Cititour: The New York Guide to Events, Restaurants, Music, and Nightlife

MP Taverna

MP Taverna

Cuisine: Greek, American

Chef: Michael Psilakis

Summary: When you think of a traditional Greek tavern, you may not think of Queens. But in Astoria, the food scene is raging, and doesn’t Chef Michael Psilakis know it. Psilakis locating his Greek-inspired MP Taverna on a strip of Ditmars Boulevard, just 20 minutes from Manhattan. And it looks like he hasn’t skimped on anything. This bi-level restaurant seats 150 with room for another 100 diners on an outdoor patio, weather permitting. There is a full bar, floor-to-ceiling windows, chandeliers and plush leather seats giving the space an intimate, yet luxurious feel.

Lunch and dinner begins with traditional meze; small plates of lamb sausage with yogurt, Mediterranean octopus with chickpea salad, and grandma’s Greek meatballs with lemon and tzatziki. An assortment of fresh salads are also offered including one made with dates, almonds, pomegranate and pistachios mixed with bulgar wheat. Entrées run the gamut from grilled branzino with fingerling potatoes to lamb shank served with orzo and root vegetables. You will also find Michael's signature lemon chicken and a Greek paella with shellfish, spicy lamb sausage and orzo. The menu also allows you to grill your own favorites, from salmon and swordfish to fresh prawns and the “fish of the day.” Entrees are fairly priced in the $15-to-$22 range, while burgers and sandwiches, including Souvlaki, can be had for $12 to $16.

MP Taverna is also offering something you won’t find in most places; whole spring lamb and suckling pig, along with other specialty meats, that can be ordered for larger gatherings with friends and family. A minimum five-day notice is required.

The restaurant is also offering a late night menu and "happy hour" which includes $1 oysters and gyro sliders on weekdays. And with twenty artisanal beers on tap and a lengthy wine list to boot, there really is a little something for everyone. Something tells me Michael planned it that way.

- Thomas Rafael

Neighborhood: Astoria

MP Taverna
31-29 Ditmars Boulevard
Queens, NY
(718) 777-2187

Hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-11pm; late night 11pm-1am
Fri 12pm-12am; late night 12am-2am
Sat 11am-12am; late night 12am-2am
Sun 11am-11pm.
Daily happy hour, 3pm-5pm.
Entree Price: $15-$25
Takeout: Yes
Delivery: Yes
Payment: Accepts Credit Cards