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Tucked away in the cool of the Zappeion Gardens, which are part of the National Gardens, there's a handsomely restored open-air cinema dating back to 1903, the Aegli café and bar, and the Cibus restaurant. All three offer excellent opportunities to watch Athenian families, many with their children (often toting balloons), on their days off in the gardens. The Aegli bar and café often has a reasonably priced, frequently changing tasting menu for €25 and entrees on the set menu include that popular Greek favorite, keftedes, as well as more adventurous dishes such as grilled fish with a vegetable fricassee. The Cibus restaurant is considerably more upmarket, as is to be expected in a place that offers foie gras, oysters, tenderloin with ginger-and-coffee sauce, profiteroles, fresh sorbets, strawberry soup, and delicious yogurt crème brûlée. Some English and American friends have told me that they felt that the locals got better service than they did here, which is hardly surprising, if unwelcome nonetheless. On the other hand, I can nurse a coffee and some profiteroles at the Aiegli café over a long afternoon without any attempt by the staff to get me to pay up and free the table.