Saturday, July 23, 2011
2901 Clairmont Rd., Atlanta, GA www.mykonostaverna.com
A couple of weeks ago my friend Kevin and I had dinner at Mykonos Tavern. Kevin is a Turkish and Greek food lover, so I was eagerly anticipating this excursion. Mykonos Tavern is located right on Clairmont Rd. just past the I-85 exit, in the Sam's Club parking lot. You can't miss it - its painted a startlingly bright royal blue with white trim.
The first thing that comes to mind when I recall our dinner was the enormous amount of food we were served. (If you read my post on Colonnade, you'll see this has been a recent although unintentional theme.) With our entrees, which were huge, we also got big Greek salads and a large, round, fat bread absolutely covered with minced garlic. The bread itself would have made a meal for most people. Wish I could comment on it, but I have a strong aversion to that much garlic, so I didn't taste it.
For the salads - romaine, tomatoes, feta, black olives, chopped green bell peppers and the occasional pepperoncini with Greek vinaigrette dressing. It was fine, nothing special. We could have alternately ordered soup.
Since I wasn't prepared for us to get this much food, Kevin also ordered a mezze platter. This came with triangular slices of pita and 3 different dips - I think one was hummus, one baba ganoush, and one a spicy red pepper/cream cheese blend. The latter was my favorite. A pretty good start to the meal.
This came with a side of oven roasted potatoes, which were absolutely delicious. At first I didn't realize they were potatoes - they have such an acidic flavor (lots of fresh lemon juice), I thought they might be cassava, served similarly to the Cuban style available at Marietta's Cuban diner. If you read my review of that place, you know I loved it.
The moussaka didn't impress me as much. I think my main problem with it was the overabundance of nutmeg. I tasted nutmeg over every other flavor, and that's just not my idea of good moussaka. The pasta was cooked properly and the eggplant was sufficiently soft, but the ground beef was a little mushy from too much bechamel sauce. Again, why all the nutmeg? Kevin's wife Sue has also voiced her disapproval of the moussaka, although I'm not sure if she dislikes it for the same reason.
Service was fine, and I appreciated that a manager came over to check on us at one point. The restaurant was about 2/3rds full when we left, primarily with families. Along with about a dozen varied desserts (carrot cake, eclairs, rice pudding, etc.), there's also a children's menu at Mykonos Taverna, so your kids will probably be happy here. I don't know how anyone ever makes it to dessert here - after the mezze and salad I could only eat about half my moussaka and potatoes.
I'd be willing to return, maybe for one of the dinner sautees and a dessert - but not if I had the option of dining at Al's Agora Cafe in Buckhead instead. It's hand over fist better than Mykonos Taverna.
Verdict: Al's Agora Cafe is still my pick for best Greek in the metro Atlanta area.