There seem to be a lot of new Mediterranean restaurants in the area, but one we enjoyed was MP Taverna in Irvington. They are located in the former site of the Day Boat Cafe on the Hudson side of the railroad tracks. The dining room has kept a similar look from previous incarnations (I definitely have been to at least three different restaurants there … hope it’s not one of those cursed locations), with a sleek, elegant style. And though we went on a crowded Friday night you could actually hear your dining companions. The restaurant has a good cocktail menu and we tried one infused with cucumber vodka and elderflower liquer that was really special.
Chef Michael Psilakis hails from New York City, where he created Anthos after operating other restaurants including Kefi on the Upper West Side. This is his first venture in Westchester and we welcome him to the burbs. The thoroughly Greek menu has lots of choices in the appetizer department including traditional dips with lovely warm pitas, salads and a variety of meze including meatballs, calamari, sausages, octopus, mussels, ribs and a few other choices. I highly recommend the meatballs which were delicious and very hearty (served with fresh tomatoes and olives) and although we didn’t have the octopus (every party has a pooper and that was me!), it comes highly recommended. The eggplant was an unusual presentation of sliced eggplant with separate tomatoes and seasonings that at first glance disappointed us -- but blended together for a great taste. The mussels were also a different kind of preparation with “gigantes” large beans. We weren’t sure the dish needed the beans but the sauce and the mussels were great. The “meze” dishes are filling and you could certainly make a dinner of those with some side salads… but try to save room and try at least one entree.
Onto main courses where we shared a fresh grilled dorade and the Greek paella, Psilakis’ The chef’s take on traditional paella was made with orzo and lamb sausage, -- and though it was a little soupy it was an interesting variation. Everything was prepared to order and although we had to wait awhile, it was worth it. The food is well-spiced and carefully prepared. Some of the other choices include a pork chop, a lamb shank, mixed grill and fish options. Prices are on the reasonable side with most appetizers costing from $8-12 and mains ranging from $15-22. There’s an extensive wine list that unlike many other places gives you lots of choices and price points; you can order by the glass, half glass, bottle and half bottle. And for beer drinkers, there are over 20 brands including craft beers and ales.
We were full but had to sample desserts since the waiter reported they are made on site. Opting for the parsnip walnut cake with ice cream, we were not disappointed. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience, were pleased to find an elegant restaurant with reasonable prices and plan to go back to MP Taverna soon.
1 Bridge Street