AYIOS YIANNIS, MYKONOS, GREECE – Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, has recently completed a new restaurant destined to be the centrepiece of its culinary offering. Called Nama after the exquisite, sweet wine which is so deeply rooted in the Greek Orthodox tradition that the word has come to mean ‘a gift from God’, it brings together gastronomy based on fine Greek products and delectable wines, breath taking views across the Aegean Sea towards the sacred island of Delos and the pure design of the restaurant itself which offers a seamless play of indoors and out.
Nama has been created in a space that looks towards the sea and is slightly elevated above the hotel’s 500 sqm pool to which the restaurant opens out. For the designer, Maria Vafiadis of MKV Design, the location enabled her to create the exclusive magic she was seeking. “The design is a response to the land and seascape, the climate and the light,” she explains. “It is intentionally simple. During daylight hours, it’s all about the view – especially as the sun sets – and as darkness descends and the view disappears, it’s about closing down to the more immediate environment with the interiors become a shimmering reflection in the pool. By night, the ambience is very romantic.”
Nama is roomy, allowing for the generous spacing of tables inside and extensive al fresco dining, all with a front row seat. Thanks to the elevated position, every table, inside and out, offers views of the pool and the panorama beyond. In effect, the indoor restaurant is a series of three distinctive zones, each with their own purpose and with a wide opening towards the pool and sea so while the interior offers shelter from the hot summer sun, there is essentially no division between inside and out. The zones are a show kitchen with a chef’s table which may be reserved for extra special occasions, the main dining room and a bar area with a double-sided bar, half inside and half poolside. The pool area is furnished much as indoors, with comfortable sofas, dining tables and chairs, as well as sun loungers. There is also a Wine Cellar with a wide range of excellent Greek and international wines, a double-height space which rises to form the backdrop to the restaurant.
The interior zones are partially separated by perforated brick screens which allow light to filter through and cast dappled shade, materials are natural and the island’s traditional colour palette of white and blue is subtly layered with tones of deep and pale blue, referencing the hues of the sky and the pool.
Nama Restaurant’s Mykonian Executive Chef, Dimitris Xidakis, is particularly excited with the new menu and its provenance. Regional products and dishes that are both light and creative characterise the delicacies. The cuisine focuses on taking a contemporary approach towards making classic Greek dishes more sophisticated. Herbs from the hotel garden and fresh seafood feature widely, underlining the quality of the selected ingredients.
When the Mykonos Grand re-opens in spring 2021, Nama will serve breakfast (a combination of a la carte and buffet), lunch and dinner a la carte. The Bar will offer a number of signature cocktails by the resort mixologists as well as a wide range of wines and fine spirits. Private cooking classes will be offered in the show kitchen together with wine tastings and private dining in the Wine Cellar.