Cretan Village Festival in Philhellene

Visit the Greek restaurant for an evening of traditional dishes, wine and beer from the island of Crete, hosted by well-known food writer Sofia Levin.

John and Susie Rerakis have been serving up Greek food in Melbourne for almost three decades: first at Pireaus Blues, a restaurant they opened in Fitzroy in 1995, and now via Philhellene in Moonee Ponds, which has been drawing crowds since 2008.

There is a strong Cretan influence on the menu, reflecting their family background and the warmth of the island. John is also a great gardener and grows many of the produce used in the restaurant’s kitchen.

Traditional Melbourne flavors and seasonal produce meet at the Cretan Village Feast, a one-off special dinner presented by Melbourne Food Magazine Experienced traveler (Founder and 3AW food critic Sofia Levin is a regular leaflet contributor).

On the evening menu: silver beet dolmades; Stuffed courgette flowers; Truffle cheese made from sheep’s milk; Yemista (baked vegetables stuffed with rice); Horta (blanched amaranth in olive oil); squid risotto; Roast Goat with Araka (peas and beans in tomato sauce); figs baked in cognac with halva ice cream; loukamades with honey; and more

The recipes for the dishes were passed down by the family and Levin will join the couple for a quick Q&A about Melbourne’s burgeoning Greek food scene. There is live music (including Cretan lyre and lute) and Cretan wine and beer.

Tickets are $95 and include the set menu, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and live entertainment. There are diet options for vegans and vegetarians.

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