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Bit hit and miss, this place.
First up, you need to be careful about where you get seated - you can sit at the bar which is cute but at this time of year, it's too close to the door which lets in an icy blast regularly. The side room feels a bit atmosphere-less. I was happy with our seat at the back of the main room which was cosy and buzzy. Tables are very close to each other but that's very New York and I'm fine with it, personally.
Our waiter was great and gave some good advice about beer, wine, and the food menu.
The menu is kind of interesting. The usual steaks and burgers but some other more interesting dishes too. I was tempted by the soft crab roll, and there are quite a few good veggie options. My eye was immediately drawn to a side dish of smashed potatoes with chicken jus and crispy chicken skins, but there didn't seem anything in the 'mains' section which really would work with it. Most of the mains already came with some kind of carb, or a different kind of meat that wouldn't go with chicken. So, odd as it sounds, I ended up having the potatoes with a chicken supersalad. Both were really excellent - potatoes were delicious (but a bit cold), and the salad had a great dressing.
Husband had goats cheese in a filo pastry parcel. He said it was lovely but again, not very warm. There was a tiny pile of salad leaves on the plate, and his side of fries was a very stingy portion.
The prosecco I had while perusing the menu was a bit flat; but our wine with the meal was lovely.
All in all, a bit hit and miss. For the cost, I expect better, which is a shame as it is a cute restaurant with nice decor, and nice menu ideas. But there's not really an excuse for tepid food and slow service at this price.
I get the impression, as mentioned below, that there are some staffing issues here. I agree that there seemed to be some strange senior staff wandering around, getting in the way and not achieving much.
Our drinks always came out promptly so I'd say the slow service of the food was down to a disorganised kitchen, which perhaps needs to remember to heat plates before serving.
There are definitely better restaurants locally - the Garrison and Jose Pizarro for sure - but I hope I just called in on an off-night because Village East is totally different from those I've mentioned, and I'd really like it to be better.
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Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 3
Friday, January 30, 2015