Queer Eye Food Guy Antoni’s Restaurant Opened This Week. Here’s What People Are Saying.
OK, we know what you’re thinking. No, every dish at The Village Den, the NYC restaurant recently reopened under the namesake of Queer Eye food guy Antoni Porowski, does not have avocado in it. Only some do.
Monday saw a West Village mainstay called The Village Den (it had been open for 36 years) get revamped courtesy of the Queer Eye food guy and two restaurant pros, Lisle Richards and Eric Marx. It’s now a “fast-casual” restaurant bearing that same name and focusing on healthy, diet-oriented dishes.
Among the NYC restaurant’s most, uh, noteworthy dishes are The Den Mother (referred to as “a collection of vegetables and smears” by this hilarious Jezebel review), a Thai chicken bowl (called “incredible” in the restaurant’s first Yelp review) and a fish stick “TV dinner” that’ll set you back $20 (the fish is encrusted in macadamia nuts).
Seeing as how avocado is Porowski’s calling card at this point — a fact that led many to question whether the Queer Eye food guy can even cook — the breakfast menu includes an avocado tartine and a Greenwich breakfast bowl bearing the mushy green fruit, and smashed avocado as a lunch and dinner side.
The Village Den’s first week saw a diverse roster of hungry patrons come through, allegedly more of a “neighborhood crowd” than Queer Eye food guy fans, according to Eater NY. The Post has reported that Bravo big-wig Andy Cohen stopped in with his dog Wacha.
So nearly a week into the new restaurant’s service, what are people saying about The Village Den?
Cohen himself thinks the restaurant is destined for success, primarily because it sits across the street from crazy-expensive Equinox. He told The Post, “It’s going to be a cafeteria for people coming out of that gym.”
Another diner told The Post the area was in need of fast-causal healthy spots, and she’s a fan of The Village Den being so accommodating for diets (dairy-free, paleo and vegan among them).
The three writers from Jezebel who stopped in didn’t have such glowing things to say about The Village Den, calling the food “dry” and “bland” and remarking it “seems like it needs flavor.” Ouch.
“All we can say is: we hope you like cauliflower,” reads Jezebel’s story.
A sign outside the restaurant claims The Village Den sits “at the corner of vegan and paleo.” So if that’s your speed, maybe you should give the Queer Eye food guy’s healthy new spot a chance.
Just know this: you might not be a fan of The Village Den unless you’re cool with the bordering-on-cheesy, somewhat treacly messages we’re treated to on each episode of the hit Netflix series Queer Eye.
On one wall sits a large board that reads off “Things that matter.” What made the list? “Being yourself,” “Calling your mother,” “Believing in something” and “Petting a happy doggo.”