production has now stopped. In 1932 we had been awarded with quality prize of excellence in Paris indeed. I love this spice, so when we decided with my brother, Methodios, to open a restaurant, this was the first name it came to my mind.
We stand at the foothill of mountain Voras (also called Kaimaktsalan), next to the most beautiful fountain resorts of the country. As a tourist, I see the beauty of the place, but what about you, as a businessman? Why did you decide to start a business here?
We wanted to welcome the visitors in Almopia, the Land of Giants. We love the mountain, and I feel it was meant to be here. The last 15 years, I had an outdoor activities store here in Loutraki of Pella. I love nature in general, I love mountain bike -which has been my hobby back in the '90s- and I have spent much time on winter landscapes. In 2002 we established the Mountaining Association of Pozar, and from then, we marked the whole petal of Voras mountain, we opened climbing routes in several places and we continuously strive for the protection and enhancement of the mountain range of the area. For me and my brother, this is what we had to do. Start a business in the land we love.
So, why should the visitors make a stop here?
For many reasons, actually! First of all for the good food, to taste our cuisine, our dishes that are based on traditional products and authentic recipes. Then for the thermal baths, but also for the mountain range of Voras, with the 7-8 paths and the beautiful canyons. Here, in the Land of Giants, where Alexander the Great begun his huge trip to India, the visitor has much to see...
Tell us a few things about the dishes served in Kokkino Piperi Restaurant.
We provide 120 different dishes, tasteful salads, our own production pasta combined with high quality meat and amazing local products. You should definitely try the "batsos", our local cheese, prepared in various ways, but mostly with marmalade of red pepper. "Batsos" is also delicious with paprika and lemon crust, and with eggs. Try the fried cheese with sun dried tomato jam, and the "feta" with basil crust. As for main courses, it's worth trying the calf with lemon, chicken with pepper sauce and curry, grilled chicken with tomatoes, smoked bacon and cheese, and the rib calf.
The area has some significant vineyards. I noticed that you provide a lot of labels. What types of wine do you promote in Kokkino Piperi restaurant?
There are several local producers. Kostas Gatsos runs his business here in Loutraki and produces exellent wine. Anastasios Thomaidis and Giannis Nikolis are two other who produce delicious "tsipouro". We prefer to support the local producers, who not only produce high quality wines, but give us better prices as well.
The space is large, with intense traditional color, combining stone with timber... I would therefore like to ask how many people do you serve and if the restaurant hosts events.
Well, we can serve up to 140 persons. We do book the entire area during weekdays, but on weekends, we only host up to 40 people events, as we have visitors from all over Greece and abroad. Let me mention, that Kokkino Piperi operates all year round, from 11 am till 00.30. In summer season, you can enjoy your meal or dinner outdoors, where we serve up to 120 people.
What is the cost per person, without bottled wine?
An average price is 12-14€. This is the cost for someone to eat at Kokkino Piperi, without bottled wine to be included.
Kokkino Piperi has already a few months of operation. What are your impressions so far? What is the feedback you get from he audience?
We are still "infants". However, during these few months, we had the chance and fortune to serve people from all over Greece. Loutraki welcomed numerous visitors who tasted our food and left with the best impressions. I am glad to say that here, in our traditional restaurant, not only will you eat well, but you will also make some good friends...
Read more about Kokkino Piperi Restaurant here.
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