Do you spend far too many hours binge-watching Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye but still craving more? We have the perfect place to fill the void and your stomach: QE’s food and wine expert Antoni Porowski’s new restaurant that hit the West Village scene in September 2018. The fast-casual café, The Village Den, gives a healthy twist to comfort food, trends ketogenic, and, of course, serve some of the most photogenic plates around.
This West Village location was previously held by a 36-year-old diner and neighborhood favorite with the same name. Porowski’s version is a respectful rebrand. We should also note that it’s conveniently located across the street from luxury fitness club Equinox — an easy commute for that post-workout fix.
So, what’s the fix? Well, the menu is intricately planned. If you’re an avid Fab Five follower, then you know the guacamole controversy after Porowski added a highly-questionable dollop of Greek yogurt to the guac in Season 1. The backlash scarred the Montreal native to the point where there was no avocado in sight in the first iteration of his restaurant’s menu. Alas, a healthy serving of everyone’s favorite tree fruit has appeared in numerous dishes since.
Claiming to be “occasionally ketogenic”, Porowski used the diet as a central tenet to his menu. Dishes like cabbage rolls stuffed with turkey and cauliflower rice and macadamia-crusted fish sticks with maple parsnip mash grace the Village Den’s menu, also paying tribute to his Polish roots.
When Porowski is assuming his role for Queer Eye, his business partners Eric Marx and Lisle Richards take the lead on day-to-day operations. However, when he’s in his element in the Village Den space, the focus is on one thing and one thing only: food. Before launch, he reportedly spent three weeks locked in a kitchen to prepare the restaurant’s unique vision — and he didn’t disappoint.
For the low-down on the menu and more beautiful food, you can take a look at the Instagram page, but we’d recommend visiting the healthy iteration of the historic diner for yourself. Save us a seat but, please, no yogurt in our guac!
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