Acclaimed Chef Christos Athanasiadis and partner of the wildly popular Nice n Easy Restaurant Group and co-founder/owner Dimitris Christoforidis have pioneered the organic farm-to-table movement in Greece offering sustainable, locally sourced ingredients from small farms across the country, often helping to fund and enhance agricultural production.
Owner Dimitris Christoforidis is one of the country’s most influential enthusiasts behind the organic farm-to-table movement in Greece. After living in the U.S. for 25 years, he returned to Greece at the onset of the economic crisis, and opened his first Nice-n-Easy restaurant in the posh Kolonaki neighborhood of Athens, inaugurating his progressive approach to the culinary arts. Chef and partner Christos Athanasiadis boasts an equally accomplished pedigree. With his extensive experience in five-star resorts across Greece and abroad, he has cemented his reputation as a pioneering innovator of upscale, modern Greek cuisine featuring bold, global accents. Together, they have since grown their business, while offering sustainable, locally sourced cuisine from small farms across the country, often helping to fund and enhance agricultural production.
For many years, I have followed, walked alongside and dined with these two who are now like family to me. With an extensive hospitality experience from five-star resorts, lounges and restaurants in Greece and abroad that have cemented their positions as trailblazers of modern Greek cuisine, my darling Chef Christos Athanasiadis and Dimitris Christoforidis have placed an emphasis on eating locally grown food at the forefront of every recipe in an organic, unpretentious ambiance. Their restaurants offer sourced ingredients, nutritional value and calorie measurements listed on the menus with a selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
An esteemed portfolio of successful organic restaurants, Nice-n-Easy Restaurant Group includes Nice-n-Easy Mykonos in Little Venice, a new, adjacent organic grill restaurant called Spala, the upscale Nesaea serving creative contemporary Greek island cuisine on Agia Anna Beach at Kalafatis, Nice-n-Easy restaurants in Athens in Kolonaki and Kifisia, as well as Frankie, a new Italian bistro in Kolonaki. The company also owns and operates Exquisite Catering, the leading catering service on Mykonos. The company will also launch Nice-n-Easy Seaside, opening in May at the iconic Astir Beach on the Athens Rivera as well as the second summer season of the multi-experience beachfront oasis SantAnna in Mykonos which will launch in May with expanded dining choices. Their stellar reputation has garnered a loyal following of clientele ranging from Hollywood A-listers to global dignitaries to international influencers and jetsetters.
While each of Nice-n-Easy’s outposts differ by location, whether it be the buzzing Athenian neighborhoods of Kolonaki or Kifisia, or the Cycladic wild child of Mykonos, each hold the DNA of the brand— a conscious approach to supporting sustainable, wholesome, biological cuisine sourced from regional farmers and producers— the hallmark of founders Dimitris Christoforidis and Christos Athanasiades.
As the season starts with a kick off of the best bikini bodies prepping to debut this summer, planning where to eat healthy should start now more than ever with our round up of where to food hop when in Athens and Mykonos. So, in addition to your must-eat favorite Nice n Easy spots in Athens and Mykonos, here's the scoop on the Group's latest spots to savor that's already cooking up a buzz in the media and social scenes:
FRANKIE - KOLONAKI, ATHENS
Restaurant entrepreneurs Dimitris Christoforidis and Chef Christos Athanasiadis philosophy behind this new restaurant is rooted in bringing together Italian and Greek hospitality together - offering Italian flavors in a traditional setting, creating a home dining experience and continuing to provide the freshest ingredients and great table service the group is recognized for. Rustic and traditional in style but daring in flavor and presentation, the venue’s coziness is a nod to the group’s New York-style vibe à la Frank Sinatra.
Frankie is located inside an historical mid-century building honing its original character and structure while keeping the decor clean and fresh with earthy tones and materials such as marble, wood and stone - it's as glam as it gets without feeling pretentious.
Dedicated to sustainable and environmentally conscious cuisine, the restauranteurs find the best producers in Italy and Greece and features a Sicily-inspired flair for old-word recipes, authentic delights and signature dishes with the group's authoritative interpretations of classic and farm-to-table dishes perfectly homemade and hand-crafted.
"The relentless pursuit of the alternative, the qualitative, the substantial way of living, led us to a journey filled with flavors, aromas, sounds and images that we felt the need to share with you,” stated Christoforidis and Athanasiadis, owners of Nice n Easy Restaurant Group. "Thus, we created a place full of experience we gathered throughout our journey and we welcome you in it with a mood as friendly and relaxing as our name."
SANTANNA MYKONOS - PARAGA BEACH, MYKONOS
When the Cycladic wild child launched last summer, entrepreneur Dimitris Christoforidis, genius visionary behind Greece’s acclaimed Nice n Easy Restaurant Group, along with Chef and partner Christos Athanasiadis as well as a group of influential investors didn't stop infusing their first-in-class approach to hospitality at this multi-million dollar resort beach club. Primed for a May 15th launch, the island’s newest luxury destination beach club, SantAnna, will feature premium upgrades, including a new design aesthetic ensuring plenty of spaces for guests to explore and dine, whether for privacy or relaxation. A true, day-to-night experience, the welcoming philosophy of the owners is to create a space that immediately feels like home, and a place to return to again and again.
Located within the cosmopolitan heart of the famed summer island retreat, this stylish ‘destination within a destination’ – where like-minded souls unite – offers guests the ultimate in resort style living with a range of activities and experiences to enjoy – including light bites to full dining experiences – to carry them through calming, restorative days into uplifting, Champagne-infused evenings.
