Grabbing a bite to eat or a cocktail before a show at The Chapel has never been tough (Valencia real estate has its privileges), but as of tonight, concertgoers can enjoy a full sit-down meal without leaving the complex, thanks to The Vestry. The 85-seat restaurant next door to The Chapel is a casual comfort-food spot, and there's no need to buy a ticket to savor the bites and cocktails on offer, or the soon-to-be-packed patio (more on that in a second).
Though the original plan was for The Vestry's food to be Cajun-influenced (in keeping with the venue's ties to New Orleans' Preservation Hall), À Cótè executive chef Matthew Colgan has taken it in a more eclectic direction. Chef de cuisine Seamus Mackenzie is putting out a variety of comforting classics, from a burger with Point Reyes Toma, meatballs, prawn and calamari bucatini, and a trio of flatbread pizzas. Snacks like fries, olives, and crispy squash blossoms are ideal for late-night cravings, especially since the kitchen is open until 1 am. Pastry chef Elaine Osuna rounds out the offering with playful desserts like brioche donuts, housemade It's-Its, and Greek yogurt cheesecake in a jar. Here's the full menu.
On the drinks side, Darren Crawford (Bourbon & Branch) has developed a menu of approachable cocktails like the Nail in the Coffin (bourbon, Cynar, orange, chocolate bitters) and the Crown of Thorns (gin or vodka, lemon, honey, rosemary, genepy, lavender bitters, soda). 12 primarily California-made wines by the glass from sommelier Patrick Cress and a rotating selection of draft and bottled craft beers round out the offering. Here's the drink menu.
The Vestry is housed in a former mortuary (giving its name, which is a room next to a chapel that houses sacred objects, a certain creepy touch), and owner Jack Knowles (À Cótè) has given it a cheerful revamp that repurposes many of the former space's touches, like columns and doors. Red velvet curtains, black leather banquettes, and walls add to the clubby vibe. Though it's not yet ready, the 50-seat patio, with its view onto the heart of Valencia, will certainly be a hot ticket on those occasional warm nights. Hours are 5 pm-1 am nightly, with the bar staying open until 2 am.