Friday, April 18, 2008

Westville East- a Must!

About 6 months ago I moved into my East Village apartment across from a small restaurant called Westville East. I immediately put it on the must try list, in fact I may have subconsciously picked this apartment because the restaurant looked so good. It was not the lines of people or affordable prices that jumped out at me, but the daily specials and more importantly 14 different daily market vegetables specials at $15 for 4. I don’t know whether I was saving it for a special occasion or crowd, but it took me 6 months to try this gem. Six months later I want to kick myself in the butt for not having made this affordable, fresh, hit the spot restaurant with a very friendly staff my neighborhood go-to.

This particular Tuesday night, in Sex and the City fashion, I met with my three best girl friends for a late dinner. In addition to a bottle of Californian Sauvignon Blanc, we shared excellent crab cakes over greens, that were shaped like ping pong balls, crab stuffed, cooked with flavorful scallions, peppers and spices. The tarter sauce with a kick was the perfect compliment. Grilled salmon over salad proved generous but typical. Baked macaroni and cheese was delicious- old school with a béchamel cream sauce and crispy pecorino on top rather than really cheesy style. I could not resist ordering a side of the homemade English muffin, which was light and delicious, unique as the dough is slightly sweet. The highlight of the meal included the veggie plate in which we sampled sautéed mushrooms with leaks, roasted artichokes with pecorino (my favorite!), roasted asparagus with pecorino (perfectly thin- I am a stickler for this as I hate fat asparagus), and pesto infused mashed potatoes. The only problem was that trying 5 of the 14 veggies was not enough.

At Westville East dessert should not be passed over. We shared a berry cobbler a la mode, made with blueberries and raspberries, served warm in a small dish baked with a white flour crisp top with a heaping scoop of melting homemade vanilla ice cream that was incredible. A peanut butter fanatic in the group also could not resist the daily special milkshake of peanut butter brownie which you are given the option of vanilla or chocolate base- we wisely went vanilla.

My feeling about this restaurant was right on target- a neighborhood go-to favorite. My only regret is that it took me 6 months to get here- there is no wrong group or situation for this gem.

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