Mykonos, Reston

I’d been to Mykonos 1-2 times in the past (the last time I went, my young dining companion and I had gone ice skating first, and neither of us has skated in over five years).

I called to make sure they’d be open (’twas the night before Snochi), and we showed up in an empty restaurant around 7 PM – I suspect we were the last, and perhaps the only, dine-in customers of the evening.

I was dismayed that Mykonos was out of the three Greek beers they had advertised on the menu, so I was stuck with a very pitiable list, and ended up getting a skunky smelling Corona Extra ($4.50) while my young dining companion wisely stuck with water.

Generally, I let Matt order first (sometimes throwing in a hint or two), and this evening he was set on the Mykonos Combination ($18.95) with mousaka, pastichio, soutzoukakia, and spanakopita, served with oven-roasted potatoes and fasolakia. Since Matt ordered it, I decided I would as well – we’d both either sink, or swim.

General advice: don’t ever order a combo platter, anywhere. Each item has disparate cooking times, and things are bound to be either cold, or sitting under a heat lamp. While it might give you a nice overview of any given restaurant’s wares, I’ve more often than not been disappointed.

Mykonos was not only empty on this evening, with cars flying down Michael Faraday Drive, trying to beat the snow home, it was also very cold – even the wooden seats were cold. We ate with our coats on.

“Do you want to split an app?” I asked.

“I think I’m just going to get the salad bar.”

“There is no salad bar.”

“It’s right behind you.”

Sure enough it was, and the entrees at Mykonos come with unlimited trips to the soup and salad bar (making the $18.95 price of the combination platter very easy to swallow – not to mention the two generous, piping-hot loaves of garlic bread we were served). The one soup on this evening was Avgolemono, and not much was left at the bottom of the kettle. There were perhaps a half-dozen salads, and they looked very colorful and appealing: kidney beans, green beans, marinated mushrooms, as well as the standard lettuce-tomato-red-pepper tray. 

The avgolemeno, which I generally adore, was very mild and good, but it was barely above room temperature – I doubt it even cracked the 80-degree threshold. The salads were very boring, and must have been bought that way – while attractive and colorful, they tasted like they came straight from a food-service container. Not off-putting, but very, very bland from A to Z. 

Two massive plates of food arrived, and they must have weighed several pounds each. The mousaka and pastichio were each the size of softballs, the spanakopita was about a six-inch equilateral triangle, and the soutzoukakia was the only item that wasn’t portioned for gorillas.

Back to the cold restaurant again. The avgolemono soup was, unfortunately, a mere preview of what was to come. Except for my soutzoukakia, all items were still colder than room temperature. Although I didn’t see it, Matt said he saw our server put both our plates into a microwave – unfortunately, she didn’t microwave them long enough. The meal was somehow feeling “cramped and rushed,” even though our server was delightful, and I’m not sure I can explain why (Matt agreed with me on the way out).

You might think I’m going to trash Mykonos, but I’m not. It was a frigid evening, there were no customers, and I suspect the three or four people working there desperately wanted to close and get the heck home (it had begun to snow as we walked out to the car). I only took a few bites of my meal; Matt finished maybe half of his, and we got two styrofoam containers which we filled up to the brim.

Later that evening, I got hungry, and microwaved most of my dinner. As I pretty much knew at the time, this food was very good with the notable exception of the spanakopita. When it was hot, it was just fine, and the mousaka and pastichio had clearly been oven-baked at some earlier point in time. 

So while our experience was sub-par (wonderful server aside), it was all due to external factors, and the food itself is certainly something I would get again as carryout – these items (other than the spanakopita) all microwave very well. 

A Yelper would trash this as a one-star meal; but that’s just not the case. Mykonos serves perfectly decent homestyle Greek food – I remember from before that I enjoyed it, and, other than it becoming a bit more run-down over the years, and tragically being out of all their interesting beers, this meal was a one-off. This place is a mom-n-pop that, while not outstanding by any means, is certainly “good.”

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