Mighty Joe Young - Hartsdale
Passed an interesting looking restaurant - Mighty Joe Young - in Hartsdale yesterday. Can anyone pls tell me about this place- any good? what kind of food? price range?
I am not a fan of MJY's, although I did eat there quite a bit when it first opened years ago. This is a huge, muddled and overpriced place. They try hard with a mix of ethnic dishes, but I found were only successful with more basic dishes (steak). This is a great hang out with a lot of people and have drinks place, and it has an active bar scene. The menu is otherwise an eclectic mix of Asian, Caribbean, African, etc. flavors. I had poor service my last two times there, and that coupled with average food and a big bill and I said never again. Maybe things have improved over the past 18 mos to where they were when they started.
I totally agree with Shawn and Jared. Overpriced, mediocre, and not worth the money. In my opinion, 2 great places to eat in the Hartsdale area (off the top of my head) are Cafe Meze and Azuma Sushi. Both give you bang for your buck.
This thread and these posts go back to 2004, now we are here in 2007, a full three years later, -- and let me assure the readers that there can be comfort in consistency. Some things stay the same, and that includes Mighty Joe Young in Hartsdale, NY.
It remains delightfully mediocre to just simply bad, overpriced, but with a quite incredible bar scene on a Friday night -- and it was still early and daylight. The new chef that someone mentions in their post would improve the place must since have left. Also, if you've never been there, about the atmosphere and clientele, -- think that restaurant at the Animal Kingdom, the one where they require reservations, but without character actors like Chip and Dale in safari suits table hopping during the course of your meal. Lots of tiki torches, chain-sawed African masks, and stuffed faux animals (or real, perhaps, judging by the bedraggled female lion near the door).
Some tasting notes:
The Shrimp Konga appetizer, on the menu with a "tangy cilantro basil glaze," arrives with the individual shrimp impaled on wooden skewers that sprout from a weary lopped-off pineapple top sitting forlornly on its plate. You can clearly tell that the shrimp are from the seafood category of the menu, because they definitely taste fishy, and the sticky glaze (think MeeTu brand duck sauce) just can't overpower that. Never mind that we saw probably our same pineapple top traveling to other tables later in the evening, but of course with new shrimp. The other appetizer was the Warm Grilled Octopus, listed as served with a "warm citrus vinaigrette and fava beans." As someone who likes to think he knows something about grilled octopus (see my recent post on Mykonos' version in Dobbs Ferry, NY), this was exactly the opposite of that -- four or five dry, stringy, chewy, listless, shriveled octopus tentacles, mixed into a warm salad that included broccoli rabe, sliced Bermuda onion, peppers of all colors, in short, everything you would find at the steam table of the local Chinese Buffet, but not at $4.49/pound.
On to the entrees. The first, the "wasabi horseradish crusted" salmon had that same "I've been out of the water a while" fish taste as the shrimp. Incredibly overpowering, so much so we left more than half, and it wasn't a big piece. The side was broccoli rabe (more on that later). The second entree was the grilled pork chop, which arrived thick and juicy -- almost too tick and too juicy, to the point of being strange, and perhaps quite a bit enhanced. Like the turkey roll, instead of the turkey breast. The side was, you guessed it, broccoli rabe.
Not quitting while we were ahead, we decided to have dessert, and I must say, the "Chiquita Banana" ice cream, homemade, the waiter told us, was quite good, as was the equally homemade chocolate pudding.
So, tax and tip, just shy of $150 for two, with a drink before dinner, and one during, for each of the two of us. For that food, that hurt.
One last note -- the restaurant advertises on its menu (twice), an appetizer and main course of "wild boar." Knowing something about federal game laws (you can read more about it here at the New York Times) -- http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co... -- I asked our server if the boar was, in fact, "wild." He assured me that it was, which was further reinforced by the assistant manager, who came over to explain to us in vivid detail that the "wild" boar was, in fact, raised on a large Texas farm/ranch, where it was then, and I will try and be completely accurate with this quote -- "shot from a flying helicopter with a big rifle and high pressure bullets." I kid you not, I couldn't make this stuff up.
Thanks for the compliment, and yes, I just went over the bill in my mind again . Of the four drinks, only one was a "cocktail" -- the other three were glasses of beer. It's not like we even bothered with a bottle of wine, for example. Total was $146 and change. And, the quality of the food didn't even rise to that of a decent diner.