The beachfront at Balos, a lagoon at the foot of the Platiskinos mountain range about 35 miles outside of Chania Tom Parker‘Cretan food is so simple. Marianna grew up gutting fish and waiting tables at the family’s taverna outside Chania, the surprisingly metropolitan capital of western Crete. An irreverent perfectionist, he embodies the generosity of spirit that is as essential to the local identity as olive oil and tsikoudia, the fiery eau-de-vie-like brandy downed at every opportunity. Order fish and chips, Cretan-style: whole grilled cod, chunky chips fried in olive oil and the crunchy, colourful house salad. +30 28210 43300Oinopoieio ouzeri in Chania Tom ParkerOFF-GRID KITCHENSEMILIA’SA winding drive up to the high-altitude hamlet of Zourva, in the foothills of the White Mountains, leads to this lovely lunch spot with wraparound mountain views.