VILLAGE TAVERN, a Higher-End Friday’s?

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Village Tavern is a high-end American Restaurant Chain from the group that brought Friday’s and Italianni’s to Manila. Although it was established way back in 1984 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, most Filipinos are not familiar with this brand.

We were curious and tried it out…

Bonifacio High Street Central Restaurants:

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The Village Tavern has a modern, hotel-like feel with its TVs showing American sports. I like the booth chairs with the comfortable red cushions.

The tavern’s servers are usually reassigned from Italianni’s, Friday’s or some other Bistro group restaurant. On its soft opening, you can still see the American servers handholding the Manila operation.

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Village Tavern Menu: About Village Tavern | Appetizers | Light and Entree Salads | Whole Wheat Flat Breads, Homemade Soups, Side Dishes | Tavern Specialties | Steakhouse Steaks | Gourmet Burgers & Sandwiches, Combination | Pastas, Market Fish | Homemade Desserts | Beverages | Liquors | Wines, Signature Cocktails, Classic Cocktails, & Beers

On our visit, we got mixed recommendations, depending on the server. One suggested the Hot-Crab Dip; another, the Whole Wheat Flatbreads; and yet another pointed to most of the items in the menu as their favorite.

The recommendations were confusing and bordering on upselling to higher-end dishes. If you dine here, just go with your gut and order whatever American food you are craving.

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★ Gruyere & Applewood-Smoked Bacon (P495 +10% service charge). Gruyere, applewood-smoked bacon and caramelized onions.

I enjoyed munching on the flat breads with the gruyere cheese, sweet onions and the smoked bacon. It’s too bad they don’t have a four-cheese option (which we love). I also liked the texture of the bread and knowing that it’s whole wheat. 🙂

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Garden Salad (P225 +10% service charge). Seasonal greens, croutons, onions, grape tomatoes and your choice of dressing.

We ordered a simple salad for starters and partnered it with the whole wheat flatbread. The greens were good and not tired, but we did not like the oil-based dressing that they served with it.

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Tavern Mojito (P150 +10% service charge). Rum, lime juice, mint leaves.

There seems to be a Mojito and Sangria craze going on in Manila. Most restaurants around town have their own versions. Tavern’s Mojito tasted like Sprite–sweet, not much alcohol, but did not have that refreshing taste.

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★ Cowboy Burger (P595 +10% service charge). Applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese with caramelized onions and barbecue sauce.

The highlight of our meal was Village Tavern’s signature burger. You can order it with whole wheat bread buns and sweet potato fries. You also have different cheese options, but it would be better to stick with the cheddar cheese.

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I loved the taste of the applewood-smoked bacon and their signature Rastelli’s Pureland Black Angus Beef. (Note: The cow is said to be fed an all-vegetarian, corn-based diet mixed with other grains.)

The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it had burnt edges that ruined the flavor experience. Also, Rache was not a fan of the different taste of the bacon.

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Ten Spice Glazed Salmon (Regular P595 +10% service charge). Ten spice glazed Atlantic salmon with curried couscous, broccoli, red peppers and roasted almonds.

This was a bit of a disaster for us — sweet teriyaki sauce with yellow-based curry and 10 other different spices? The salmon itself was good; but to save the dish, we asked the waiter to serve the sweet teriyaki sauce on the side.

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Overall, we have mixed reviews for Village Tavern. Since this is the Bistro group, the soft opening period is not a valid excuse for lousy lapses in service and taste of food. But I do think it deserves a second visit to eat more of the flatbread, the whole wheat burger and the sweet potato fries, and to check out the rest of the menu. We won’t bring the kids here, though, since it has more of a bar-like feel.

If you decide to dine here, just choose your dishes wisely and not depend on the recommendation of the waiters. Budget P800/head.

If you’ve tried Village Tavern, let me know the dishes you recommend in the Comments section.

7th Ave. corner 29th St. South, 
Upper Ground Floor, East Superblock 
Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Mobile: +63 949 761-6258
Operating Hours:
Sunday to Thursday, 11.00am to 11.00pm
Friday to Saturday, 11.00am to 12.00mn

★ – Recommended

Bonifacio High Street Central Restaurants:

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Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals. We are not connected with the establishment or any organization marketing the restaurant.

