Mr Bisilkas, Vosporos Bar Restaurant in Larissa19-01-2015 14:46Mr Bisilkas, Vosporos Bar Restaurant has a long history in the field of gastronomy. What would a flash back include? Which are the most important moments of your business from past till today?
We come from a family of Macedonian refugees who settled in Filippoupolis of Larissa. My father had a grocery store and used to produce his own wine and tsipouro. Then he opened a tavern where he would make a traditional delicacy called “skempe”, something similar to “patsa” (tripe). From then, we decided to follow his steps, so we operated the tavern at this same point, from 1995-1996. We had been operating there, in Agia Triada of Larissa, serving traditional recipes from Asia Minor and more, for almost 13 years, before moving to Livadaki in 2009. Now the bar restaurant is housed in a new area in the city center, near the ancient theater of Larissa. We are loyal, however, and stable to the high quality and we constantly try to serve fresh and tasteful dishes that will satisfy even the most demanding.
What does “renewal” mean to you?
To return to classical values of taste and to raw materials that is right next to us, to upgrade all these and get Greece into the global culinary map. To revive traditional authentic recipes and products that exists in our diet for centuries and places them ahead, where they deserve to be.
Where do you get inspired from as far as the menu is concerned and how do you manage to combine the East with the West?
We stand in the middle right now. We look back to traditional recipes, we search a lot and thanks to our long experience, we derive some information from the past so as to create new things, new dishes and flavors.
You have also entered the “small portions”. Tell us a little bit about this, because we haven’t met that elsewhere in Larissa.
Our father was the one who came up with that idea first, because people would come and ask for “a little”. And we thought that this would probably happen because of economic matters. Perhaps someone didn’t want to eat a lot; he just wanted to taste something. Nowadays, the economic crisis has placed our needs on a new basis. We all changed the way of having fun, we are now a group of friends, picking from a central dish. In other words, we changed the process of eating and in order to enjoy the most of it, we prefer to pick a little bit from “small portions”.
How much does it cost to eat in Vosporos Restaurant, without the wine to be included? I’m asking because most of us have in mind that gastronomy is paid dearly…
I would say that we have adapted some adjustments, required by the crisis that Greece is going through. The “small portions” prove that clearly. One could eat at Vosporos with 11 or 12 euros. I would say that one could eat with 9 euros as well, without of course the wine to be included. There are dishes that cost more, so it really depends on what they will order. The average price is between 15 and 20 euros, but is hard to reach 25 euros without drinking wine.
And something for the end… From the first moment we entered Vosporos, we were impressed by the unique decorative identity. So we take the opportunity to ask: who thought of this decoration and gave that specific style to your business?
Well, Vosporos used to be surrounded by lots of trees and platans when we were in Livadaki region and we thought it would be nice to bring that element here, when we moved in Larissa city center. So we placed these artificial trees that look like real ones…
Like a relay race of three generations; a journey with happy days, sad days, joys, sorrows, wars, Occupation, poverty, hunger, deaths, volcanic eruptions, catastrophic earthquakes, flee for a better life, return, better days, feasts, tourism explosion, financial crises and so on… Everything has been indelibly inscribed on the walls of this small building, Aktaion. I feel grateful that life has given me the opportunity to hold the reins of Aktaion all the way to its centennial.
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