Celebrated for a uniquely authentic approach, each of SantAnna’s three restaurants offer organic and sustainably sourced local ingredients. The menus are inspired by local products, packed with flavor due to the close proximity of saltwater sea and nutrient-rich volcanic soil.
Many new experiences and amenities will open at SantAnna this year including The Beach Tavern, a 80-seat dining venue, be located within the equally new Garden, where guests will enjoy unpretentious luxury at its finest; shoes are not required. Gypsets will revel in lounging on refined, white-washed furniture made from reclaimed wood, or sitting right on the sand. Conveniently arranged tables will pepper the beach and pool areas – in a comfortable, laid back atmosphere – for guests to enjoy small plates or ‘meze’ style (sharing dishes), featuring fresh, simple food from a deliciously creative menu.
“The concept is to have something light, authentic and share with your friends with a glass of wine and continue your beach experience,” said owner/founder Dimitris Christoforidis. “With so many areas to relax in, guests tend to spend the entire day, so The Beach Tavern and Garden will fuel that desire. Our small plate menu is perfect for lounging around with drinks before heading into The SantAnna Restaurant later in the afternoon.”
A new elevated dining experience this experience will welcome guests at The SantAnna Restaurant, offering a more personalized approach to dining, while staying true to its Greek roots and ethos. The focus is on an interactive menu, tableside preparation, personal chef encounters, and wonderful details such as a small olive tree brought to the guest’s table with cured olives ready to pick and eat. Design and décor has been updated as well, and overwater hammocks line the edge of The SantAnna Restaurant, offering a reviving and relaxing experience, allowing guests to indulge in a carefree swim before sitting back to lounge directly above the glistening waters of the swimming pool.
SantAnna has expanded its Greek and international wine and aged Champagne collection, and four bars serve an extensive modern cocktail menu, while a new Cigar and Shisha Lounge promises a wide range of choice Cuban and Dominican cigars as well as a hand-selected array of shisha available in various flavors. For the health conscious, there will be a juice bar and a wide selection of “super food” offerings. A Sushi and Raw Bar will also be returning, featuring inventive combinations of Asian delicacies highlighting fresh local seafood to be paired with a top-shelf sake list.
The epicenter of the destination is the largest beachfront swimming pool in Europe (more than 22,600 square feet), where guests may also enjoy its signature Private Islands – the largest of which even boasts its very own submerged apartment with an underwater window facing into the swimming pool, shower and bathroom, and sleeping quarters, perfect for daytime naps, especially after dining.
SantAnna is situated in the enviable location of Paranga Beach on the southern coast of the island, keeping it well protected from Mykonos’s legendary gusty winds.
More on SantAnna coming soon, but book now at SantannaMykonos.com
NICE N EASY SEASIDE - ASTIR BEACH, ATHENS RIVIERA
Globally recognized organic restaurant visionaries, Athens-based Nice-n-Easy Group, will expand this summer in the Greek capital’s most iconic location, Astir Beach, with the May 2018 debut of Nice-n-Easy Seaside.
Located 30-minutes from the city center, the ‘destination within a destination,’ Astir is the epicenter of the Athens Riviera, a playground for the Athenian and international elite, and fans of the sustainability brand will have a new outpost to frequent, unique to its counterparts. Highly anticipated, when it reopens this summer, the open, beachy digs will be a waterfront enclave for the city’s residents and visitors alike and Nice--Easy Seaside will continue this foodie philosophy approach and offer a menu of elevated Mediterranean fare in an entirely re-imagined seaside setting, along the quarter mile golden crest of sand of famed Lemos peninsula.
Astir and Nice-n-Easy have spared nothing in the new concept, which will quickly become the hottest gathering spot in Athens, and the new, highly designed space will even feature exclusive menu items inspired by its environs. The pine-decked peninsula, the ancient Temple of Apollo Zoster, the crystalline waters of the Saronic Gulf, the brilliant beachside setting and the memorable sunsets—each illuminate the offerings created for its guests.
Chef Christos Athanasiades’s menu calls upon his virtuous interpretations of popular beach dishes, Nice-n-Easy namesake classics, a sushi bar and evolving fresh fish and seafood menu. His highly-sourced, highly-fresh philosophy integrates well with decadent menu items such as seabass carpaccio, homemade lobster pasta, steak tartare, andother dishes including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, ensuring diners a complex, luxurious experience.
As a spectator’s haven, pulling up in yachts to dine here or at Astir’s nearby marina, will add to the swanky allure of weekend brunch scenes, where a sophisticated cuisine philosophy will be served. Exclusive to Astir Beach will be a selection of the highest-grade meats smoked for more than 24-hours in reclaimed pinewood from the peninsula, infusing a holistic and clean flavor to the palate.
Modern cocktailing will showcase Greek, herbal-infused libations, small production domestic craft beers as well as non-alcoholic concoctions and organic juices, while an extensive wine list soars into the hundreds with an international rosé and Champagne selection punctuated by hard-to-find and one-off vintages. Greek wines highlight the extremely limited production, Gaia Estate Thalassitis Submerged, a 100% Assyrtiko wine from Santorini, which is aged beneath the Aegean Sea for five years. The restaurant’s signature cocktail – Star of Astir – uses pine syrup harvested in the region mixed with gin and other natural botanicals resulting in an herbaceous, refreshing blend.
The previously existing space at Astir Beach will be totally rebuilt to house Nice-n-Easy Seaside and new features this season, highlighting décor that harmoniously combines a contemporary beach experience with classic 1960s architecture, accented by a distinctly elegant touch of Athenian soul.
Nice-n-Easy Seaside will be open daily from 8am to 1am. Yacht catering and special events such as weddings are also available. More on this restaurant upon opening but advance reservations are recommended so email firstname.lastname@example.org.