Friday, May 13, 2011

West Town Tavern

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to check out West Town Tavern with a couple friends. I had heard great things about this place and was eager to try it for myself. Because I am quite a few restaurants behind on my reviews, I'm going to make this short and simple.

A minus for ambiance. It's very cute and cozy in WTT, perfect for a nice meal with family or friends. Minus only because it's not particularly unique.

A minus for service. Our server was friendly and helpful. I like to ask the servers for their thoughts on the menu and he was happy to comply:) Minus only because there was nothing outstanding about the service. It simply met my expectations.

A minus for the food, with a caveat. WTT's focus is on comfort food. And they do it well. 'Comfort food', for my non-foodie readers, refers to food that have a nostalgic element of some sort, or remind people of meals they had when they were young- things like mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, pot roast, casseroles- think of your favorite meal growing up and unless you were a really strange kid and liked sushi the best of all, your favorite meal was probably a "comfort food". In recent years, the trend has been for restaurants to do gourmet twists of traditional comfort foods. Here's what we had:

Pot Roast: Zinfandel-Braised Short Rib with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Pennsylvania Dutch Black Vinegar Sauce. This was my meal. With those ingredients, how could it be bad? It was very tasty, w/ fresh ingredients. No complaints from me.

Lamb: Ownesboro-Style Smoked Lamb Shoulder BBQ with Double Corn Cake and Traditional Black Sauce. My friend gave this a vote of approval. It is pictured to the right.

Beef: Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Cheddar-Garlic Scalloped Potatoes and Zinfandel Reduction. Again, every single ingredient is tasty alone, so together they make a tasty masterpiece.

So I give WTT an A minus because their food is high quality and good, but I think it takes a bit less skill to make comfort food tasty. It's tasty at baseline.

Overall, similar to my recommendation for Hopleaf, I'd say go to WTT in the winter after a day of skiing or playing in the snow. Bring your appetite. Prepare for a heavy meal and you will not be disappointed.

(To be fair, there were multiple fish dishes on the menu- maybe they are lighter, maybe they are good for summer. I can't comment on that.)

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