NJ Dining: Taverna Mykonos (UPDATED)


Per David Halbfinger’s rating of “Don’t Miss” (the paper’s highest restaurant rating) for Taverna Mykonos in the New York Times, I’m elevating this post back to the top due to general interest.

However, I am not in agreement that this restaurant, while producing very good Greek Taverna-style food, is to be considered in the same vein as the absolute finest dining establishments in the state or even Bergen County. More on this later.

This post was originally published on July 25, 2010, a few days after the restaurant’s opening.

Taverna Mykonos

238 Broadway, Elmwood Park NJ

(201)703-9200

It takes quite a bit to get me moving in the summer, especially when it’s nearly 100 degrees in the shade and my 20 year-old classic car’s air conditioning isn’t working.

The opening of brand new Greek restaurant in Elmwood Park serving traditional Taverna cuisine in a colorful atmosphere, featuring fresh Mediterranean food with all of the important attention to detail that’s necessary to do it well is one of the few things that will drag me out of my cool house on a Saturday afternoon in late July.

Taverna Mykonos in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Mykonos wasn’t even a week old when we walked in, marinating in our own juices from the brutal heat. The cool Mediterranean colors of the Peloponnese, where the owners herald from quickly dropped our internal temperatures.

Mykonos offers a full bar, which is unusual for a restaurant in these parts.

Main dining room, during dinner service.

Mythos is one of several Greek lager beers served here that can help you quench your summer thirst.

The restaurant bakes all of its bread as well as its desserts. This is a wonderful sourdough pumpernickel served with a fruity Kalamata olive oil that comes from an orchard of 10,000 trees that the owners have in their hometown of Sparta. All of the olives also served at the restaurant are also from the owners’ trees.

A trio of Mezze, cold dips. In the rear is a Taramasalata of fish roe mixed with potato and yogurt, which is a bit different from the mostly-yogurt versions I’ve had in the past and helps to mellow out the salty/fishy flavor. To the left is a smoky Melitzanosalata, made from eggplant and yogurt. To the right, a sharp cheese spread which I really enjoyed.

A rustic Horiatiki salad with fresh summer tomatoes, peppers, onions, Kalmata olives, cucumbers and sharp Feta cheese, the real McCoy from Greece.

Beet Salad with Red Onions, Red Pepper and Garlic. This goes well with the Skordalia potato/garlic dip mezze offered on the menu.

Keftedes appetizer, Seasoned fried Greek Meatballs with dried herbs and cheese and Tzatziki cucumber/yogurt/garlic dip. These meatballs had a very soft and delicate texture to them.

Zucchini Pancakes, served with Skordalia, potato dip with just a light hint of garlic. These were a bit oily but still very tasty. The potato dip I think needs a bit more garlic, but as Mykonos is a brand new place, the restaurant is still playing with formulations for various dishes.

Briam, a type of stewed vegetable dish with zucchini, eggplant, potato and onions, similar to a ratatouille.

Gyros platter with French Fries. The restaurant actually makes its own Gyro meat from scratch using a secret blend of Lamb and Beef, and slices it off thick and piles it very generously. My recommendation to the restaurant was to make it more obvious this was home made, as they very finely grind the meat and aggressively season it. which makes it look and taste like (very good) classic Gyro Stand product. However, the version you might end up having could look and taste a bit different than what I’ve photographed above.

Greek-style String Beans.

Seafood Pasta with Prince Edward Island mussels, Calamari and Shrimp. The seafood and pasta was perfectly cooked but I didn’t find this particular dish to be particularly Greek, I think it would do well with some of the nice Kalamata olives, a drizzle of the Spartan olive oil and perhaps some oregano and some lemon or red wine vinegar for additional acidic punch.

Broiled Whitefish, prepared with simple olive oil and lemon.

Home made desserts, Baklava and Ekmek, The Ekmek was a Peloponnese preparation, a phyllo pastry topped with clotted cream and filled with rich custard, similar to a Galaktoboureko.

Greek-style Rice Pudding, which we had for dinner on a different night. Very rich and creamy with coconut, cinnamon and pistachio, one of the best I’ve had.

6 Responses to NJ Dining: Taverna Mykonos (UPDATED)

  1. Jake says:

    An old beat-up Caddy is a “classic car”? Give me a break!!

  2. Jeanette says:

    The pictures in this post are beautiful!

  3. James S. says:

    Did you try grilled octopus? That’s always my litmus test for Greek cuisine.

  4. BobTomDon says:

    Looks Scrumpdiddilyumptious !

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: