- 11507 Park Road, Anchorage, KY, 40223
- Overall User Rating:
- (4 ratings)
- Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9 p.m.
- Official Web Site:
William Safire, whose weekly columns on etymology graced the pages of the New York Times Magazine for 30 years, once tried to ferret out the source of the twin sayings, “the devil is the details” and “God is in the details.”
Safire’s sources offered lots of possibilities: Friedrich Nietzche, Mies van der Rohe, Gustave Flaubert and John Ruskin were all nominees. In the end, Safire gave up the search.
But with or without a known source, we all know that both versions of the saying are true. When our great plans go awry, some devilish detail has been neglected. And when every little detail gets its due, excellence is the natural outcome.
The Village Anchor Pub & Roost is a case in point. Consider the fixtures and furnishings: a glowing patent-leather back bar; light fixtures salvaged from the old Stewart’s department store; tables crafted from black walnut trees felled by a storm; a massive stone fireplace that brightens cold, damp winter nights; colorful paintings mounted on the ceiling; a soundtrack that features voices including Edith Piaf and Johnny Mathis.
In fair weather, the Village patio is one of the best outdoor dining venues in the city — all the more reason to bask now in the indoor comforts.
Owner Kevin Grangier left nothing to chance in the restaurant’s design, and when it opened in the spring of 2010, the Village Anchor’s mix of whimsical and serious regional cuisine immediately established it as one of the city’s best restaurants.
Over the months since, the management team (executive chef Geoff Heyde, sous chef Oscar Maldonado and general manager April Adams) has continued to build a strong, service-oriented team, an excellent beverage program (including a wine program that serves both opulent and thrifty tastes), and a menu that has matured into one of the best in region.
The whimsy is still intact. The children’s menu offers the “Hag Bag”: fritos, chili, cheese, scallions and a spork ($6). The list of starters includes not only tuna tartare ($18) and seared scallops ($13), but fried, thick-cut bologna quarters that pay tribute to Louisville’s vernacular heritage ($9).
Entrees include lamb chops ($38) and grilled salmon ($25), but also a Hot Brown ($16), fried chicken ($16) and Reuben sandwich ($16) — and Heyde isn’t averse to enlivening his dishes with novel twists (like the jalapeno sauerkraut on that Reuben).
A bowl of French onion soup, though, was simply classic — a deeply beefy broth, oodles of caramelized onions, a thick, chewy brioche crouton and a golden crown of melted cheese ($8).
A goat cheese gateau — made from Capriole goat cheese blended with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic, coated with breadcrumbs and perfectly fried — was a hot, oozing weapon against the chill of winter ($11).
And a salad made from pale spears of Belgian endive was splendid — the refreshing bitterness of the endive gently countered by an herb-inflected Green Goddess dressing ($9).
Once when the place was packed with folks attracted by the Wednesday night wine special (free sample flights of three featured wines and half-price bottles), we asked our server to recommend a wine that would match well with our entrees — and he brought us a taste that was spot-on perfect.
My wife, Mary, dined on pasta carbonara. Fresh spaghetti with a firm, satisfying texture was flavored with crisp nuggets of pancetta and dressed with one of those paradoxical cream sauces that manages to be simultaneously rich and light. And colorful elements — green, crunchy snow peas, a red splash of diced tomatoes and fresh basil — added bright appeal to a dish that can sometimes look drab on the plate ($18).
For me, it was a thick, bone-in pork chop — bold, black grill marks and a shiny, translucent apricot glaze — perched atop jalapeno sauerkraut and accompanied by a small cast-iron casserole dish filled with piping-hot corn pudding ($25).
The dessert menu includes items such as hot banana pudding lined with vanilla wafers ($9), milk and cookies (yes, you get a little jug of milk, $9) and an assortment of Comfy Cow ice cream — and a rich scoop of Comfy Cow vanilla rested pretty happily atop our choice: a spicy, crispy fruit cobbler.
Contact freelance restaurant critic Marty Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org.