Dinner in the Sky – A Rare View of the Acropolis

You are in Athens, and you are ready for something new in the city that prides itself on its ancient heritage. You come out of the Kerameikos metro stop, and immediately you ​see the crane.

You walk up and are offered a beverage, perhaps an ouzo for courage.

You see the platform, with 22 seats jutting out.

You are led to your seat and are strapped in, with almost enough straps for a Formula 1 race car.

The crane gets in gear and the ascent with the exuberant strains of Coldplay’s Sky Full of Stars is amazing, perhaps unlike any other experience. I recently did a bungee jump, also hoisted by a crane, but knowing no jumping was involved Dinner in the Sky was far more relaxing.

The glee of those first minutes was akin to the initial climb on a roller coaster, equal parts anticipation and uncertainty.

But of course there is no acceleration.

The city expands below and around you, the horizon stretches further away and you get higher.

The platform gently rotates, allowing everyone a 360 view of Athens. As the Acropolis slowly spins into view, for the first time you appreciate its vast dimensions. Most perspectives capture one or another facade, but the view from above the Technopolis region is unique as you gaze upon two sides of the Parthenon.

Acropolis on the horizon.

As each course of the meal is set in front of you, the sun is setting and the lights of the metropolis below you start to twinkle.

Throughout the evening people of course are steadily reaching for their mobile phones, it is apparently the only way these days to ensure the experience is really happening. (I admit to Face Timing my sister, which I think is about the second time I have done so since the technology was launched).

The proprietors of Dinner in the Sky helpfully provide social media guidance, an astute marketing move, with stickers of handles at each seat.

Each of the five courses arrives magically, prepared by one of the three service staff.

For starters, the tasty fava bean puree features a black olive tuile, tomato confit and vinsanto glazed onion jam. The cherry tomato salad is a twist on the classic Greek salad, by adding cucumber spaghetti and yellow pepper mint-chive dressing. The ouzo cured salmon is served raw and cold, and is especially flavorful accompanied by baby beets, bitter lemon oil and “sourdough soil.” The latter are crispy crumbs sprinkled at the edges of the colorful concoction. A very nice slow cooked beef tenderloin is paired with oak smoked white eggplant.

At about the same time as the Karydoptia dessert arrives the Parthenon lights up and all is well in the world. You aren’t sure whether to pay attention to the five spice salted caramel fudge concoction or the skyline.

Our host advised that 111 countries have been represented at the Athens Dinner in the Sky.

On balance, as the platform makes its eventual descent, you realize the original architects never expected the Parthenon to be lighted, nor did they expect it be viewed from the sky.

Fortunately the stunning visuals do not diminish the culinary experience. We felt like the stars in the sky.




Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.