One of my favourite expressions used often and exclusively in Messinia when greeting a friend or even an acquaintance is “Μάνα μου”, “Μανούλα μου”, “Μαναμ” which literally means “My Mom”, “My Mummy” and one could compare it to a lesser endearing “Hey man” used in English speaking countries and quite different to how it is used in other mediterranean countries where the word Mather (Madre mia or Mamma mia) is often used an an exclamation of various kinds of emotions such as surprise, fear, rejection or joy.
It is so very cute to use it and to hear it, specially when you hear this phrase being used by men.
So when I learned that there a food place which opened in Kalamata with this very name I have found it a very clever and homy idea and I did not have to double guess what kind of cuisine it offers.… soon enough, as I was on some errands in Kalamata, I just walked into the place which at that moment was being set up for the afternoon opening. I have learned a few things right there by chatting to the manager and then some days later by talking to the owner. This tsopaniko (shepherd) food bar, as they call it, works as a restaurant with traditional dishes made of local products brought from the surrounding villages with some gourmet twists from time to time (or from plate to plate ;)……) … and till late hours (3-4 a.m.) as a bar with chill out or remixed old Greek songs… Sometimes you can catch live music performances at the main space of Manam with Greek traditional tunes and melodies…
It is also a great place “to take back home” with you in a form of signature products such as wine, olives, preserves, sea salt etc…It is definitely on my list of top places if you seek to experience the vibe of Kalamata and the rural environment which surrounds it.