Despite its name, The Village Pub is no ordinary pub. It’s actually a Michelin-starred restaurant set in serene Woodside that specializes in classic American food like seafood and steaks, in an elegant atmosphere served by a well-trained tie-, vest- and apron wearing waitstaff. Successful from the first day it opened when it took over the original pub in 2001, this is the original restaurant of the successful Bacchus Management Group (Village Pub, Spruce, Mayfield Bakery and Café, Pizza Antica, etc.).
The dining room is very formal with white tablecloth service, but we always opt to sit at the long wooden bar where the service is actually just as good. This is definitely a restaurant that is splurge-worthy with entrées priced at $25 – $35, but an affordable meal can also be had with items from the pub menu (available throughout the restaurant on request). We typically come here just for their Pub Burger, one of the best in the Bay Area and worth the visit alone, usually paired with an inexpensive bottle of wine off of their award-winning wine list.
It was a weeknight so we skipped the cocktail and started with this very reasonably priced bottle of Tempranillo off of their wine list:
It’s no wonder they were awarded with a Michelin star: service is really excellent, especially from our bartender Chris. We ordered a small meal, but they treated us as if we were eating in the formal dining room and came out with a couple of amuse bouche cups filled with a little bit of their delicious Spring green garlic soup:
Russian-born and Wisonsin-raised Executive Chef Dmitry Alperin has an extensive culinary resume having worked on both coasts at San Francisco’s Hawthorne Lane, Aqua, Campton Place and Aqua and in New York under Master French Chef Daniel Boulud. A chance meeting with Executive Chef Mark Sullivan in New York attracted Dmitry back to the Bay Area in 2007 to helm the Village Pub kitchens, where he has helped earn a coveted Michelin star for the past three years running. With a strong affinity for local, farm-to-table food, Alperin crafts the menu everyday based on fresh-picked produce available that day.
The Village Pub has a very strong house-made charcuterie program, and a large plate can be ordered on their regular menu. But the Pub menu has individual servings of some of the charcuterie, such as the Laperin Duck Liver Mousse served with cornichons to help cut the richness. We still miss our foie gras, but this excellent liver dish served with crispy baguette croutons will just have to do:
A server came around offering a selection of three oven-warmed breads. We each opted for the soft brioche-like Parker House roll and a baguette roll served with butter:
We told our bartender Chris that we would be splitting the salad and our main dish, and the kitchen sent our Butter Lettuce Salad served on a tarragon mouselline base and lightly dressed with a Walnut Vinaigrette on two separate plates. The generous portion of the tasty butter lettuce rosette had us convinced that it couldn’t possibly be a split dish:
As we previously stated, we originally came for the burger, but we were swayed to split an order of the Steak Frites. Once again the kitchen kindly split the portions by effectively doubling them. The split portion of rare ordered steak arrived perfectly cooked and smothered with just the right amount of sauce bordelaise. But each plate contained its own serving of a lightly dressed bitter-good watercress salad, roasted bone marrow and a head of garlic:
The steak was really excellent, and if the “split” portions weren’t enough, they also served each of us a side of French Fries with remoulade sauce. This made us very happy since we didn’t have to fight over these excellent fries, one of the best versions in the Bay Area:
We had no room for dessert after this meal, but Chris gave us some house-made nougats (it was served on a plate but we put it on the bar to take the pic). It was just the right amount of sweetness to end another perfect meal:
During our dinner, we inexplicably couldn’t figure out why we haven’t been to Spruce in San Francisco, so we have added that to the list. But we don’t mind eating more meals at the Village Pub. We will have to return for that burger one day soon.