Monday, September 21, 2009

Village Whiskey

Village Whiskey is predictable, although I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Jose Garces, the chef who brought you Amada and Tinto, has opened the small sliver of a bar adjacent to Tinto on 20th Street. I hope the presence of these restaurants and Capogiro serve to reinvigorate this sad stretch of 20th Street, thereby making the outdoor seating a little more pleasant.

In any case, VW is covered in white tile, making the din nearly unbearable. After several whiskey cocktails, however, it may matter a little less. I sampled the "De Rigueur," featuring rye, aperol, grapefruit, lemon, honey and mint, I was told it was a cousin of the mint julep. I would highly recommend it with its perfect blend of sweetness and rye. VW's Old Fashioned packs a whallop and I would describe my friend's "Modern," with scotch, sloe gin, herbsaint, and orange bitters, as the kind of drink you earn after a particularly bad day.

Which is of course the backdrop against which I ordered the "Whiskey King" burger -- maple-glazed cippolini, rogue bleu cheese, applewood bacon and foie gras on top of 10 oz of beef, for $24. I had previously thought the combination of foie gras and red meat was reserved for the decadent and gluttonous. Still true, but wow -- sign me up. The burger was fantastic. The brioche-style sesame bun absorbed the flavor of the burger and added to the medley perfectly. I showed a little restraint in not ordering the duck fat fries at $5 for a very small, cute silver cup of fries. I would imagine they are equally good. You can also buy a scaled back burger with thousand island dressing for $9.

VW offers predictably high priced cocktails ($11-12), a very long whiskey menu, and an interesting bar menu with oyster options and fun things like deviled eggs and pickled veggies. Once you get past the rather strict hostess who behaved as though the fire code was her prime directive (whatever you do, don't try to stand near the bar), the service was exceptional, friendly without being intrusive. The noise level may keep me away, however.

Village Whiskey is located next to Tinto at the corner of 20th and Sansom, http://www.villagewhiskey.com/. Foobooz offers a much better photo of the Whiskey King burger at http://foobooz.com/tag/village-whiskey/, with props to the BrewBrog blog.

1 comment:

Thad S. said...

I just ate there last week and I agree with your feelings on the noise (and hostess). You have to try the KFQ (Kentucky Fried Quail). It's pretty amazing.