I love Restaurant Week, be it in New York City or the Hudson Valley. I think it is a great opportunity to try out new establishments, new dishes, and find your new favorite restaurant. It can be an opportunity to see if some of the pricier establishments are worth the money, or realize what great deserts a place has since its already included in the price of your meal. I know that some times, these promotions are not always financially lucrative for the restaurant or its staff, however I like to believe that the good ones receive good reviews, increased word of mouth, and increase in customers from these events. Well, it is Westchester Wednesday again and today I’m going to fill you in on my recent experience with Dart Girl at the Irvington location of MP Taverna.
MP Taverna is actually one of Chef Michael Psilakis’ many restaurants. He owns Fishtag on the Upper East Side, Kefi on the Upper West Side (where the Doc and I use to eat at often when she lived in the city), and MP Taverna in three locations – Roslyn, NY, Astoria, NY, and Westchester County’s own, Irvington. Located steps away from Irvington’s Metro North station, the spacious establishment offers local suburbanites a taste of Psilakis’ Greek inspired dishes, from meze to dessert and everything in between. I have been to MP Taverna many times, however, this review is about our recent restaurant week outing last Friday night.
Dart Girl and I had a 7pm reservation, and it was a good thing we did! I have never seen the restaurant so busy! Granted, I usually stick to week night visits but even still, the place was bustling. Dart Girl and I had both scoped out the menu online before arriving so we had an idea what we wanted but still perused both the full menu and the restaurant week menu. Dart Girl picked out a few things she might want to try from the main menu, if restaurant week’s performance turned out to be a win for her. I do have to say, MP Taverna has a nice selection for restaurant week; there are four mezes, four entrees, and two dessert selections. They also offered “add-on” for sharing such as Octopus with Chickpea Salad, which I’d love for Peilin over at Delicious Food Chronicles of a New Yorker to give her two cents about (She recently did an impromptu octopus ranking on her blog you can read about HERE) and a wine pairing which I thought was a nice touch.
Dart Girl chose her meze to be the Cavatelli with Stewed Rabbit, Tomato, Cinnamon, and Smoked Graviera Cheese. I went with the Mushroom Risotto with Truffled Pecorino Romano, Farm Egg, and Cracked Pepper. Dart Girl was a little apprehensive about the rabbit. She had never had rabbit before, but I convinced her it tasted like dark meat chicken (which I think is a good comparison) and she agreed. She loved it. My mushroom risotto was very tasty. The mushrooms were slightly chewy, but the dish overall was flavorful which compensated for any texture issues. I forgot to get pictures when our dishes arrived, but here are the last few bites left of my risotto.
For our entrees, Dart Girl went with the Scallop and Prawn Risotto with Yellow Tomatoes and Three Cheeses while I opted to be a good catholic on a Friday during Lent and enjoyed the Whole Grilled Local Trout with a Warm Salad of Roasted Peppers, Tomato, and Roasted Herbs as did the young couple sitting at the table next to us. They also order the same mezes as us, which I observed as all our mezes arrived just minutes apart. Our entrees however, took a little longer arriving to the table than those of our neighbors. In fact, they were almost done by the time ours arrived, and I will say, the arrival of our entrees were not that impressive.
Dart Girl was not pleased with her risotto. Although the seafood was cooked well, the risotto was not enjoyable to her. I took a forkful to try, and understood what she meant. I believe the source of the issue was the three cheese they used; they made the risotto almost sour tasting. We were going to inquire with our server but she wasn’t around and when she finally did return, our need for refills out weighted our curiosity about the cheese. Dart Girl would have been much happier if her meze had been her entree option. My trout was ok. It was tender but did not have much flavor. I thought the peppers would give it a little flare, but it was a relatively uninspiring dish. (and Dart Girl didn’t like that my dinner came with a face that stared at her).
For dessert, we had the option of Greek Yogurt with Fruit, Honey and Seeds or a Halva Brownie with Tahini Anglaise and Sesame Ice Cream. We both opted for the Brownie option. It didn’t come with Sesame Ice Cream, we got Vanilla. Not sure if this was an oversight or if they were just out of Sesame. We both enjoyed the brownie, but again, there was nothing remarkably special about the pastry.
Overall, both the service and the food, were an underwhelming experience on this visit.
If you want to test our MP Taverna for yourself, visit the Irvington location at One Bridge Street, Irvington, NY 10533 or call 914-231-7854 for a reservation.