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“Great food. Service ok.”
Review of The Village Tavern

The Village Tavern
Ranked #15 of 70 Restaurants in Donegal Town
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Contemporary
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great food. Service ok.”
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

This place is fairly local to me so I eat in it about twice a month! Seafood plates, steaks and lamb shanks are all melt in your mouth delicious!
The open fire and stove in the dining area just add to the character of the place!
The only grip I could have with the village tavern is that the service can sometimes be terrible! I have sat there occasionally for ten minutes before getting a menu, maybe another ten minutes before anybody took my order, I've also sat evenings for 50 minutes waiting for my dinner after ordering! I know this is ok when in large company, but when dining alone or when in a hurry its not good.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mountecarlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Worth taking a quick detour to enjoy a great meal”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

For presentation, this restaurant was excellent and the quality of the seafood and steaks was fantastic. The staff were very pleasant and informative about the local area and the lively atmosphere in the pub enticed us to stay on to enjoy some live music.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ann B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Co. Donegal
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back!”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Although we live fairly nearby, we had not visited the Village Tavern in a while. On our recent visit between Christmas and New Year's, we were quite simply astounded at the amazing quality of the food. Three of our party opted for fish. The wild salmon was described by one globe-trotting, discerning member of our party as one of the best salmon he had ever tasted, and the accompanying risotto was creamy and perfectly cooked. The monktail was succulent and fresh. The odd one out in our party had the lamb shank, described as 'melt-in-your-mouth.' Desserts were similarly fantastic; the pear and almond tart was served with a shot glass of mulled wine, for a very festive touch.

The atmosphere of the Village Tavern is what it says on the tin: warm and casual, with no airs and graces. There is an open fire in the bar area and a solid fuel-burning stove in the dining area. If there is any criticism at all of this place it might be that the chairs and tables, napkins, etc. could use a slight upgrade. The service, however, is notably genuine, friendly, and attentive, staffed completely by locals; trust me that this is rare in Donegal. The ideal place for families, tourists, locals, anyone, and everyone.

Santa gave me a gift token so I'm bringing my husband next time! Can't wait.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
letterkenny, co donegal, ireland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“EXCELLENT!”
Reviewed December 10, 2012

The Village Tavern is near our holiday rental home so we usually only get there out of season unfortunately. I say unfortunately because the food and service there makes it a place we would go to weekly at least if it were nearer our home.

We were there a number of weeks ago on a cold wet and wintry night and the place was jammed full with locals. I always think that wherever you go, if the locals support it then the food must be good. And it really is good in the Village Tavern. All their food is homemade and all locally sourced and being surrounded by the sea they focus on making seafood their speciality ~ that said, I love their lamb shank! They even have their own garden where they grow their own herbs and some of their vegetables.

You can choose to eat in the bar or in the restaurant which is just off the bar. We normally chose the restaurant area but the bar too is very popular.

OUR FOOD
We (husband and self) chose both from the Specials Board and the menu. For starter my husband chose from the Specials Board Squid with Crispy Prawns. I had a little taste, as you do, and the squid was cooked perfectly and the prawns were a delicious addition. I chose from the menu one of my all time favourites in the Village Tavern, their Seafood Taster Board which is made up of small portions of various fish and shellfish. My Board consisted of monkfish in batter with a chilli sauce, smoked haddock with a white sauce, prawn cocktail, a tiny cup of seafood chowder, and a salmon fishcake with pesto. As usual all were delicious.

For our mains I chose from the Specials Board. I normally go for their lamb shank which in my opinion is about the best you will get in Ireland and I can highly recommend it if you decide to go for a meat dish. For a change I chose the Lemon Sole and Hake with a Creamy Prawn Sauce. This arrived with little swirls of perfect mashed potatoes. Both fish were cooked and seasoned perfectly and the accompanying sauce was tasty and complimented the fish perfectly.

My husband chose from the menu and had the Fisherman’s Platter (I think that is what it is called). This turned out to be a huge feast of seafood which included hake, smoked haddock, salmon, cod, cockles and mussels, crab claws and a little shell of Coquille St. Jacques. It came with mashed potatoes and a hollandaise sauce. Believe me, this is a massive dish of food but each portion is small enough so that you can enjoy it all. I tried some of it and everything was as tasty as I would have expected. And the mussels were perfectly cooked and not that dreaded rubbery thing that has put many of us of mussels before we discover how good they are when properly cooked.

I didn’t have dessert but my husband went for the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce with vanilla ice cream. I didn’t have a taste as my idea of food hell is sticky toffee pudding. However my husband said it was delicious.

We finished off with two great cappuccinos.

The service in the Village Tavern is always excellent: friendly and helpful but never intrusive.

In the summer you can sit outside on their decking to eat or have a drink but we stayed within the warmth of the restaurant and it’s big open fire. For those who like to walk off their meal they can take a short stroll down the hill to the shorefront and walk along there for some sea air. Alternatively you can drive down, park and then walk over to the pier along the shore road.

Although there was just the two of us eating on this night we have taken younger members of our family there too and there is a Childrens Menu and lots of baby highchairs if needed.

I would definitely recommend booking prior to arrival as the place tends to be very busy.

The cost for our meal including one glass of wine (not including service which is optional) was €76.60.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank catherine_mcglynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Donegal Town, Ireland
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Yum Yum.”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

Everything about this little gem of a place is great... the service, the value, the atmo and above all else the food.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank mary m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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