Restaurant review: Village Smokehouse

Last night (before watching the movie Unknown, reviewed earlier), we grabbed dinner at The Village Smokehouse in Brookline.  I hadn’t been to that restaurant in at least a couple of years, and probably longer, but I was looking forward to it.

Surprisingly, the place was packed.  They don’t take reservations, and as we found out later, their table management is particularly poor.  In fact, that was my biggest knock on the place.  More on that shortly.  In the meanwhile, we had to wait nearly an hour to be seated, but thankfully the bar is right there and we had some nice conversations to fill the time.

Eventually we were seated, at a table for six.  There were four of us.  What’s worse, we saw a bunch of pairs / couples sitting at tables for four.  I think this was a consequence of the restaurant having fixed-side tables, as opposed to a lot of two-tops that can be combined into bigger sizes.  Later in the evening in got worse, with small parties occupying more big tables, and bigger parties being crammed into smaller tables.  No one appeared comfortable.

The food itself was pretty good.  I had the baby back ribs which were excellent, and Alli had OK BBQ shrimp.  (Unrelated aside: this BBC article about how the word “OK” came into popular usage is fascinating.)

The service, once we were seated, was good and quick.  The prices are OK.  The margarita I had was decent, not amazing.  All-in-all, the biggest bummer was having to wait so long and then see how badly the table space was managed.  I’m in no rush to come back here in a busy night, although on a half-empty weeknight it might be nice.

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