Jay Gatsby himself never served a feast comparable to the one I recently enjoyed at The Village Anchor Pub and Roost, aka The Sea Hag. Located in Anchorage, about twenty minutes from Louisville, this magnificent restaurant experience is unforgettable. Seated under the striped awning of a black and white umbrella on one of The Village Anchor’s patios, listening to the strum of live music and the pleasant chatter of my friends, I had one of the loveliest meals I’ve ever eaten.
The Village Anchor serves American food done right, and by that I mean the restaurant serves old standards like fried chicken, grilled scallops, and devilled eggs as they were meant to be served, with a twist. Devilled eggs are mixed with delicate truffle oil and mushroom, capriole and goat cheese, siracha and bacon. The fare is ambitious and interesting without getting too weird. I went to the Village Anchor with Lauren, Brett and Kaelyn, three of my dearest friends, and we started the night out (as we are wont to do) with a bottle of Chardonnay—sunshiny and smooth. I sampled a delightful champagne spritzer, aptly named the Daisy Buchanan. It was delicate and fragrant; a misty little taste of grapefruit juice with honeysuckle bitters. Lauren imbibed real French press Irish coffee, resplendent with smooth flavor and a tiny scoop of chocolate chips.
Our waitress, Ashley, was in the best of spirits along with us. The service she provided was top notch, and at her recommendation we ordered an appetizer of Goat Cheese Gateu with crusty French bread. Our food arrived very quickly. My vanilla scallops were slightly sweet and imminently fresh, glazed with Woodford Reserve and criss-crossed with asparagus. The afore mentioned deviled eggs were fabulous, and Brett’s salmon steak was so fresh we were all surprised when it didn’t wiggle under his fork, but instead flaked apart into pink luscious bits beneath the insistent tines. Lauren’s risotto was as creamy as anyone would ever wish, peppered with perfectly seasoned bits of portabella mushrooms. Kaelyn ordered a newer dish on the menu, fresh pasta carbonara, tossed in traditional cream sauce and seasoned with chunks of crispy pancetta. The food was savory and satisfying, presented with panache and generously portioned. It honestly tasted like someone’s grandmother was laboring in the kitchen, up to her elbows in spices and bacon grease, the food was so fresh.
Kevin Grangier, the owner of The Village Anchor, was actually roaming about and happened to stop at our table and talk to us for a bit. He is an honestly charming individual, down to earth and frighteningly funny. We complimented him on his fare and his help, and he was magnanimous in his acceptance. He and our excellent waitress recommended we splurge on dessert for the evening, and we followed their advice.
I admit it, I cheated on my diet for this dessert. I ate the absolute heck out of a piece of chocolate ganache cake with fresh raspberries sprinkled between the layers. We also had a piece of luscious derby pie, dipped in ice cream and chocolate and perched on a stick—like a grown up lollipop. Brett ordered a carrot cake marbled with cheesecake and frosted in cream cheese frosting that was blissfully sweet featured gobs of icing (my favorite). Lauren ordered the banana pudding, which arrived swathed in a cloud of glorious meringue, browned and crunchy.
At the end of our meal, after we received our bills tucked into trashy romance novels, Brett leaned over and said “You know the green light Gatsby was always looking at on the end of the pier? This is that green light.” A great experience at a restaurant leaves every one of your senses humming in the afterglow—the zing of alcohol through your nerve endings, the lingering smell of honeysuckle and butter roasted salmon, the pattern of candlelight behind your eyelids, the chill condensation of a wine glass in your fingers. I wholly and heartily recommend The Village Anchor without a single qualm, and I simply cannot wait to return.