Village Tavern at Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig

After a month of flying in and out of the country, finally, Paul and I were able to double date again with our friends L and T before they leave for their much-awaited honeymoon ♥. We usually would meet up somewhere in Ortigas or most recently at Eton Centris where their Chatime store is located. However, with the growing number of restaurants opening at the Bonifacio Global City, most particularly in the newly built complex called Bonifacio High Street Central, L and I decided to visit one of the many restaurants there. Bonifacio High Street Central is also where Jamba Juice and Aria are located.

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Coincidentally, I was invited by the Bistro Group to have dinner there with me and my friends as they just opened a new restaurant called the Village Tavern which was a franchise from North Carolina, USA. I checked with L how she feels about trying this new restaurant out with me and just as I've guessed it, she and T were game! Yay!

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The place was filled with groups when we arrived. I was actually surprised that they've only been in operation for two weeks and even with very minimal promotional efforts done, people have been flocking in to try the restaurant themselves. The restaurant has a dark, wine cellar-like ambiance. Since the restaurant is new, some American operations crew were still there to train and assist the Manila team.

Our dinner began with some drinks. My really nice (and wholesome) companions all got shakes and Iced Tea while I was in the mood for some Mojito! Yes, I rarely drink but the evening, I felt the need to unwind and I figured that a cool glass of Tavern Mojito (Php. 150) was just the right choice.

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Given my extremely low tolerance for alcohol (read: I get bright red like a lobster with just a few shots), I'm happy to report that the Tavern Mojito is perfect for people like me. The alcohol content is quite low and the lime juice was really the one that you can taste all throughout. However, I got to admit, I love drinking Mojitos because it's quite refreshing but this one somehow lacks that cooling factor. Instead, I was fanning myself like crazy after consuming half a glass. Whoo! I wonder why...

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We began with a huge platter of Grilled Chicken Spinach and Mixed Greens Salad (Php. 595). My friend L who doesn't eat veggies tried the grilled chicken strips on top while the three of us shared this dish. I liked how light it was and any salad with boiled eggs makes it extra yummy. It's interesting also to note that they served a piece of muffin together with this salad too. This makes a good lunch option for those who wants to fill up their veggie quota for the day.

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Following the salad, we tried the Gruyere and Applewood-Smoked Bacon Flatbread (Php. 495). If the US normally have pizza, here in Village Tavern Manila, they serve flatbreads. It's actually fun to munch on as the crust was so thin and crispy. I admit I'm not a big fan of bacon but I do prefer smoked bacon over the sweet ones. This may look pretty simple but we all commented how flavorful this was. Wish they can make one with seafood next time.

For the manly men in the table a.k.a. T an Paul, we had the Cowboy Burger (Php. 595). We were told that in a few weeks time, they will be serving Rastelli's Pureland Black Angus Beef; which, at present, is still being transported from the US. This type of meat is said to be really flavorful and tender. We had the non-Rastelli meat that evening and yet, we enjoyed this burger just the same as it was really juicy and the cut was HUGE! Paul and I are planning to resume back to our non-beef sacrifice and if I were to choose my last beefy dish before doing so, then this would definitely be it. This burger is topped with Applewood-smoked bacon (yes, the same kind as the one on the flatbread), your choice of cheese (we got Cheddar), caramelized onions and barbecue sauce. Yeehaa!!

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While Paul and T were so happy with the Cowboy Burger, L and I were busy enjoying the Crispy Chicken Tacos (Php. 475) which came with four soft tacos filled with crispy chicken strips, diced mangoes and chipotle sauce. The chicken strips were really so yummy! I also enjoyed the rice pilaf that was served with it. This was one of our favorite dishes that evening.

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L and I are big pasta fans so we tried the Grilled Chicken Penne (Php. 425/Php 675). L was overjoyed as this was laid down on our table exclaiming: "Ay! Like ko yan" (Ay! I like that!). We all tried a few scoops and I liked how it wasn't overly creamy and the chicken strips were pretty generous that it didn't make me feel like I was just having all penne pasta in one spoonful. Sadly, Paul is not a fan of creamy pasta so I think we're bound to try the Shrimp Portofino (Shrimps sauteed in garlic, fresh basil, and parmesan cheese tossed in fettucine with homemade Tuscan sauce) next time.

The saying, saving the best for last, came true that evening. We were feeling quite full already but as our last dish -- the Maryland-Style Crab Cakes (Php. 550/Php.695) was served to us, we knew that our feast was not over yet.

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I really loved this! I love how each patty is packed with juicy sweet crab meat! I also love how it goes so well with our crispy fries. The crab cakes were served with tartar sauce but believe me, there's really no need for it as I highly recommend that you enjoy the crab cakes as is.

What a fun evening catching up with L and T while enjoying such a great dinner feast!

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We capped our evening off by sharing the Banana Crepes (Php. 395). This is not your ordinary crepe as it looked more like two chubby crepe rolls sitting on top of a pool of caramel sauce. This sinful yet totally delicious dessert is covered with chocolate hazelnut, banana ice cream, fresh bananas and chocolate sauce. I would have enjoyed this even more if only I'm not bursting with so much yummy food inside. I'll make sure to leave more space for dessert next time.

The price range is quite high compared to other American restaurants around town however judging from the taste and quality of the dishes served, I'd say: we live once and to enjoy life, we should indulge on good, top-quality food every now and then.

I'm definitely going back to Village Tavern for more Maryland-Style Crab Cakes and the Crispy Chicken Tacos! I can't wait to try more pasta dishes and the Hot Crab Dip too!

Village Tavern is located at the 2nd floor, Bonifacio High Street Central. Call them at 621-3245.

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