Centrally located in the Greek capital, the first gastronomy boutique hotel in Athens focuses on elevating the accommodation experience it offers its guests.
“We really want to extend the spirit of The Gem Society hospitality through superb cuisine that is still accessible to everyone,” the hotel’s co-founder, Henry Gemayel, tells GTP Headlines.
Muse Bistro is among a new generation of “bistronomy” restaurants whose roots belong firmly in its diverse neighbourhood and Greek identity.
As soon as you enter Muse Bistro you feel the warm hospitality of the staff and begin to experience an inviting ambiance, all which is very much part of The Gem Society’s philosophy.
Having a strong personality, the bistro is open and friendly, something that is symbolically characterised through the hatch connecting indoors with outdoors, as well as an open-plan kitchen, intentionally designed to promote a feeling of togetherness and a passion for food and conviviality.
A ‘playful’ bistronomy menu
Muse Bistro prides itself on serving a “real and authentic” menu with a non-negotiable approach to the quality and freshness of the local produce it uses in its creations.
The menu of Muse Bistro is Greek but with an internationally-minded approach. Chef Themis Mintziras and his team created a “playful” menu that incorporates the best techniques and seasonal ingredients. This gave them the creative freedom to rework classic dishes from a whole new perspective.
One example of this is the watermelon gazpacho. Although Spanish in its origin, the chef has replaced the tomato with watermelon – a Greek summertime feature on every Mediterranean table during the summer months.
Muse Bistro is also very proud that everything on its menu is made in-house, like breads, stocks, sauces, bacon, jams, and the breakfast it offers to hotel guests.
“What we have seen since opening is our guests’ returning to us for their lunch and dinner due to the quality of Muse menu. Locals are always surprised, and come back often too,” Gemayel says, adding that his vision was to remove the “soulless reputation” hotel eateries often have.
In addition to the essential all-day-dining at a hotel, he wanted to offer a menu that ensured a fine-dining experience without the pretentiousness and prices often associated with elevated cuisine; and a food and beverage selection that is prepared with a lot of TLC (tender, love and care), that’s fun and that allows almost anyone, despite their dietary restrictions, to find something to their liking.
“Thus Muse Bistro was born,” Gemayel says with a smile.
The food: Ideal for discerning appetites
Muse Bistro’s Chef Themis tells us that the menu is based on the rich Greek flavours, with an international twist and modern techniques.
“My inspiration came from many dishes from childhood memories of cooking with my grandmother,” he says.
This inspiration he tells us about is obvious when tasting the zucchini involtini dish, an idea that came from “revisiting” the traditional dolmadakia and yalantzi. The flavors and the ingredients of the dishes are mainly based on the seasonality of ingredients in order to always get the best produce.
Muse Bistro’s menus can be accessed here.
The chef recommends…
For the morning: a sourdough peinirli fusioned with an avocado toast or a croque-Madame.
For lunch: other than the ‘usual suspect’ for the gourmands in the likes of Muse Bistro’s 100% Greek 100% homemade burger, highly recommended is the spanakopita salad, followed by linguine with fish roe from Messolonghi and an all-chocolate dessert.
For dinner: Muse Bistro’s ‘revisited’ Greek salad, a cockerel stifado with creamed corn purée, finishing with a kadaifi tart with mastiha-flavored Chantilly for example.
The Gem Society Hotel in general is guest-centric, offering a unique feel-at-home experience. Centrally located, The Gem Society is positioned in the hustle and bustle of Athens’ historic triangle and has all major cultural attractions in walking distance.
From the hotel, guests can take in the magnificence of historical sites like the Acropolis; wander the narrow, winding cobblestone streets of alluring Plaka; pick up the best kebab in town from lively Monastiraki; and stroll through the sensory treasures that are Psyri and Thissio.
The hotel also has a very interesting history too! The building that houses The Gem Society was built in 1932 and was originally home to a bank for more than half a century. Having undergone renovation, the buildings key features – such as original vault doors and a picture-perfect art deco staircase – have remained for guests to see and enjoy.
Visit the hotel’s website here: https://www.thegemsocietyhotel.com/