Born and raised on Schinoussa island, Antonis Kovaios came to Athens when he was 12 years old, returning to Schinoussa every year for holidays. After opening a successful beach bar in 1995 on Schinoussa, Antonis expanded his culinary dreams into Athens, and in 2005 opened Mikres Kyklades (Small Cyclades) in Ilioupoli. Culinary Backstreets tells Antonis’ story of how he incorporated his island upbringing to his Small Cyclades-inspired taverna in the city.
“Just like the seafood tavernas on the islands, Mikres Kyklades
is small, warm and simple. Besides the white tablecloths (you’ll find disposable table covers at most island tavernas), the only other sign that you’re not on an island is the restaurant’s location on a quiet, residential street – nowhere near the sea.”
“Antonis is almost always there, with an islander’s smile on his face and a permanent suntan, making sure everything runs smoothly. In the kitchen, you’ll find Stavros Spanelis in charge; another inspired islander (this time from Lesvos), Stavros shares Antonis’s obsession with high-quality and fresh ingredients.”
Photo Credit: Culinary Backstreets