At the insistence of one of my friends and classmates, I decided to scope out Westville’s location in Chelsea. Westville’s website explains their love of simplicity, which is very comforting in a world of nonfat dry milk powder and two-percent-or-less-of-the-following-ingredients. Complicated ingredients make for complicated eating experiences and often moments of concern. Their online menu also states, “Please alert your server to any allergies or dietary restrictions.” Even before I got to Westville, the signs were pointing to success.
Westville, like most things in Chelsea, is quite darling. Located on 18th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, Westville is an easy walk from the 18th Street station on the 1 train, or from Union Square. It’s a little hard to spot, but with the summertime seating outdoors, you’ll know it when you see it. Seating is crowded at Westville, but instead of feeling cramped, it feels like a community.
Of the things about which my friend had gushed were Westville’s specials. Indeed, there were many mouthwatering options on the main menu as well as the specials listing. However she neglected to say anything about their massive list of side dishes! Simplicity in ingredients clearly does not mean a scarcity of choices. The couple finishing their meal next to us leaned over to give us their advice. Our server also knew the ingredients to every dish that I asked about—hurray!—and I finally decided on the salmon teriyaki with some French fries. She informed me that the dish had soy sauce, and that the fries had flour, but I assured her that I was allergic to only dairy products and peanuts.
The food itself was beautifully presented, and perfectly portioned. Everything was delicious, and there were no allergic reactions at all! The salmon teriyaki was not gloppy, as some teriyaki dishes are, and the fries were nice and crispy. Apparently the trick is coating the potatoes in flour, which makes them crispier in the fryer. I had never heard of adding flour to French fries, but I can’t say that I’m complaining.
The waitstaff was so friendly, and the other customers wedged in next to us seemed just as enthused about the restaurant. Most everyone there seemed to be returning clientele, and I got the feeling that Westville creates very loyal customers. With the friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff and the simply delicious food, I can see why. The whole evening was very relaxing; quite the contrast to the stressed atmosphere of University life. All in all, it was a wonderful summer meal!