(This feature was published in WhenInManila.com last July 26, 2012)
The Village Tavern shows that there is more to American food than just burgers and fries. Although it serves its share of sandwiches, it also offers a myriad of flavors to satisfy even those with discerning palates. Diners can choose from an array of soups, salads, pasta plates and specialty dishes.
Aside from the promise of good food, what made me look forward to dining at the Village Tavern is its ambience. It has somehow achieved a cool and classy look while maintaining a homey atmosphere. Upon entering, the first thing I noticed was the open kitchen at the end of the restaurant. There was a small bar on one side and the other side was a wall that featured a large hand-painted mural by a local artist. The restaurant’s ceiling was decorated with rustic chandeliers, which looked Western-inspired. That night, there were some couples seated on the booths and big groups on the larger tables. Its casual setting gave the diners a more comfortable eating experience.
Good for sharing
Upon seating at one of the booths, Village Tavern’s Restaurant Manager, RA Dumlao, came over to greet us and offer us drinks. The restaurant has a wide selection of cocktails, bottled beers and premium wines, but I went for the classic Chocolate Milkshake while my dinner companion ordered Hoegaarden, which is Belgian wheat beer.
For starters, we sampled the Thai Chicken Salad, a big plate of seasonal greens with sliced chicken, cucumber, edamame, cabbage, which is topped with crisp wontons and black sesame seeds, and then drizzled with some lime-cilantro dressing and Thai peanut sauce. The prominent flavor of the peanut sauce added a sweet touch, the cilantro dressing was tangy, and there was a subtle spicy kick to it. I liked the taste of this particular salad and its serving size which was really meant for sharing.
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