For those who love fresh fish and seafood, there is no secret that "Roulis", in the Nafplio-Nea Kios coastal road, is one of the best fish taverns in Argolis. Once you eat here, it becomes your favorite spot for fish and seafood meze, every season of the year.
On a weekday afternoon, I arrive at the coastal area of Nea Kios, a five-minute drive from Nafplio, and go to Roulis to meet the owner, Mr. Christos Fasoulis. As I see him in the kitchen organizing the meals for the groups that are expected in the evening, I give him some time and take mine, to observe this beautiful taverna.
Full of light, sea and Greek colors
In an exceptional location facing the sea, you can easily spot it, not only from its external sign, but mainly from the parked cars outside. When you enter, this fish tavern shouts "Greece" wherever you look! A large and bright space, surrounded by windows that let the eye "travel" to the natural beauties of the land of Argolis. Its tables are dressed with tablecloths featuring little fish, white and blue chairs adorned with soft cushions, and on the ceiling above them, lamps in the shape of a fishing lanterns. In the background, a wall decorated with pebble stones and traveling ships, small and big...
Christos finds a little time and we sit at one of the front tables overlooking the sea, with Nafplio in the background looking like a painting. Raised in his father's ouzeri -Mr. Roulis- in the public market of Argos and then after, here in Nea Kios, Christos learned from a young age what fresh fish and proper service mean, and since 2016, when he took over the business, he remains faithful to everything he learned. Christos isn't fond of big words -I don't blame him. After all, his shop speaks for itself and is praised by all who visit it, Greeks and foreigners, permanent residents of Nafplio and Argos and passing tourists.
"What shall we eat here?" I ask him and his answer comes in clear cut words: "Fresh fish, local fish, that's what you'll find here. When the weather doesn't permit, we don't have fish. That's it!".
Menu instructions for beginners
I take the Menu in my hands, to see more. It's beautiful, multilingual, with colors of Greece and a little fish enclosing the phrase "Roulis, since 1981." The variety of dishes is rich, a full Menu, that if you come here regularly, you don't even need to open it; just order your favorite dishes. However, if you come to Roulis for the first time, don't be confused, as the friendly staff will guide you correctly and suggest the best -even the right quantity, so you don't order more than you need.
If you have read or heard that at Roulis you will find the most delicious shrimp pasta you have ever eaten, yes, it's true. And it's not the only dish from Mama Maria that is irresistible, as the same applies to her delicious fish soup, the salted anchovy and the herring salad, which perfectly match with ouzo. Among the top choices, rightfully belong the exceptional barley-like pasta dish, the tasty fisherman's pasta, the delicious fried red mullet, the sardine (pilchard, fillet grilled or cooked), the fresh squid and the grilled octopus.
Fresh fish and seafood of your dreams
As we already stated out, when we talk about Roulis, we mainly mean fresh fish! Depending on the season and the catch, here you will find a sea of options: cuttlefish, mullet, cod, swordfish, red mullet, tuna, bream, sea bass, sole, conger eel, whitebait, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and various fried fish dishes.
You can choose from a variety of seafood, such as: grilled or boiled octopus with vinegar, boiled/fried/grilled/saganaki shrimp, fried/grilled/fresh/sliced calamari, fried or grilled cuttlefish, smoked trout with mayonnaise sauce, fried or grilled sea bream, scallops and squid.
Seafood lovers will not be disappointed, as your table will be filled with dishes of shrimp, lobster, scallops and mussels. And if you are particularly fond of mussels, you will find them cooked in many ways: steamed, steamed with spicy sauce, grilled with olive oil, lemon, garlic and mustard, fried and "saganaki" (cooked with cheese).
I know that I have whetted your appetite, and that at this moment you want nothing more than to sit with your friends and enjoy the delicious dishes of Roulis, but I cannot help also telling you about his appetizers, with flavors that compete with each other: fried zucchini, fried eggplant, zucchini balls, cod and octopus croquettes, saganaki and fresh fried potatoes. And since you will surely want to accompany your meal with a tasty salad, whichever one you choose among the large -here also- variety, be sure that it is made from pure local seasonal ingredients. Personally, I always accompany my fish with boiled greens, beets, and zucchini and when I find caper leaves, I never leave them.
But, can you really have fish and seafood appetizers without ouzo, tsipouro, or raki? Of course not! At Rouli's, you will find a long list of labels from local producers, so you can choose your own favorite with your friends.
It's getting dark, the tables are starting to fill up and the tavern gets more live and loud, it fills with clinks, smells, and tastes. Driving back to Nafplio, I'm thinking about what "a good fish taverna" really means: finding fresh fish, being served with a smile, sitting in a nice environment, seeing and tasting the sea; simply and honestly. And that is Roulis, in just two words: simple and honest...!
Did you know that?
You can sit here to enjoy a rich and satisfying meal, or simply to drink your ouzo accompanied by delicious meze or a tasty variety.
In the end, you will be treated to a spoon sweet, ice cream, halva or whatever delicious dessert has been prepared in the kitchen that day.
If someone in the group doesn't like fish, there are also meat options (meatballs, chicken schnitzel) or pasta with red sauce -a delicious recipe of their own.
The prices are value for money, with options for every budget.
Take Away, Music, Wi-Fi
During the winter (except holidays), it is mainly open on Friday and weekends
Closed on Easter Sunday.
Every day: 12:00 to midnight