The Newest Version of The Village Kitchen (formerly Marquee) Opens Thursday

The latest reinvention of the Village Kitchen (32 Highland Park Village) -- formerly Village Marquee, then later with "Texas Grill and Bar" added to the end -- is set to take place this Thursday, August 22. Since Trey Wilcox left early this year, the restaurant has undergone a bit of a rediscovery.

Chef Andre Natera, who arrived just after Wilcox departed, has revised the menu (again) and is looking for the spot to be a "true neighborhood restaurant" for the whole family, replete with a kids' menu and including fancy shakes and floats that change out daily.

The new menu has items like roasted chicken with quinoa pilaf, ribs, Pecan Lodge smoked brisket flatbread (nice move) and daily specials like fried chicken with bacon and chive waffles.

"These are dishes that will resonate and are familiar, but are still chef-driven and fun," Natera says. "We are staying away from fine dining and offering something for everyone to enjoy."

The former plush and pristine space (talking about design here, not diners) has been given a more relaxed feel. Now there are hardwood floors and wooden tables covered with butcher's paper. Let the kids mess it up a bit, no worries.

Of course, there will be local craft beers on tap. And sangritas by the pitcher as shown in the photo above. Speaking of, that pitcher looks lonely. We think it needs friends. Be a friend.

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