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Sep 22, 2010 10:50 AM

Village Whiskey - ever been?

I'm looking for thoughts on Garces' Village Whiskey. My boyfriend would like to go there for his birthday dinner. I've checked out the website and it looks like a more laid back type of place - is this correct? Is it best to make reservations ahead of time? Any suggestions on the best things to try on the menu? We are looking to go next Friday night.

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  1. Yeah, if you're willing to put up with a wait.

    VW is an amazing bar, the burger is (in my opinion) the best in the city, if not the entire East Coast, the bartenders are masters of the craft (and friendly too) and the selection of whiskeys will satisfy any aficionado.

    HOWEVER. That place is packed on Friday nights, we're talking a two+ hour wait. This may be better now because they have outdoor tables but it's still a pain. They don't do reservations so your best bet is to walk over, put your name+number on the list, and then go to Franklin Mortgage or the Ranstead Room for drinks until they call you.

    Also, the atmosphere, especially on Friday's, is zilch, too loud, too close and too busy, very un-birthday meal.

    If I were you, I'd save it for another time, after all it's relatively cheap for a restaurant. Have a nice birthday meal somewhere, and stop by VW whenever you're bored/have a weeknight free.

    5 Replies
    1. re: AgentRed

      AgentRed is right, it's much more bar than restaurant. It's tough to plan a meal around your slim chance on getting a seat in there on a Friday or Saturday night. They only have a few tables.

      1. re: AgentRed

        Thanks so much for your information. I was not expecting it to be a no reservations restaurant! We will probably save VW for another lower-key night. Any idea if the other Garces restaurants are all no reservations as well? And which would be best for a celebration dinner?

        1. re: KittCat84

          If it were my birthday, I would request a VW burger for lunch and then a birthday dinner!

          1. re: KittCat84

            I would always recommend the $35 tasting menu at Distrito, it's special enough to be a birthday dinner to remember (five or six courses of amazing food) but not expensive enough to break the bank.

            Plus it's a great atmosphere (take one of the booths) and they accept reservations.

            1. re: KittCat84

              All of the other Garces places take reservations, including the low-key Garces Trading Company. I would recommend either Amada or Tinto as the best of the crowd, food-wise. But, if you want a fun place with good food, Distrito would fit the bill.

          2. really yummy. and the space is nice. but yeah... i would definitely go on a slower night so that it's not so packed.

            1. well there is a way to enjoy the menu and the bar without the hassle ...go for lunch ..we went a few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon and we had no issue at all getting a table is a very small space and can not imagine if it were crowded and packed .....we got the duck fat fries with a short rib and they were really good , we also got a pulled pork sandwich it was very tasty .......walked across the street for gelato at Capogiro....good luck whatever you do

              1. Many great responses here. FYI you may want to read
                Comprehensive review with suggestions for ordering drinks.

                  1. re: BelgianBeerMistress

                    Awesome, thanks guys! We've decided to make reservations with Distrito for the tasting menu, but stop by Village Whiskey first in case there is an opening. If there is, we will stay at Village Whiskey and cancel our reservations at Distrito :) I'll have to let you all know how it goes! Thanks again!

                    1. re: KittCat84

                      Smart plan, it'll be an awesome birthday meal either way!

                    2. re: BelgianBeerMistress

                      BBMistress... Just curious as to what makes the burger "Best Burger Ever"? Is it the beef, the adornments, both, the cooking? Your opinion is certianly shared by others. But what is it? We will visit this weekend for the first time. As a burger lover I will look forward to the Best Burger Ever!


                      1. re: Bacchus101

                        Can't speak for BBMistress, but I really like it for not just the quality of the meat & toppings but also because, somehow, it doesn't hit my stomach like a brick the way other "megaburgers" in the city does. For instance, while I love the Windsor Burger at Pub & Kitchen almost as much, it always feels like a lead weight in my stomach for a few hours after eating. The VW burger is immensely satisfying but not a grease bomb.

                        My full review of Village Whiskey is here, if it could be useful to any first-time diners: