I was invited to the Village Tavern (http://www.villagetavern.com/index.cfm ) last night to take part in a Taste Casting Group. The Village Tavern is located in Renaissance Commons off Congress in Boynton Beach. I was excited about the invite because it was a restaurant on my “need to try” list. I had walked by it several times and noticed they were always busy with a very attractive clientele. I figured it must have some good things going for it.
Village Tavern restaurants are based out of Birmingham, Alabama. They have a number of locations in the South East, one in Scottsdale, Az and one in Denver, Co. Although it is hard to have an exact comparison, the atmosphere is similar to that of Houston’s, J. Alexander’s or Joe’s American Bar and Grill. It has a warm comforting feel and although it gets very busy, I was able to hear everyone at my table easily.
The management and staff were gracious enough to offer us a full tasting of their offerings, including specialty drinks, wine and an incredible array of their appetizers, main entrees and desserts. The staff was friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and genuinely passionate about the food.
We started the evening with drinks in the bar. I was impressed with the wine list and in fact they have been recognized by receiving Wine Spectators award for excellence. In addition to having a nice glass of wine, we were given a sampling of 3 of their specialty drinks. The cocktail menu is interesting and original.
We tasted a Rose Sangria, Banana Lemon Drop and a Violet infused cocktail which normally is served with an edible organic orchid.
The Rose Sangria was very sweet which may be a turn off to some. I probably would have preferred a little less sweetness but I really enjoyed it. It had a sweet floral (rose) flavor.
I enjoyed the Banana Lemon Drop, but would probably not drink more than one as it also was quite sweet. The violet cocktail, although unique, was not a favorite. They apologized for not having the fresh orchid and the color of the drink without it was unappealing.
Following cocktails we were seated in the dining room. As mentioned, the acoustics were very good in spite of the crowd. We were treated to a sampling of appetizers. All were very good, but the favorites were the fried calamari with Thai chili sauce and the Mussels which unfortunately I was unable to taste (I am allergic). My dining companions said they were terrific and were hoping to learn their secret recipe! The crab cakes were a good quality with very little breading and the Flatbread Margherita was delicious.
Salads were a real treat, especially the Spinach Salad with bacon, apples, dried cranberries, blue cheese, spiced pecans and a sweet Poppy seed dressing. It was served with a moist delicious apple muffin we all would love to have again. The Tavern Salad was also quite good.
As you might guess, this was a real feast! There were 6 appetizers, 2 salads, 9 entrees and 4 desserts! My favorite entrees were the Rainbow Trout marinated in a sweet soy sauce and the Ten Spiced Glazed Salmon with Curried Couscous, vegetables and roasted almonds. The portions are more than generous; in fact I had the remainder of the trout for lunch today. It was still terrific! I will most likely have the leftover salmon tonight and am looking forward to it.
Desserts are not the high point at Village Tavern. I did like the fact that they were not overly sweet but many were lacking in depth of flavor. I did like the Carrot Cake which is new on the menu. It was not overly sweet but was moist and nicely flavored. Crème Brulee was also good but not the best I have ever had. My dinner companions loved the Banana Crepes. Espresso with dessert was excellent.
I would highly recommend you try Village Tavern if you get the opportunity. We had a great evening, enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and the service. They have a number of promotions including Wine and Dine Wednesdays with 60 wines by the glass offered at ½ price. They have early and late evening happy hours with cocktails at half price in the bar and on the patio and for the carnivore they have Prime Rib Mondays.
Have a great weekend and when you get the chance, check out the Village Tavern…even better…invite me along!!
Renaissance Commons Congress Ave and Gateway Blvd.
1880 North Congress Avenue, Suite 170
Boynton Beach FL 33426
Phone: 561-853-0280 Fax: 561-853-0281