Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Village Whiskey Review

This is for a series of posts related to Iron Chef Jose Garces including:

Born in Chicago to Ecuadorian parents, Iron Chef Jose Garces is a major part of Philadelphia cuisine. He owns seven restaurants in Philadelphia including Tinto, Chifa, Amada, JG Domestic, Garces Trading Company, Distrito, and of course, Village Whiskey. The GF and I have been to the last five of the list - each with its own distinct flavors.Village Whiskey is an American-style tavern that offers great food without any pretense and offers over six dozen of its namesake libations including double-barrel bourbons, 21-year rye, and a 25-year single malt. They offer whiskey flights as well. But as usual - the GF and I were here to partake in some of the food ...

Village Burger ($11), Jasper Hill Cheddar ($3.50)
8 oz. burger, sesame roll, tomato, boston bibb lettuce, house-made thousand island

I went with the village burger - cooked to a perfect medium, with Jasper Hill cheddar. The aged cheddar imparted a sweet caramel and nutty flavor to the burger, though there wasn't enough of it to leave a lasting impression. The half pound patty of beef was perfectly seasoned and melded together nicely with the house-made thousand island dressing. The buttered sesame roll held the entire burger together nicely.

If you're interested in indulging even further? Try the Whiskey king - it comes maple bourbon glazed cipollini onions, blue cheese, applewood bacon, and wait for it ... foie gras! Pure decadence and perhaps over the top - but something I can see myself trying in the future. FYI though - you're talking about a $26 price tag.

Chicken Sandwich ($10)
Long hots peppers, mushrooms, sharp provolone

The GF's chicken sandwich was perfectly juicy and well seasoned. The provolone added the necessary sharp notes to awaken what can easily be a simple dish. The mushrooms imparted an earthiness to the dish which was contrasted nicely with the long hots peppers. This sandwich came with huge potato crisps which were light and airy.

Short Rib & Cheddar Fries ($12)

But the real reason we were here (or at least I was)? The duck fat french fries with cheddar sauce and short ribs. This came served in a cast-iron skillet and was purely decadent. The duck fat added extra richness to the fries, which were thick-cut. While they weren't as crisp as I had wanted them to be,  the cheese sauce drenched the fries nicely and with the added element of rich short ribs - this is a must-have dish.

Overall - if you want a taste of an Iron Chef - check out Village Whiskey. Their cocktails are great and their whiskey is aplenty. And of course, the food is great for a reasonable price. Located in Rittenhouse Square - Iron Chef Jose Garces' tavern is a great destination for a working lunch or a lazy afternoon. And they recently opened up a new outpost at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City - I think it's safe to say that great food has reached the Jersey Shore as well.

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