Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Restaurant Review: The Westside Local

One of the perks of my job is that we have sales reps who come into town to visit and look to us for suggestions of fun after-work activities. Oftentimes, we visit some of the new up-and-coming places and about a month ago, we found ourselves visiting The Westside Local.

Westside describes itself as a "gathering place that combines the lively social setting of a tavern with flavors and service of upscale dining." With its long picnic tables in the outside beer garden and closely situated tables inside the restaurant, it's a perfect place to connect with friends, new and old alike.

During our visit, we of course started with drinks. Being a beer garden, they have pretty extensive beer list but also had a nice offering of wines. The only downside to drinks is that they were out of not only some of the more adventurous, but also of the local favorites such as Boulevard Pale Ale.

After drinks, we moved on and ordered a few of the small plates and sampled the Deviled Eggs, the Charcuterie Plate, the Cheese Plate and the Arugula Beet salad. With affordable prices ranging in the $2-10 range, these are great options for sharing between a small group or ordering a few of each for sampling with a larger crowd. Everything was a hit that night, with the exception of the beets. But who really likes beets anyway?

As we had been partaking in beverages for quite some time, the majority of us also decided to try some of the large plates on the menu. These range from Steak Frites to Sheep's Cheese Raveloni to an assortment of sandwiches. Everything looked so good and it was hard to pick, but I finally decided on the Mussels while Dave chose the Grilled Cheese.

These mussels were to.die.for. While you'll have to excuse the picture (I was like four glasses of wine in by this time) it just shows how complex this dish was. They weren't just served in boring white wine, but with herbs and croutons and yummy, steamy broth. They were seriously so yummy. It was a perfect combination of buttery goodness combined with the crisp flavors of the wine sauce. If you can't already tell, I just couldn't get over how good these were.

The grilled cheese was served on an aged crusty bread, with a side of garlic pomme frites. It was everything you could ask for in an upscale version of this childhood favorite. Dave even texted one of his good friends, who is obsessed with cheese, and told him to get down there ASAP to enjoy the melty goodness.

Overall, our experience at The Westside Local was a great one. The only suggestion I have is that they should add a happy hour, as I think it would draw in a larger crowd that would probably stay through the night.


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