After reading reviews in both Westchester Magazine and The Journal News we decided a light dinner/happy hour with friends was a good ending to a long work day and the perfect reason to check out MP Taverna in Irvington. The MP stands for Michael Psilakis, recognized for not only his cooking (Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and Bon Appetit’s Chef of the Year) but also for his creative writing as his book How to Roast a Lamb won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Foreign Cuisine. We had to find out for ourselves what the buzz was all about.
Here is what we ate:
He says: The oysters were on the small side but one should expect that paying the $1.50 happy hour price for them. Size aside, the oysters were very good especially with the red wine like dipping sauce.
She says: I don’t usually go for the oysters because I’ve had some bad experiences with them, but these were a good treat. They were fresh and not too “fishy,” with a little hot sauce they really hit the spot.
Octopus and Chickpea Salad
She says: Our friend ordered this, but I had to sample it. It was delicious; the octopus cooked to perfection and the chickpea provided a nice accompaniment.
He says: Delicious, cooked to the perfect texture. The spinach and dried cherries on the side added a unique taste.
She says: Having grown up on a cherry farm in Michigan, I’m always thrilled to see cherries used in new ways. This didn’t disappoint! I usually give half my plate to the other half of Foodie Pleasure, but this time we were fighting for the last bite.
He says: Warm and comforting. Not usually a pasta fan, but this may change my mind!
She says: This was a hearty dish. The capers provided just the right amount of tartness to counteract the flavors of the other items.
He says: So good! Different from other baklava I’ve eaten. Could have eaten entire piece but decided to be unselfish and share.
She says: This is another one of those dishes that we could have fought over. While we don’t always order dessert, it seemed like a good idea at MP Taverna… and it was! This was like no other baklava that I’ve had; it was made of graham cracker-like layers and came with both whipped cream and iced cream.
She says: I needed a little pick-me-up at the end of our meal and this was just right! It took me back to the cafes of Athens, which I visited with friends a few years ago.
We had a great time at MP Taverna while sitting in the bright, relaxing bar area. We were hoping to see Chef Michael Psilakis but we’re sure he was extremely busy cooking up the hearty meals! We’ll definitely be back, and might try the patio or dining room next time. The location is great as the area around MP Taverna is near the Hudson River and is accessible by both car and Metro North. If you’re looking for fresh, hearty Greek fare in Irvington, this should be your go-to spot!