It might be all about wine, but the menu at V Restaurant & Wine Bar is more brew pub than vineyard. They cover all the obligatory brew pub bases: the crispy calamari, the burgers and fries, the Chinese chicken salad, the spaghetti with vodka sauce.
Despite that warning sign, the food was better than expected. We started with the Iceberg Salad with blue cheese dressing. ($8.95) It was a very large wedge of lettuce (maybe even half a head) smothered in a creamy blue cheese dressing with crumbled bacon and halved cherry tomatoes. It was delicious and definitely share-able. Of course, it's hard to go too wrong with blue cheese and bacon. The only drawback to the salad was that we were stuck with the plate on our table for the rest of the meal.
Next up was the Skirt Steak Quesadilla ($19.95). I expected slivers of steak and cheese sandwiched between tortillas, but what we were served was a generous stack of quesadillas and a slab of steak alongside it. I was a bit baffled as to how I should eat it. Should I dismantle the quesadilla and re-build it myself? It seemed a bit messy so I ate each separately. Once I got past the logistics, the steak was marvelous: very juicy and tender with a hint of cilantro. It came with sour cream and a slightly sour avocado puree that I call the East Coast version of guacamole.
The Crispy Shrimp ($19.95) lived up to their name. Thickly crusted with plain panko breadcrumbs and fried, the shrimp remained plump and succulent. Underneath sat a mound of mild risotto dressed up with a few slices of zucchini and a whole lot of cheese. The rice itself was a bit undercooked and lacking spice, but it was so rich it was hard to put the fork down.
The Chinese Chicken Salad was exactly what you'd expect: greens, almonds, julienned carrots and strips of pounded chicken. The gingery dressing was light and tasty.
For kids, V offers the standard fare: chicken fingers, grilled cheese, hamburgers, spaghetti. Prices are reasonable at $4.95 – $6.50 and include a generous pile of – what else? -- shoestring fries.
Service was exemplary at V – all except for the abandoned salad plate. (It was cleared finally, but not until after our entrée dishes were taken away.) Our server was friendly and accommodating and got drinks to us soon after we sat down.
I'm not a huge fan of the décor at V, which smacks of the '80s. One side of the restaurant is covered with a Bacchus-inspired wine and grapes-type mural. Old wine bottles are stacked on shelves and dried grape vines are woven in and around the chandeliers. We get it. It's a wine bar. The theme has been established.
Despite that, it's a warm and cozy place. There's a happy, hospitable vibe here – people roam around the restaurant mingling and greeting friends at other tables. Kids are clearly no bother for them, either. The tables are covered with white butcher paper and crayons are on the table at the ready.
I didn't review the wine offerings since they offer so many vintages by the glass, I would've needed to be carried home. They have 21 reasonably-priced wines for sale as single glasses. The bar must not be much of a secret in Fairfield county; it's a lively meeting spot most nights of the week.
I was surprised by how busy V's dining room was, even on a Wednesday. If you plan on going for dinner, go early or be prepared to wait. Word of their good food is out, apparently. Or maybe the 21 wines have something to do with it.
Michelle Bowers is a Westport resident. The opinions expressed in her review are hers alone. Anyone wishing to submit a review can do so by e-mailing email@example.com, or simply commenting on this article.
V Restaurant & Wine Bar
1460 Post Road East
(note, the menus on the website are out of date.)
Mon. – Sat: 11:30 am – 3 pm
Mon. – Sat.: 11:30 am - 5 pm
Sunday Brunch: 11 am - 3 pm
Mon. – Thurs.: 5 pm - 10 pm
Fri. & Sat.: 5 pm - 10:30 pm
Sun.: 5 pm - 9:30 pm
Mon. – Sat.: 11 pm - 9:30pm
Sun.: 5 pm - late
Major credit cards accepted.