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    Updated on Oct 16, 2018. Posted on Oct 10, 2018

    Antoni From “Queer Eye” Just Opened A Restaurant In NYC — Here’s Our Review

    There's no guacamole on the menu — but there is avo smash.

    by ,

    Hi! We're Syd and Jon-Michael, and we both love food and Antoni from Queer Eye!

    Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed / instagram.com

    Syd: I mostly love Antoni, as I've written countless thirst trap posts about him on this website, but as far as food goes, I'll pretty much eat anything as long as it's vegetarian and/or probably bad for you.

    Jon-Michael: Whereas Syd mostly eats to live, I live to eat. Like, I'm the person who thinks about lunch while eating breakfast and about dinner while eating lunch. That said, I try to eat a balanced diet, so I was excited to experience Antoni's take on healthy ~fast caj~.

    Back in June, Antoni announced his plans to open a restaurant in New York, and of course we were on the story like butter on a roll.

    Instagram: @antoni / Via instagram.com

    He partnered with NYC restauranteurs Lisle Richards and Eric Marx to pull it off.

    Well, after months of planning, renovating, and taste-testing, The Village Den finally opened its doors last week, and we didn't waste a single second heading downtown to try it out.

    Syd Robinson / BuzzFeed

    From the outside, The Village Den is super cute and cozy-looking. It's on a street corner in a residential area, so it definitely gives off some ~quaint~ vibes.

    Syd Robinson / BuzzFeed

    And when we saw the sign outside the restaurant, we were immediately intrigued by the concept of "TV dinners" too! Like, umm...? Antoni, explain!!!!!!!

    The inside, however, looks like a cross between a plant lover's Pinterest board and a Dig Inn...in a good way!

    Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed, Syd Robinson / BuzzFeed

    Also, the natural light in there is AMAZING. Whether you're eating lunch, having a coffee and working on your novel, or trying to get the ultimate Insta, rest assured that the lighting will do you favors.

    The menu was divided up into six sections: Coffee, Breakfast, Salads, Bowls, TV Dinners, and Smoothies.

    Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed

    The Smoothie section was then broken down into three smaller sections: Berry, Green, and Almond & PB. So, like, we've got options, henny!!!!!!! 💅

    First up: Beverages!

    Syd Robinson / BuzzFeed

    Syd: We got there around 11 a.m., so I obviously needed/felt obligated to order coffee. I generally tend to be into artificial sweeteners — I know, they're not that good for you, blah blah blah — but they only had brown sugar!!! HOWEVER, the plain latte I ordered was itself pretty sweet, so the brown sugar ended up doing its job.

    Jon-Michael: Having already had my morning coffee, I went straight for the smoothies. We ordered The Big Porowski — made with Greek yogurt, bananas, dates, and lime zest — literally only because it had Antoni's last name in it. It tasted very healthy (read: not very sweet) and like something I'd drink after a workout. We also sampled the Chocolate Earthshake, which tasted like a diet chocolate-covered strawberry.

    Next up: Salads!

    Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed, Syd Robinson / BuzzFeed

    Syd: As the vegetarian of the two of us, I led the charge in the salad department! We tried two: the Den Mother and the Almond Caesar!

    On the left is the Den Mother, which consisted of maple-roasted squash, pomegranate, beet hummus, cauliflower, lentils, pepitas, baby kale, and pickled apricot. While at first I wasn't sure if I'd like it, I ended up loving that there was a wide assortment of different tastes and textures! It was kinda like veggie tapas, and I'm very, VERY into tapas.

    TBH, I think I liked the second salad more — that was the vegan Almond Caesar. I really liked the Almond Caesar because it was really flavorful, and most kale tastes like hard garbage to me. However, the stars of the salad were definitely the croutons — they were made entirely out of ALMOND FLOUR, and they were SO GOOD.

    The side of sweet potato was also delish!!! It reminded me that I don't need to douse every potato I eat in salt to get flavor, so basically I'm gonna be a health guru now.

    Jon-Michael: The Den Mother actually reminded me of my own mother, and not just because of the name. Growing up, my mom made it a point to make our dinner plates as colorful as possible — think yellow creamed corn, red sliced tomatoes, green sliced zucchini, etc. The Den Mother is basically the salad equivalent of that. While the lentils were a little bland, the pickled apricots (who knew you could pickle apricots?!) and the slightly spicy spaghetti squash were particularly good.

    The Almond Caesar was a good reminder that if kale is prepared the right way, it can be really good. It felt ~massaged~, so eating it didn't feel like chewing on tree bark, and it tasted like a loaded salad without actually being loaded down.

    JM then tried the Citrus Poached Salmon Bowl:

    Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed

    Jon-Michael: Disclaimer: I'm not actually the biggest salmon fan, but the staff insisted I try the salmon bowl, so I did. The salmon was flaky, but could have been more citrusy IMHO. What I really enjoyed, though, was the side of smashed peas, which surprised me given their resemblance to baby food. They were slightly minty — an unexpected flavor combination that totally works — and packed with flavor, and I would definitely order them again. The salmon also came with a side of purple potatoes and roasted broccolini.

    Finally, the Macadamia Crusted Fish Sticks:

    Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed, Syd Robinson / BuzzFeed

    Jon-Michael: The last thing I tried was the fish sticks TV dinner. The fish sticks, which are "breaded" in crushed macadamia nuts, were flaky and delicious — basically, a healthy, unprocessed, grown-up version of what you used to eat as a kid. Unlike the bowls, which come with pre-selected sides, TV dinners include one protein and two sides of your choice: I ordered the cider-braised cabbage and roasted broccolini. The broccolini was...broccolini, but the cabbage was TO DIE FOR. It tasted like fall, and I'm already planning to cook it at home sometime soon. Though pricey at $21 — it's the most expensive item on the menu — the TV dinner was my favorite thing we ordered.

    We also made a point to order something avocado — because that's how Antoni would've wanted it.

    Netflix, Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed

    It was literally just a smashed avocado with some seasoning on top. And at six whole dollars, we sorta expected Antoni to come out and feed it to us. 😳

    Final Thoughts:

    Syd Robinson / Jon-Michael Poff / BuzzFeed

    Syd: I was v into it! IDK if it's a restaurant I'd get CRAVINGS for, per se, but if you're trying to eat healthy, need some good selfie lighting, and wanna see some post-Equinox hotties, then this is 110% The Place for You™!!!!!! Also, those almond crouton things were so fucking good, so if you go to The Village Den, I *highly* suggest you try them!

    Jon-Michael: I'll go back to The Village Den for the same reason I go to Sweetgreen three times a week: not because the food is exceptionally inventive or comforting, but because I felt good about myself after eating it. It's a great option for people headed home from work or the gym who want to eat something Good For Them...before sitting down to watch yet another episode of Queer Eye.

    The Village Den is located at 225 W 12th St. in NYC's West Village.