When Nikolas Theologitis opened the coffee house-cum-general store To Panorama at Tholaria in 1970, no one imagined that it would become one of the best-known tavernas in the Cyclades. Seeing the meat hanging from butcher hooks and farm-fresh vegetables in crates, the handful of foreign tourists visiting the island back then asked Nikolas and his wife Maria to cook various meze for them. That was how it all began. The coffee house’s patrons pushed the small general store to open new paths, and the combination of good food, hospitality, and Cycladic zest for living helped shape Panorama’s success. When Panorama was passed to the second generation of owners—Paraskevas and his wife Eleni—they preserved the traditional spirit but adapted it to modern lifestyles and tastes so that Panorama today attracts every visitor to the island. Top of the menu is the traditional patatato (meat and potatoes in a tomato sauce, all simmered together in a huge pot). This dish is served at weddings and folk festivals and while it may sound simple, it requires skill and experience to strike the right balance of flavors. Another outstanding dish is the Easter roast—lamb or goat stuffed with rice, browned intestines, and wild herbs. This dish is traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday, but served year-round at Panorama. Other menu staples are katsiki sti gastra (goat cooked slowly in a clay pot), kontosouvli and kokoretsi prepared by hand from scratch. On the poultry side, the signature dish is coq au vin served with pasta. Appetizers and salads also thrill the palate. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions are picked from the garden, and their flavor is set off by cheeses like Amorgos mizithra. Wild greens like amaranth or string beans used in various dishes are all grown by the family according to traditional cultivation methods. A stand-out dish is the Amorgos fava which though lesser-known than Santorini’s dried yellow split peas has been described as having a flavor that is “addictive”. The fava is from an plant species dubbed “katsouni” that is native to Amorgos and Irakleia. It is served simply, with finely chopped onion and a little fresh-squeezed lemon. Good food demands to be accompanied by fine wine—and the house offers a very good dry red and a dry white from the Theologitis family vineyard. Psimeni raki, or raki flavored with honey and wild herbs, is the perfect digestive for after the meal. Nikolas, who makes the tipple, heartily recommends it for its medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. The traditional sweet end to a meal is the rose preserves. All ingredients used in the dishes served at Panorama aren’t simply local—the vegetables are grown on the family’s land and the goats, lamb, pigs, and chickens are also bred by the family which relies on farming and herding to make a living in the off-season. The animals provide good meat but also milk for making mizithra and ladotyri cheeses. Farming is as important as stockbreeding and requires productive use of the land. Countless hours are spent among the vines to produce the wines and raki patrons enjoy at the taverna. Similar effort and energy is required to grow and thresh fava—a manual-intensive task usually performed by women using the stone hand mill. But the family’s pride is the kitchen garden that produces the tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplants used in the dishes. Their freshness ensures that these ingredients are tastier than those found in the shops. Good food goes hand-in-hand with good entertainment and Panorama offers live music at night—an excellent opportunity to hear traditional Amorgos and Cyclades songs performed by musicians on the violin and lute. It’s a communal affair so patrons are encouraged to join in.