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Village Pub or Martin's Pub West

t
takuhead Dec 27, 2010 06:05 PM

I have to decide between these two places for a date night - a very very rare event - we got a sitter and everything! So choosing a place that serves great food and and good service would be nice too....
I've been to Village Pub a few years ago - quite good - They have Crispy pork trotters on the menu - that is intriguing - but is it enough to choose that place over Martin's - which I have never been to

Martin's has a few items that sound great to me - the roasted bone marrow is on the top of my list and the shepherd's pie with the lamb neck also sounds delish...

Has anyone had any of these - I did a search but didn't find these specific dishes mentioned.

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Village Pub
2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA 94062

  1. bbqman Dec 27, 2010 07:02 PM

    In regards to Martin's West. The beer selection is wonderful. I've had lunch here twice, and both times have been, well, a C+ as far as the food itself goes. Some of the fish in the fish and chips seemed like it was pre frozen, tough and rubbery. The menu seems interesting enough, but in my estimation, it lacked the follow through. My favorite night in Redwood City is to have a drink at Martin's West, and have dinner around the corner at Donato.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bbqman
      bbulkow Dec 27, 2010 07:33 PM

      The food at Village Pub is clearly superior. The mixed drinks at Martin's West are far superior - although if you like classics like a margerita, VP does just as well. The atmosphere at MW is much less formal. The front seating area ("bar area") has TV tuned to sports. The back room is a bit more formal but quite spare. VP you know - the atmosphere is clubby and old world.

      Regarding the food, it is a bit uneven. I might think that BBQman has maybe ordered unwisely. I very rarely order the mains, and prefer the appetizer side of the menu. It also seems the food has gone downhill a bit. The scotch eggs, for example, used to be housemade pork packed, and now seems less toothsome. I remember an excellent crab covered noodle dish last year that I haven't seen the likes of since.

      bbqman has the correct answer: a drink at MW, and Donato. The food and atmosphere at Donato is quite good and pleasant - just come hungry. But really - the VP food and atmosphere is at a much higher level than either MV and Donato.

      Finally, there's that new place near VP, Station 8. My first meal there was weird but showed some moments of brilliance. I look forward to someone else's report - it would be a good type of restaurant for the area.

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      Village Pub
      2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA 94062

    2. eatzalot Dec 28, 2010 07:27 AM

      To add only a little here, takuhead, it looked rather you're thinking of pub food among these places. Thing about Village Pub is it has one foot in the casual, pub-food world and the other in the high-end gastronomic world, for which I've seen its kitchen ably serve some very special occasions. For example, there's a regular series of winemaker dinners in a separable back part that brings in first-rank international heavyweights. But also had very good casual food there, more casual and lower-priced than at the various "café" or "bistro" spin-offs of expensive high-end restaurants around the bay. That combination is very unusual.

      Also, due to its location, who lives around there, etc., I know no place in the Bay Area where you'd more likely bump unexpectedly and very casually into someone at the bar like, say, Bill Clinton. I haven't bumped into him, but seen enough high-profile people there over the years to know it's possible.

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      Village Pub
      2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA 94062

      5 Replies
      1. re: eatzalot
        t
        takuhead Dec 28, 2010 08:52 AM

        Thanks Eatzalot - I'm not that into pub food actually - just the odd stuff - I'm really interested in offal/organ meat preparations - to serve as inspiration for my own kitchen and workshops. I really love sweetbreads which Village Pub has on the menu - but the serving is rather small and mine are much better ;)
        I have never had the pork trotters - so that was intriguing - I love trying new foods to me that used to be commonplace in more traditional eat the whole animal diet...
        And sustainable local ingredients that are high quality is another big draw....
        I'm not that interested in drinking - my husband enjoys a well prepared drink though...

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        Village Pub
        2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA 94062

        1. re: takuhead
          bbulkow Dec 28, 2010 11:51 AM

          Well, I think, then, it depends what kind of night you're after. If you go to village pub you will have a very seamless high end experience that you already know. You might consider the hamburger with fois gras on top (additional topping not listed on menu) - I agree about the sweetbreads. If you try MW, which you should eventually, you'll get a more hit-or-miss experience, but if you veer toward the octopus salad, the marrow, haggis-on-a-stick, the carcuterie (not the fish and chips or burger) you'll have an -- er -- interesting meal that should provide some food for thought. Whether it ends up excellent or a good example how *not* to do those kind of meats - depends on the day and chef, I think.

          1. re: takuhead
            eatzalot Dec 28, 2010 02:11 PM

            ... and when I cited V. Pub's bar, you don't have to be a bar patron to pass through the crowd there. The bar is just inside the door, and when the place is busy, the path to the tables is sometimes right through the bar area.

            Incidentally they still eat the whole animal very thoroughly indeed, and creatively too, in places where animal food has been much scarcer in modern times, like mainland China (I can testify!) and some of that surfaces in Bay Area Chinese restaurants. In a discussion of Chinese restaurants on another CH forum, I cited a favorite modest local example (Hunan Chili in Mountain View) with notable "variety-meats" offerings, popular among Chinese-expat customers. That's hardly unique, a certain fraction of Bay Area Chinese restaurants do this, and their repertoire is wider than I've seen in European cuisines, even those known for organ-meat specialties.

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            Hunan Chili Restaurant
            102 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

            1. re: eatzalot
              t
              takuhead Dec 28, 2010 02:21 PM

              Thanks! I do find that to be true with a lot of the more authentic Asian restaurants - of course they often reluctantly let me order things with the heads still on, or kidneys, chicken feet, they keep assuming I have no idea what I am ordering...I guess I don't look the part.

              I haven't been to Hunan Chili - i will have to check them out...

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              Hunan Chili Restaurant
              102 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

              1. re: takuhead
                bbulkow Dec 28, 2010 07:33 PM

                Spices 4, Foster City, "murder style". Not sure if it's a great "date night" restaurant, but fun little joint.

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