"Village": warming food for fall
- yvonne johnson
Dinner last night at Village, 62 West 9 St (at 6th Ave), tel: 505-3355, was surprisingly tasty. (Bondinis was the former restaurant on this site, and the space has been totally renovated.) The mixed antipasto was good, but outshone by a special app: merguez sausage that was really delicious. My main course, braised and grilled lamb shank with ratatouille (peppers mainly), and yogurt and mint was terrific. The meat was juicy, lamby and a real treat on a cold evening. Other mains tried were the daurade, steak with bearnaise sauce (with good fries) and a special trout. The first two were very good, and although the person who had the trout really liked it, I thought it was a little bland--then again its a delicate fish. There was a definite middle-eastern/north African influence in a couple of the dishes that I really liked. It was an interesting addition to the regular bistro fare. We shared a tapioca dessert with chocolate pastry, and this was good and creamy. The restaurant seems to emphasize good ingredientsfor example, the bread is unmistakenly from Sullivan Street bakery. The service was efficient.
The front of the restaurant, with bar and a few tables, though fine for a pre-dinner drink, was very noisy, and I would not recommend eating here unless you dont want to talk to your companions. The main room, farther back, is much more civilized. Airy, huge ceiling and a bistro feel.
Village has a web site that Ive just looked up.
second visit last week (for dinner). I didn't think it was quite as good as it was in Oct 00. leek salad app had browned peices from the grill that enhanced the flavor, served with tiny toms and well-rounded vinegarette. Mains: 1.steak frites (steak good, and miles better than that at "steak frites", fries OK, but not brilliant), 2. My venison was good, tho I like it stronger.
What really bothered me about the place, twofold: your ears ache after 2 mins, loudness on a scale with mesa grill and isla (and le zinc as per recent report!), and it is so tightly packed here you must squeeze between chairs to reach your table. As you can't hear your neighbor, watching the waiters traverse this tight obstacle course makes for some hilarity. unfortunately your ears still bleed.
red cat is better, and leaves your hearing intact.