Tavern on Jane
31 8th Ave
(between Jane St & 12th St)
New York, NY 10014
When I first saw the seemingly simple menu for Tavern on Jane matched up with 4 stars on Yelp, and comments that called it a "favorite" restaurant in New York City, I wondered what made it so special. In all of New York, why was this restaurant I had never heard of so popular? Well, first of all, the exterior is designed in a Tudor style and adorned with Christmas colors... red door and green trim. It definitely doesn't give off the vibe I was expecting. Doesn't look trendy at all. But I guess it doesn't have to. The interior is simply that of a tavern... a bar, cozy atmosphere, a perfect setting on a chilly evening. Perhaps that's why people love it so much, it's simple, filled with comfort, and offering a higher caliber meal than what is expected at a typical tavern.
|Photo courtesy Yelp.com|
I met up with Jessie from Simply Scrumptious for dinner here. She has taken a hiatus from blogging, but I assure you all she'll be back soon!! She also offered to bring her DSLR camera and take pictures for me of our food. Thanks, Jessie! We started off with the fried oysters appetizer. They were coated with a crunchy cornmeal crust and served with a Cajun tartar sauce. We only wished there were more of these tiny fried treats. For $13 they didn't give you a whole lot (they're oysters after all), but they sure were good!
|Fried Oysters with Cajun Tartar Sauce $13|
On the other hand, my fish tacos were delicious! The fish was perfectly moist and juicy, nicely seasoned, served on a make-your-own platter with really good guacamole, pico de gallo, pepper Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, and a side of 4 soft flour tortillas for wrapping. I was completely and utterly satisfied with my choice. I would have expected a satisfying taco dish (regardless of its authenticity) at a number of other restaurants, but this tavern definitely makes some mean fish tacos! I normally would never put cheese on my fish tacos, but honestly these were great exactly as they were. Definitely two thumbs up for these babies. Not so much for the fries and somewhat under-seasoned burger.
|Buffalo Burger with Swiss Cheese, Hand-Cut Fries, and Cole Slaw $14 + $1 for Cheese|
|Basa Filet Tacos - Shredded Lettuce, Jalapeno Jack Cheese, Pico de Gallo, and Guacamole $17|
Overall, I think the prices are maybe a tad too high for the setting. I realize they are offering a more gourmet menu than a traditional tavern or bar would, and it is located in the West Village so I suppose I should just chalk it up to the side effects of high rent. Would I call this my "favorite" restaurant in NY? No. Would I make it my neighborhood hangout if I lived down the street? Very likely. The staff is friendly, and Tavern on Jane really offers an unpretentious, un-West Village atmosphere with (overall) good food. Feel free to stop in and make yourself at home, but skip the French fries.