Village Pub Review, Woodside
Posted by Foodnut.com
Village Pub is a fine dining establishment in the small town of Woodside. We have passed by many times, on our way back from hiking or biking, and felt it was time to try it. They have received One Michelin star starting from 2009. Dmitry Elperin is the chef and identifies his cuisine as “Contemporary American yet is rooted in the culinary traditions of France and the Mediterranean.” They use lots of seasonal, local, and organic ingredients. The chef has a sister restaurant, Cafe des Amis (RIP) and Spruce, in San Francisco.
We returned to Village Pub a year later for dinner and found the quality of food and service still excellent. The place was full on a Sunday night! Our last visit was for lunch in early 2016 when it was pretty full. Prices had not changed.
Decor, Vibe – Village Pub has an old school clubby atmosphere with lots of dark wood. Cool open hearth cooking station using almond wood. Lots of dress shirt clad VCs and older folks were lunching. Well dress folks from nearby towns filled the place at night.
Village Pub Menu Pictures
Village Pub Picks:
At dinner they offer 4 types of high quality bread.
Duck for two ($68) was a special dish available that evening. A large serving of perfectly cooked duck with a crispy skin and medium-rare meat. A must get for duck fans, and frankly one of the best ducks we have had in a while. It reminded us of Guy Savoy in Paris.
Duck Confit / Sauce Chasseur ($19 lunch) Buckwheat Crêpes and Baby Spinach was an excellent lunch meal. One of the better versions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Crispy skin on top of a well done tender duck below. The dish was plated with an assortment of fresh vegetables and mushrooms. On another day we had a Cripsy Duck Confit with sauteed foie gras and beluga lentils ($34 lunch), a hefty lunch that was heavenly.
Slow Roasted Salmon Niçoise ($22 Lunch) was a beautiful dish with lots of foam and well cooked salmon. Very nice sauce but in the end a solid dish that was not over the top.
Spiced Albacore Tuna / Parsley Olive Jus ($19 lunch) Butter Beans and Roasted Espellette Purée was bathed in a vegetable soup. It was a decent fish entree, but eclipsed by the stellar duck confit.
Pan Seared Mt. Lassen Trout ($25 Lunch) Caramelized Beets and Hazelnuts / Melted Leeks was fantastic. Fish is hard to do right, but these guys make it look too easy.
Striped Bass Bouillabaisse ($26 Lunch) with Grilled Fennel, french fingerling potatoes was a short term addition to the menu. A modern interpretation of the classic, with 2 excellent pieces of fish along with clams.
Grilled Lamb Köfta / Greek Yogurt / Toasted Pinenut and Herb Salad ($15 Lunch) is a Mediterranean dish with 3 large meatballs cooked to a medium rare internally. High quality and not gamey. Excellent olive oil soaked flatbread.
Wild Mushroom Bouillon / Lovage ($10 lunch) had a tasty light mushroom broth with lots of fresh small mushrooms floating in it. A nice healthy appetizer with lots of flavor.
Roasted Cauliflower Risotto ($10 lunch) Meyer Lemon Brown Butter was a must get starter for lunch. It features the benefits of partnering with SMIP Ranch. A bit heavy on the lemon side, but still a top notch risotto.
Forbidden rice risotto ($22 lunch) with sauteed octopus, harissa was a special lunch appetizer/entree. The black rice had a nice al dente texture and a slight kick. The octopus was pretty huge and a big on the thick side.
Octopus Carpaccio / Crispy Potatoes Salsa Verde ($13 lunch) sounded interesting and looked like a beautiful dish. Very thinly sliced octopus along with some fancy potato chips. Not as good as their risotto, and also on the skimpy side.
Country Pate / Port-Soaked Sour Cherries ($7 lunch) came with micro greens, pickles and delicious grilled bread. The Pate was slightly above average, while the cherries and pickles provided good accents to the fattiness.
Duck Liver Mousse / Cornichons and Crostini ($7 lunch) had a large pot of mousse with some fleur de sel and green onions to top it. Smooth mousee and a great value at this price.
Burrata Lunch Special appetizer (AQ) came with stone fruit and really hit the spot. Perfectly ripe summer fruit along with some very high quality cheese.
Shaved Foie Gras Torchon /Crispy Pain d’Épices / Candied Kumquats ($18) was an unusual salad with shavings of delicate foie on top of the salad. We were expecting more foie, so be warned before you order this.
