Ever since Leslie raved about brunch at Westville last year I wanted to go. Then this fall Gary said it was one of his favorites too and I started trying to convince someone to try it with me. Until last Friday it hadn't worked out... After seeing Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris at the International Center on Photography Leslie agreed to revisit the East Village location.
The line outside concerned me as I was starved, but we lucked out and were able to grab 2 bar seats right away. The decor is simple and appealing - white walls with a smattering of nostalgic signs and dark, rustic yet sleek wood tables. The staff is efficient as is the kitchen and everyone is very nice; we didn't drink at the bar and no one scowled, a rarity.
We both ordered their specialty - the market, which is your choice of 4 market veggies from approximately 25 choices that vary daily ($13). We ordered Grilled Fennel with Parmesan, Artichoke Hearts with Parmesan, Broccoli Rabe with Cherry Tomatoes and Parmesan, Fried Plantains with Cotija Cheese, Green Peas with Shallots and Bacon, Heart of Palm Salad, Lemon Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan and Sweet Potato Fries. The trend of Parmesan cheese was unintentional!
The Heart of Palm Salad was our agreed upon favorite - the super soft, tangy heart of palm contrasted well with the celery and red pepper's crunch and natural sweetness. I also loved the Artichoke Hearts, which were nicely caramelized, tangy and a touch sweet, the very crisp skinny Sweet Potato Fries and the lightly sauteed Green Peas that kept a bit of their crunch. All the preparations were simple, deceptively so I'm sure, and let the fresh vegetables shine, which makes for a very tasty, filling and healthy meal.
Westville is definitely worth a visit but be warned that they don't accept reservations.
Location: 173 Avenue A (at 11th Street)
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 a-11 p, Sat-Sun 10 a-11 p.