P.S. I’m wrapping up the BGC Central Restaurant series. So, what’s your favorite and any reco on other restaurants to feature or food that you like in any of the BGC Central restos?

14 thoughts on “VILLAGE TAVERN, a Higher-End Friday’s?

  1. I find it strange that the Tavern is brightly lit. Taverns and pubs here in Dubai are usually very drab and dim versus bright and shiny. More or less these are patterned from the ones in UK and other parts of Europe, so I am guessing its pretty authentic as a lot of Europeans do hangout there after office hours. That’s just me 🙂 Hehehe

  2. Cattle are herbivores and really do just eat a vegetarian diet. These days, the difference some make is between grass fed and grain fed beef. Grass fed beef are said to be more environmentally friendly, but grain fed ones have better marbling and probably taste better. I think they’ve stopped adding meat trimmings to cattle feed ever since the mad cow disease started, but as what happened in California recently, even purely vegetarian cattle can sometimes spontaneously get afflicted with mad cow disease.

  3. That’s a sad-looking burger. Sana man lang basket of sweet potato fries yung kasama for the price.

  4. I’ve been to Village Tavern twice, first with my family, then with a group of friends. I even saw Mr. Ben Chan and the Kaya FC with some of the Philippine Azkals!!!!! <3
    This is what I've tried so far:
    A. Village Tavern Sampler
    The crab cakes were oh so heavenly. The calamari was just OK but the spring rolls and pork quesadilla are a must try!
    I enjoyed this dish so much, I ordered it the next time I went there.
    B.Asian Tuna Salad
    The tuna was cooked to perfection. The greens were fresh!!
    C. Margherita flatbread
    I was happy to know that it was 100% whole wheat. Hihi. Won't make me faaatt 😀
    D. Steak Au Poivre
    The steaks were cooked to perfection as you wished. I had mine medium rare. You should try this too!! However, not all steaks were there during my visit.
    E. Snapper Hemingway
    I didn't get to taste this dish my friends loved it.
    F. Banana Crepe
    Based with caramel and some coffee beans ( I think:))), an ice cream wrapped in crepe with nutella in it, garnished with chocolate syrup, topped of with another scoop of ice cream-- this dessert is DIVINE!!!!
    It's worth your money.
    G. Grape Shake
    It's refreshing and had the right amount of sweetness.
    Try visiting the second time, it might be because they just started that's why you didn't have the same experience as we did 🙂

  5. Thanks for this review, Anton. Initially thought this would be more haute cuisine like Gramercy Tavern in NYC but you’re correct, it turns out to be an elevated Fridays/New Orleans type of restaurant.
    Ill still give it a try, esp when I have a hankering for American classics.

  6. Anton! there’s a new restaurant pa! don’t wrap this series up 🙂 it’s called Cue hehe and I know the Raintree Group will be opening another one too!

  7. The pulled pork quesadillas for us were very filling. I like the tangy flavor very reminiscent of American inspired barbecue tastes.

    …The Cowboy Burger was ok too, the patty was excellent (i had mine cooked Medium)–you can actually taste the beef in it too!
    The Blackened Shrimp, not so much they said.
    The Caesar salad w/Grilled Chicken was ok…although our chicken was tough AND…we found a LIVE WORM on a salad green. tsktsk. More protein. 😛
    But yeah, i do recommend the Dip and the Crepe. D-I-V-I-N-E.

  9. P.S.
    Since you’re up for trying the restaurants in that area, do try LORENZO’S WAY. By Abe group. Their Salpicao and Roast/Baked Chicken are DELICIOUS. Even their free app of cassava chips. :))

  10. Was looking forward to a relaxed dinner at the Village Tavern. It’s part of the Bistro Group, so how could we go wrong right?… Well, I guess there’s always a first time. Service was really LOUSY. There’s no server in sight most of the time. Food was served pretty fast (can’t complain there), but we don’t have any utensils. Almost all of our orders were already served and yet still NO utensils in sight. We had to follow-up our request for utensils before someone got them for us.
    The “so-so” food doesn’t compensate for the bad service. Hope their management do something about this.

  11. Just ate here. I think you are paying for the ambiance and handsome interiors. The food is okay but totally NOT worth the price. We had Caesar salad, onion soup, wholewheat flatbread with applewood bacon, and snapper with pasta by the way. I doubt I am coming back to eat here.

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