In the heart of the Kapani market, Modigliani is the spot to sit and observe the city buzz. People move around hastily in search of fruits, rags, pans and other commodities. Some of them bother to come from faraway parts of the city to buy, for example, freshly ground coffee. I guess it’s their own idiosyncrasy. In this setting, you can watch the “play”, while served cold tsipouro with meze, just like a local. Tables are small, so never mind going alone with just a newspaper. Often, mostly in evenings, a folk music ensemble might keep you company.
Modigliani is decorated like a traditional kafenio (pl. kafenia) embellished with wall paintings, as a reference to the artist. Kafenio is more than what its name states, i.e. a place that serves coffee. It is an institution which has been preserved throughout the centuries till today. In the past, kafenia used to play a central role in the life of neighbourhoods. People went there to hear news, watch spectacles, get their mail or phone-calls. Men spent their time there talking about politics and playing cards. In modern times, some kafenia like Modigliani also appeal to young people, who prefer them for the inexpensive meals and drinks.
I frankly don’t know what to single out from Modigliani’s menu. All the ingredients come from local farms and brands and many of them, like pasta, cheese or cold cuts, are sold on the spot. What more is there to ask for?