MP Taverna in Roslyn?
A recent dinner, not on a busy weekend, was good.
I have stopped by for lunch in the past and it was good, but started getting bad, so I haven't returned, until this past dinner. Service was very fast and the food came out even faster than a diner would try to serve.
"Gyro Spiced Beef Sliders"
These were completely unseasoned and void of any "Gyro Spice" at all, and are a sure miss. Nothing *wrong*, just.. nothing.
Meatballs. In the past I've had them and they were good, if just too tender, almost soupy meatballs. There is no traditional cumin scent to the meatballs and the tomato concoction/sauce is garlicky. This time the meatballs were more firm and still tender but blackened and added to the sauce concoction. A couple of halved black olives sat at the bottom of the bowl. Nothing to write home about.
Lamb shank. Nothing Greek here. VERY good. Super delicious. It's just not a Greek recipe, but a really tasty dish.
Knowing that Michael Psilakis isn't cooking here and has only sold his name to the investors that run the place, I never expect much, but, still, those that aren't familiar with true Greek food do fill the tables. It is strictly for the non-Greek patron.
I still lament the loss of his first place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, ONERA. He was in the kitchen and the food was the best Greek food I have ever had in any restaurant ever. Really, REALLY Greek tastes and flavors.
It seems that when a name is sold, the hacks in the kitchen can't cut it to the extent that a deft chef can and we get sub-par offerings.
I'm just still happy he hasn't allowed the dishwashers to grill plain whole fish for service. That would be a true Greek tragedy...
I, for one, do not intend to return any time soon. I was looking forward to a reasonably priced Greek restaurant in the neighborhood to compete with the more pricey Greek options in the area. Unfortunately, MP Taverna did not stack up.
Although we had a tasty meal I found the service to be bad (I am being generous) and their wines overpriced. Before I turn to the service, a warning about the wine: they offer many wines by the glass and offer four options: a half glass, full glass, half bottle and full bottle. A woman at the table beside ours didn't notice the half glass option and was surprised when the bill for her $9 glass of wine was actually $16.
Turning to the service, it took twenty minutes for our starter of dips and pita bread to arrive. It was a Friday night and the place was packed but there's no excuse for that long of a wait for cold dips and warm pita bread. Our next shared dish was the octopus which was very tender and tasty. Although, it was about 1/2 the size of what one would get at your typical Greek taverna for the same price. Nevertheless, it was well prepared and I would recommend it. However, here's where the service took another nose dive. When the food runner arrived with the octopus there was little space on the table to place it. Instead of rearranging the dishes on the table or perhaps taking the dirty ones away, the server handed the dish to my husband and walked away leaving us to rearrange and stack plates to make room for the dish. Our remaining items arrived without incident. We had the sausage with dumplings and a bulgur wheat salad. Both were quite good. After our plates were cleared our server arrived to offer us desserts. This was the the first time she came to our table after taking our order. Neither she nor anyone else approached our table to ask how our meal was, to offer us another drink or to see if we needed anything. We didn't try the desserts because we were so disgusted with the service.
In addition, the acoustics were so bad that my dining companion and I had to yell across the table. The diners next to us who couldn't help but overhear us informed us that the acoustics are even worse on the second level.
We may go back and sit at the bar for a more casual meal, but unless the service improves we will not be making any reservations any time soon.
I went on a Saturday nite around 6:45. They were open about 3 weeks. Service was great, food was wonderful. Prices reasonable. The smashed potatoes (which are not really smashed potatoes) are worth the visit by themselves! By the time we left (around 8:15), it was packed and quite noisy. Looking forward to going back either early again or definitely during the week.