Nostos – Greek Restaurant Brighton
Love is imbued into the very fabric of Nostos and you feel it from the moment you walk in. It has a warm, friendly, open layout that immediately welcomes you; crisp, clean lines and chilled vibes come together to create an elegant space that is perfect for a family get together, or indeed an intimate dinner.
It is Greek food but not as you know it.
In Greek mythology, the term ‘Nostos’ refers to the hero’s return journey and this idea of going back speaks to reverence for tradition that inspires the love you feel when eating at Nostos. The ethos here is a connection to family roots and bringing those roots into a modern setting.
Where Modern meets Tradition
To create the modern feel, the décor has been conscientiously created from recycled materials and cruelty free resources with gentle nods to the heritage that makes up Nostos’s foundations. The suppliers are specially selected for the authenticity and excellence of their ingredients, whether that be in Greece or locally, and this attention to detail is evident in the quality that is served in each dish.
The menu embraces the Nostos ethos of traditional modern by moving away from the idea of Greek food as merely a takeaway option and back to the roots of Greek cooking, where all the food was made in communal ovens by the family matriarchs. You will find a plethora vegan and vegetarian options on the menu and ample portion sizes by design.
This is how you eat Greek food.
You can very easily come to Nostos for a selection of the starters and sides and feel like you have been on a culinary journey through the Greek islands. The menu is a thoughtful selection of dishes reflecting the culinary breadth of Greece with complementing wines to match. To accompany our meal, we tasted the Thema Pavlidis, a well-balanced red from the Drama region of Northern Greece.
The Journey Begins
Our starters were the Santorini Octopus and Feta Nest (this is technically a side but who can resist?). The octopus has been perfectly prepared and is of exceptional quality, it is tender but with bite and beautifully paired with the fava bean puree, with each mouthful you could sitting in a seafront restaurant watching the sunset over Santorini island.
The first thing you notice about the feta nests is how they fill the senses with aromatics, the combination of honey, sesame and fresh chilli is sweet and inviting. The pastry wrapped around the feta is light yet crunchy (a feat of skill and care) and the cheese is exactly how it should be – salty and creamy. It all combines to create a gastronomic thrill on the palette.
For our mains, we chose the Kleftiko and the Yemista, with the Ntakos salad on the side.
Any of these dishes are a treat on their own but together they were a feast.
One bite of the Kleftiko gave forth the sentence, ‘I think I’ve been here before, but in a dream.’ The lamb fell off the bone and was cooked so expertly that it was smooth and delicate in texture, the bed of sweet potato puree was indeed like velvet and the gravy was rich and meaty.
The vegan Yemista was a smorgasbord of flavour, minty aromatics much like the base for dolmades, but with the added flavour and textures of pinenuts, raisins and the sweet smokiness of roasted peppers and tomatoes. There are roasted potatoes in the Yemista that have been cooked like nothing I’ve ever tasted before and will happily eat again.
The vegetarian Ntakos salad is a Cretan tradition made of crunchy, olive oil softened barley rusks topped with fresh tomatoes and feta cheese and it is spectacular. The addition of capers, olives and purslane adding more layers of flavour to this beautiful, simple dish.
For dessert, the chef created a dark chocolate truffle fondant with chestnut puree, hazelnut moose and edible balls of orange gelatin. It was an impeccably balanced indulgence, the velvet smoothness of the fondant with the autumnal flavours of chestnut and hazelnut and bursts of orange. It was rich, extravagant and perfect for sharing.
Made With Love
I am not exaggerating when I say the food at Nostos is almost too beautiful to be described with words…
…I don’t want to write about it, I simply want to eat it and based on what we tried during our evening at Nostos, I know each dish on the menu will be just as exceptional. Every so often you meet a restaurant that gets everything right, and for me, Nostos is that restaurant. From the food to the décor to the attentive staff, Nostos approaches each element with the same passion, knowledge and charm. Nostos is a relative newcomer to the Brighton restaurant scene, but it is already reframing the conversation about Greek food and I can see it becoming a firm local favourite. People of Brighton and Hove, go and eat at Nostos, you’d be a fool not to.