Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Taverna - Kastro

The Kastro cafe-bar/restaurant probably enjoys about the best location for dining in Parga if you like a view with your drinkb or meal, being at the end of the shopping alley high up just before the gate to the castle. The seating is set out on several levels to maximise the view down onto Parga and the bay for as many guests as possible. You can see most of the town and the islands with in a single view out from your table. To the other side of you the castle walls conplete the setting with a fountain splashing 10 or 20 jets onto the rocks to cascade back down. Of course this location comes at a bit of a price - the cover charge was €2 each and you didn't have any choice about the €1.50 litre of water that the waiter pours out for you without asking. We had salads each, a chef and a caesar, together with sides of saganaki cheese and spring rolls, which all came to about €40. So it doesn't exactly break the bank, but it's noticeable more expensive than the average taverna in Parga.
The setup caters for the price differance though, with the atmosphere being much more that of a restaurant rather than a local taverna, i.e. There's real cotton tableclothes and you have sevral glasses each set out on the tables. I sound a tad sarcastic but I don't mean to be as the whole effect is one of a pleasant dining experience and it's definitely on the list for a more intimate or romantic evening meal.
The food we had was also very tasty, the caesar and the spring rolls being particularly good (which was a shame as that was my wife's order - not that there was anything wrong with the chef's salad or the saganaki). We only had a glass each of the house wine, but this is one other thing that adds a little to the price as their house wine is bottled rather than sold by the half or full kilo. Bottles in Greece are always a little more so I'm quite sure there would have been another €5 or so on the bill if we hadn't asked specifically for only a glass each.
Service was efficient enough and courteous if not overly friendly but I think there are trying to project a "professional" image rather than the more laid back style of many of the local tavernas. The only grumble I had with them was that they were keen to push extra dishes on you. It's noticable that the staff ask you what you would like to start rather than just what do you want so when we said we weren't fussed about starters (feeling rather fat after 10 days of holiday gluttony) our waitress went straight on to suggest a meze plate for two. Having declined and ordered of meal she then asked if we would like an extra side order of grilled vegatables. They weren't overly pushy about it but on top of the involuntary bottle of water, I did feel like there was a definite sales tactic here.
However, all in all, I would thoroughly recommend you take at least one evening meal of your holiday up at the Kastro for the setting, the food and the views make the price one well worth paying. My only other recommendation would be that if like me on a warm evening you don't cope with the heat particularly well, splash out for a taxi to take you up to the top of the road and walk down to the restaurant rather than up from the harbour to arrive as a sweaty mess!
Sept 2007

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