Photography by Andre Baranowski
1 Bridge St, Irvington
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Michael Psilakis brings his accolades to Irvington’s MP Taverna
Appetizer trio of spreads with warm pita
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No chef has come to Westchester with as many accolades as Michael Psilakis. In one single year, 2007, Psilakis was named Chef of the Year by Esquire and awarded both Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and Bon Appétit’s Chef of the Year distinctions. His Manhattan Greek restaurant, Anthos (now closed), was nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of Best New Restaurant, and it was also awarded a Michelin star and named one of the 10 best new restaurants by the New York Times.
Psilakis’s second MP Taverna steps into the Irvington space that once held Restaurant One and, later, Day Boat Cafe, and sets about to do for Greek food what Mario Batali did for pizza and pasta. At MP Taverna, you won’t find any of the run-down, “k”-laden dishes of ubiquitous corner gyro joints, but reverent homages to Greece that employ excellent ingredients and a modern sensibility. Don’t miss fat chunks of barrel-aged feta dressed in Peloponnese olive oil and exotic mountain oregano. Or lush, mouth-filling yogurt dip paired with warm wedges of delicate pita, still smoky from the grill. While there are no duds on this menu, certain dishes are stars, like whole grilled dorade dressed with fragrant herbs, lemon, and oil. Also, expect surprisingly excellent cocktail and craft-beer menus to join a well-priced, Helas-focused wine list