Due to my affinity with all things doused in vinegar, I was absolutely thrilled to return to the Village Whiskey, a Prohibition-style bar near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia with gourmet burgers, hearty fries, and pickled vegetables. I love to eat pickled vegetables in the winter because they preserve a home-grown taste reminiscent of warmer days, but their bright colors, tart pucker, and texture also make them the perfect celebration of summer.
Village Whiskey’s truffled cauliflower ($8) consists of bite-sized pieces of one of my least favorite vegetables that have been soaked in a brine of vinegar and sugar for at least 10 days, placed on a bed of sweet pickled carrot, and swirled with truffle oil. This pairing is perfectly balanced: the cauliflower is bright and acidic and crowned with the rich oil; the airy whipped ricotta coats your mouth to give way to the deep oiliness of the fresh tapenade. Even the texture is balanced: crisp vegetables on crisply-toasted slices of sourdough contrasting with creamy cheese and the finely chopped olives.
Also excellent small plates at the Village Whiskey are the herbed cherry tomatoes ($7) and the classic deviled eggs ($3).
118 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Sunday-Monday: 11:30am – 11:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30am – 12:00am
Friday-Saturday: 11:30am – 1:00am