Village Tavern: satisfaction guaranteed


Max van Wie

A cold January day outside the Village Tavern

Walking into the Jeffersonville Village Tavern, I could understand why it’s called “a family-friendly pub and restaurant.” The warmly dim lighting and the exposed beam-work of the building suggest entering an ancient Adirondack barn.

I sat across from my friend Gabriel.  A server instantly appeared, greeted us, and politely filled our drink order.

The menu was seductive. My mouth was watering. Looking at the “Tavern Favorites,” I realized choosing my meal was going to be a Herculean challenge. Almost everything on the menu is something you would expect of a local pub, from Reubens to grilled rib eye steaks, from burgers to my eventual choice, the crispy Long Trail Ale-battered fish and chips.

Not only can you order traditional pub favorites; the menu also has more creative and equally delicious meals to offer, as my friend Gabriel would come to find after ordering the rack of lamb with maple balsamic glaze.

After a very short wait, considering the number of people in the restaurant, we detected the maple aroma wafting off Gabriel’s maple glazed lamb as our server rounded the corner and entered the room.

Looking at the portion in front of me, I realized that ordering a half-basket of fish and chips may have been a better decision; however, I quickly rejected this idea after dipping a piece of the fish into the homemade tartar and taking my first bite. The breading was thick and filling, yet light enough not to overpower the haddock, filling my mouth with the taste of a fresh catch along with the oh-so-familiar Long Trail Ale. The bed of fries that the fish lay upon was made of hand-cut crunchy fries that took up most of the basket.

As I pushed back in my seat, too full to eat another bite, I realized that Gabriel was doing the same—except her plate was still half-full. Her rack of lamb had come with rice pilaf and a pile of green beans in a garlic butter sauce: too much for her to handle in one sitting. The lamb was perfectly cooked, but massive in size. With no complaints, we asked for the bill.
$14 for the fish and chips, plus $22 for the rack of lamb, made this a reasonably priced night out. It always seems easier to look at a bill if the food was delicious and the service was good.

The Village Tavern does not disappoint. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quality sit-down restaurant that doesn’t require reservations. You can almost never make the mistake of driving to the Tavern and finding it closed, as it has the same hours seven days a week: it opens at 3 p.m., serves until 9 and closes at 11.