Despina and Costas, 44 Miles Restaurant, used to operate Duetto Restaurant on Filoti’s main drag, if you should look up their reviews you will get an inkling of how well known they are for serving up fantastic food and good service.
44 Miles Café/Restaurant is a paradise in the midst of a beautiful mountainous village, Filoti. At the square beneath the plane tree, look down the side street leading into the mountains, it seems. Walk the few metres into the breeze and you will have arrived at Giannakis Hotel. Step into the walkway beside it to smell the rosemary, and you will be ever so pleasantly surprised at what you see…welcome to 44 Miles.
Interestingly enough, the area from the hotel all the way down the hill was a beautiful garden named Paradise, or Paradeisos (Παρὰδεισος). The garden was built and lovingly maintained by the Giannakis family, and it stretched all the way down the hill. Now there are beautiful village homes where Paradise once was, except for this big garden café. Today, all the trees, flowers and herbs that remained is from that long ago Eden.
44 Miles is owned and operated by two beautifully gentle people, Despina and Costas. They embody the term gentle people; they are sweet and kind and very soothing to be around. On arrival you will be greeted with quiet “Kalimeras”, and on your second visit, with the friendly “Ya sas!”
Despina and Costas used to operate Duetto Restaurant on Filoti’s main drag, if you should look up their reviews you will get an inkling of how well known they are for serving up fantastic food and good service.
On entering the garden of 44 Miles, look to the tinkling fountain on the right, it takes up an entire wall made up of ancient Naxian rocks, with a soothing Aegean hued border. Evenings, an elaborate lighting system highlights the beauty of it all. The music of the quiet waterfall melds beautifully with the soft music always in the background.
The breeze is so soothing here, on hot days it is the only place in the village to get some reprieve from the heat. The mountain breeze wafts through the herbs and trees, caressing your sweltering skin with the mountain perfume of Filoti. In a few moments, iced coffee in hand, you will forget all about the heat of the day and just be soothed into another realm. By the way…they really do serve the best coffee (Marsali) on the island.
The Menu 44 Miles is constructed to please all, while showcasing the brilliance of Filoti grown foods. Tiny, golden yolk eggs from Despina’s chickens, mizithra cheese from the sheep and goats roaming the mountainsides. Mizithra is a fresh cheese, 10 times better than the best ricotta you have ever tasted, you can taste the mountain herbs and the sea breeze in this pure cream cheese. Tomatoes grown in the lush soil under the Greek sun, tomatoes of yore that has never been modified to suit shelf-life. You will eat tomatoes the day it is picked from the trees. All the vegetables are seasonal, if it is not in season, it will be unavailable on the menu but a seasonal vegetable will take its place. Wine and Raki from the grapes growing lushly everywhere, olive oil from the trees that has been here for a hundred years or more.
Despina’s food is delicious in the true sense of the word, traditional village food thoughtfully prepared and presented, her beef keftethes (Κεφτεδες), for example, are out of this world. Crisp fried without a flour-coating (gluten-free!) so the outside is seared to an umami deliciousness, the meat is well seasoned with local aromatics and herbs. One bite of a keftethe is heavenly and before you know it you have eaten 6 meatballs. Crisp, soft, juicy, herby, addictive.
44 Miles is a place to go to for breakfast anytime of the day, wake up and head down to fresh squeezed juices, yummy egg creations, bread baked by Costas, and the famous Naxos potatoes.
It is also the place to go to for midmorning snacks, or wine and salads, or full meals all day long, or drinks with family and friends. Night and day they are open (from 9am to past 1am). Try the beer plate, or the Raki mezes, try every single dish, enjoy the local wine and raki, Greek beers, and the large selection of liquor from around the world.
Costas keeps the garden looking beautiful, there is an art display in every corner, pesky bugs are kept away with an organic treatment that is actually good for the trees and shrubs.
I am rating this place a 10 out of 10. The place, the people, the food, their philosophy on life, and on local sustainability, the music all come together in one big beautiful harmony.
Despina and Costas, from Duetto to 44 Miles, Filoti, Naxos.
Filoti, Naxos, 84302
Check them out on:
And don’t forget to rate 44 Miles Restaurant on TripAdvisor and Google Reviews, they are so worth it.