Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Restaurant Review: Taverna Mykonos In Elmwood Park

Taverna Mykonos is a welcome addition on Route 4/Broadway and further signals a renaissance of dining choices from Fair Lawn to Paterson. Already, there are several good choices for dining - Gotham Grill, Empire Hunan, and Campania in Fair Lawn.

Taverna Mykonos outshines them all.

As the Record review indicates, they've got impeccable credentials and bring tons of experience to the table. They've taken that background and they've put together quite the selection of classic Greek dishes with excellent flavors and preparations.

We shared a platter of zucchini and eggplant fritters with the tangy tzatziki sauce. They were devoured in an instant - with the fritters lightly seasoned with a hint of sea salt and which brought out the fresh flavors.

I had the gyro platter, and while the meat was everything that I expected, the fries were a bit of a disappointment. It looked like they were merely store bought fries that got a dusting of salt and oregano and mint. Perhaps they had been waiting too long and wilted a bit while the order was being prepared, but with the pile of gyro meat and pita, it was more than enough. Mrs. Lawhawk had the filet mignon kebabs, and while they came out a bit more rare than she ordinarily likes, they were quite tasty.

The wait staff was quite receptive despite how busy it was on Sunday night and it appears that they took the Record's review to heart to make sure that everyone's water was topped off and that crumbs were cleared off the dark wood tables promptly. However, our waiter didn't ask us how Mrs. Lawhawk wanted her steak cooked. But that was a minor oversight considering.

Dessert, in the form of a complementary pairing of cinnamon baklava with pine nuts and walnuts and ekmek with a puffy whipped topping, was incredibly tasty. I'm normally not one who cares for ekmek (which is a custard over a shredded wheat base and topped with whipped cream), but I was able to overlook the lack of chocolate among the choices. There were some bits of chocolate in the baklava, which was a great mix of puff pastry, pine nuts, walnuts, honey, cinnamon, and a few piece of chocolate.

I'd say that Taverna Mykonos is a restaurant worth visiting, and that reservations may be a necessity in coming months. After all, if it was packed on a Sunday night, they must be doing something right.

Price-wise, you're getting a good value and while it isn't as cheap as It's Greek To Me (a staple with outlets in Englewood and Ridgewood among others), the quality and dining experience is more sophisticated and the dishes are more polished.

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