Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Village Pisco

Village Pisco
45 W 8th St
New York, NY 10011


This is a very simple place in the space previously taken by Desire on West 8th St.  They have a full bar and a semi-full menu but it's best to think of Village Pisco as doing exactly two things, both of which they do extremely well.

The first is Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken.  This is a simple chicken preparation, and the only way to screw it up is to have a bad spice rub or to overcook the chicken.  It's surprising how often one of those two things happen, but the execution here is perfect.  Spicy, moist chicken was the result both of the times we've been there.   It comes with a small salad and a side -- the rice and beans were exceptional, the yuca fries were meh -- they needed more seasoning.

The other thing they do extremely well is pisco sours.  They make it with lime juice, in the traditional Peruvian method.  That gives the drink a freshness that sour mix cannot provide.

At the time of this review, the place had only been open a week.  Over time, I suspect the other dishes will improve to match the rotisserie chicken and the sours, but they're not there now.  A chicken sandwich was short on flavor and a pisco colada had a lot of the vegetal taste a pisco can sometimes get.  The owner quizzed us on every aspect of the meal and seemed genuinely interested in meeting customers' expectations.

Service is enthusiastic, but inexperienced.  Language can also be an issue here.   But overall, this was a very good chicken and pisco sour at a very, very competitive price.  I'd certainly pick their chicken over the strips of chicken from the Sticky Fingers up the block.

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