What to do with a cookbook disguised as a novel? This tasty oddity from Greek chef and playwright Staikos offers palate pleasers of all kinds, but the main story (two men try to win over the same woman with comestible come-ons) offers more as a concept than it does on the page. Dimitris and Damocles are neighbors whose balconies face each other. Their first contact reveals to the latter that the former is not only involved with his woman, but preparing for her the very same parsley salad that he concocts. Nana is a married woman in love only with the meals her paramour du jour has set before her. As the men become acquainted, Damocles’s knowledge about the situation becomes too painful to keep to himself, but making Dimitris the wiser sets in motion an anguished competition in which they try to outwit each other. Failing that, each confronts Nana with what he knows, only to be told by her that she will break off with his rival—after a respectful interval. In the end, by now fast friends and deeper in love with the duplicitous Nana than ever, the men decide to place their fate on competing plates of moussaka: winner of Nana’s palate take all.
If the ménage seems too harebrained and frivolous, try the rabbit stew with some rocket salad.