1 Bridge St. Irvington, NY 914-231-7854
No sooner had the Day Boat Cafe near Irvington’s waterfront drifted away with the tide than another smart looking vessel took its slip. MP Taverna is the creation of Michael Psilakis, a Greek chef who has been creating waves in recent years with what he calls modern Greek cuisine. He also owns Kefi and Fishtag on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, plus two additional locations of MP Taverna in Roslyn and Astoria. The new setting is pleasant though not very original. The spacious main dining room has the mood of a steakhouse, with dark wood walls, high beamed ceilings, theatrical overhead lighting, and high-backed banquettes in cocoa-shaded patterns.
The cheery bar at the restaurant's entrance has already been scoped out by the village happy hour crew. With a black-and-white tile floor, long faux marble bar, tall tables, and wooden-slat window shades, it is more suitable to the restaurant’s theme.
As interpreted here, contemporary Greek fare involves a lot of grilling and greenery, with intense flavors that are more sweet than spicy. One example is the golden-fried chunks of cod set over the kind of fresh tomato sauce found only in August. It comes out in a small cast-iron pan with garlic-rubbed country bread. Another not to miss dish is the charred octopus-and-chickpea salad. Most of the seafood and meats are grilled. And there are numerous lightened up classics, like the pastisio (Greek lasagna).
The wine list appears to be a work in progress but you can expect to find some delightful surprises among Greek producers. As it was only their second evening in business at the time of our visit, servers had little to do but appear efficient. At this they excel. -Bryan MillerHours: Lunch: Mon-Fri: noon-3 p.m.; Dinner: Sun-Th: 3-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 3-11 p.m.; Brunch: Sat-Sun: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Credit cards: Accepted