Neighborhood: Chelsea, 246 W. 18th St. (between 7th and 8th Ave.)
The scoop: Located off busy 8th Avenue, Westville is a small but bright restaurant located in Chelsea. Even though the size of the restaurant is deceiving by merely looking at the outside, the Chelsea location is probably the largest of Westville’s three spots (East Village and West Village as well). Once inside, we noticed it is well-lit and airy, with large open windows at the front of the restaurant. Westville is known for having long waits since you can’t make reservations, but we didn’t have a problem. We missed the morning rush by arriving for a late brunch at 2:30 p.m., which may be your best bet. We also sat at the counter/bar — a good option if you don’t want to wait to be seated. We were comfortable and didn’t feel cramped even though the stools are situated close together.
I was very impressed with Westville’s menu. When we sat down, we were handed a traditional brunch menu plus the brunch specials which was a full page long. I’ve also heard they have excellent market sides, but we didn’t order any. The service at Westville was fast and friendly. When our server knocked one of our water glasses over while putting down our entrées, he was very apologetic, and you could tell he was embarrassed.
Bottoms up: Westville serves different kinds of coffee beverages as well as mimosas ($7) and bloody Marys. I was craving an iced chai latte, but they didn’t serve it, only a hot chai latte. I opted for the chocolate New York egg cream instead.
New York egg cream $3
Growing up my dad would make my family chocolate egg creams as a treat, so I was excited to try their version, hoping to be brought back to my childhood. Sadly, I was not. Although the presentation was nice, Westville’s chocolate egg cream tasted like chocolate milk. It lacked major fizz, and I had a feeling that was going to happen when I saw the server only add a drop of seltzer to the drink. Usually, after adding the three main ingredients — chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer — you stir the drink very quickly to create a foamy head. The server didn’t stir the drink well; hence, not enough fizz.
Chew on this:
Veggie scramble $13 / Eggs, asparagus, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, green beans and gruyere cheese with salad or potato hash and toast
Yummy! This dish was exactly what I’d hope it would be. It was packed with all different vegetables. They ran out of gruyere, so I got to choose another type of cheese. I picked mozzarella, which has such a subtle taste it didn’t take away from the wonderful freshness of the eggs and veggies, even though there were chunks of cheese in the dish. The scramble was so light and lovely. The potato hash was different from any kind of breakfast potato I’ve ever had. It included red peppers, onions and pieces of red potato skin. Usually I’d complain about only getting one piece of toast, but the health bread was super hearty. It also had very little butter, a huge plus in my book. I ate every single drop of food off my plate, but I didn’t feel overly full. My appetite was perfectly satisfied.
Eggs Copenhagen $13 / Poached eggs on Portuguese muffin with smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce and potato hash or salad
I’ve been on an eggs Benedict kick lately, and Westville had a few variations, but eggs Copenhagen stood out to me. I liked that they didn’t top off the eggs with a lot of hollandaise sauce. Sometimes chefs just use too much. The eggs weren’t poached well; they weren’t as runny as they should have been. The Portuguese muffin could have been toasted more. On the other hand, the potato hash was very good. The red peppers tossed in the hash added a nice touch.
The final bite: While I wasn’t wowed by their drinks, Westville’s fresh ingredients and extensive food menu make it worth your while to stop by for brunch.
Reviewed by: Stephanie