When Vivian Bordieri-Moir decided to open up a third restaurant, she knew the funky, artistic Northwood Village area would be the perfect fit for her eclectic, American bistro. Garage VV, which opened last fall, invigorates the community’s restaurant row with its flavorful seafood dishes and good-times vibes.
Third time’s a charm
Garage VV is an upscale sister restaurant to Jupiter’s Food Shack and Leftovers Cafe, both owned by Bordieri-Moir’s husband, Chef Mike Moir. “Even though it’s my third time, every time you do it, it’s chaos,” Bordieri-Moir says. After opening in late October, Bordieri-Moir says she had to revamp the kitchen and change chefs to get the dishes just right. “We had a rough beginning but we’re sailing now,” she says.
Bordieri-Moir teamed up with her friends Nina Wasserman and Kimberly Levine to create the “industrial chic” restaurant that includes a private dining area, a full-liquor bar that opens out onto the outdoor, covered patio and a cozy, indoor dining room. Altogether, the restaurant seats 150 people. The names of loved ones – family and friends – are scripted in black across the restaurant’s floor. An original mural by local artists Anthony Hernandez, Enrique Lambarrí and Patty Alvarez spans the entire patio wall.
The ‘specials’ menu
The restaurant offers a set menu but that’s not what attracts people to Garage VV, Bordieri-Moir says. Patrons come in for the “specials menu” – a menu that the chef of the day creates each morning based off of the fresh ingredients in the kitchen.“We’re known for the fish, particularly our sweet-potato crusted fish,” she says. Three chefs with different backgrounds – Haitian, Mexican and American – rotate in the kitchen, bringing multicultural flavors to the dishes.
It’s a party
The clientele is a mix of retirees and those in their 20s and 30s, Bordieri-Moir says. “I thought the two groups would clash but they don’t. I think the older people worked so hard that they realize they want to party and have just as good of a time,” she says. The restaurant also offers a “bottomless” mimosa Sunday brunch where patrons can unwind. “We release Silly String – we let people go wild,” she says.
Feels like home
Bordieri-Moir wants her fellow Northwood Village restaurateurs to make this place their home – swapping stories after work, sharing a drink at the bar. “I fell in love with the street,” she says. “There’s a true friendship here.”
What to try
Choose a fish (Bordieri-Moir loves the pumpkin swordfish) baked with the restaurant’s signature “crust of the day.” Also, try the Tuna Basil Roll that’s lightly fried and served over a spicy melon salad with honey chili lime and teriyaki wasabi aioli. Customers also get complimentary, homemade, fresh-baked bread.