Tart Flambé / Caramelized Onions / Bacon and Gruyère Cheese ($13 lunch) is more of a flatbread pizza with a healthy serving of toppings. Done very well but pretty filling.
Crispy Duck Confit / Savory Bread Pudding / Caramelized Apples ($19 Lunch) was a very good signature dish. Duck had a crispy skin, yet moist meat. The bread pudding was good as were the not too sweet caramelized apples.
Grilled Hanger Steak / Creamed Spinach and Crispy Potatoes / Bordelaise ($20 Lunch) had ample quantities of meat cooked to a perfect medium rare. Potato strings were crunch and delicious. Spinach was good, but very minimal in quantity.
Grilled New York Steak / Foraged Mushrooms /Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Crispy Bacon ($39) is a very popular classic dish here. We would rate it very good but not exceptional. Order it if you must.
Grilled Stone Valley Farm Pork/ Savoy Cabbage/ Macedoine of Winter Vegetables ($33) included a very fatty pork belly, and a lean loin. A good variety for pork fans.
Amuse Bouche Zucchini soup with olive oil. Smooth, light flavors.
Charcuterie Assortment ($20) is a signature dish with head cheese, beef bourgouen, mushroom pate, duck pate, grain mustard, sour cherries, mini pickles, cumberland sauce (Citrus ginger flavored), and toasted bread. A broad assortment of fine meats and perfect introduction to their cooking.
Crispy Sweetbreads ($19) with slow poached egg, black truffle jus and celery root mousseline was excellent. Meatball like sweetbreads tasted awesome, nothing like the fluffy versions that scare people. This dish is a good introduction to sweetbreads for newbies.
Creamy sunchoke soup ($10) with roast chestnuts and heirloom apples was very lite and warm. A nice soup for a cold night.
Steamed Atlantic Cod ($33) Shaved matsutake mushrooms with duck consomme poured table side. Fresh and cooked in a very healthy and lite manner. Nice sizable portion.
Seared duck breast ($32) Toasted Farro, crimson turnips, date chutney was very good. Thinly sliced duck cooked to a medium rare with a slightly crispy skin. Nice hulled wheat under the duck. Could have used more of the delicious chutney.
Chocolate Soufflé / Earl Grey Crème Anglaise (Please Allow 20 Minutes) ($14) was a beautiful Soufflé that had the tea based sauce poured table side. Sure to satisfy any Soufflé fan.
Apple Crisp ($11) Creme fraiche ice cream was tasty especially with the strong ice cream. Thin strips of apple with crunchy topping. Not a lot of apple sauce like other versions. Beautiful cast iron mini pans. On another occasion, we had this with cinnamon ice cream.
Roast Coffee Crème Brûlée / Candied Pecans / Milk Chocolate Stout Ice Cream ($12) looked unusual but proved to be a very nice dessert with a dual layer approach.
Bourbon Pecan Tart ($11) Spiced Yam / Muscavado Ice Cream ($11) looked low profile dense and very nutty. A nice balanced dessert with nuts balanced out by the brown sugar ice cream.
Petit Fours – Soft and sweet Pear Jelly Candies
House made Tagliatelle Pasta ($26) Very fresh Foraged wild mushrooms, fines herbs was good but not excellent. Almost an afterthought dish for vegetarians. Machine made egg yolk based pasta without a lot of character.
Caipirinha ($11) Leblon Cachaca, key limes, was tiny and not mixed properly. We had to stir it up.
Sautéed Monterey Abalone / Cauliflower Mousseline / Soft Poached Egg and Truffle Cream ($19) was a beautiful dish that was technically perfect but didn’t work as a combined unit.
Fillet of Branzino/ Citrus Beurre Blanc/ Maine Sweet Shrimp and Smoked Pomme Puree ($34) was a beautiful looking fish but proved to be a little mushy inside texture wise.
Service was friendly and attentive. Village Pub serves up some fine food in a formal atmosphere, all in the middle of a beautiful area. This restaurant epitomes the high end dining scene in this area. No need to drive all the way up to the City. Village Pub is a great choice for fine food. Lunch here is a very good value and much cheaper than dinner. Dinner is a special occasion or expense account expensive undertaking. Be sure to make a reservation, this place is fairly busy.
We have eaten dinner at the Chef’s sister restaurant Spruce in the past and find the food at Village Pub even better. Zagat 2009 ratings confirm this.
Village Pub has an Extensive 89 page wine and drink list with high markup, glasses from $9, bottles from $28.
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