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New Brunch in an Old Town

Vine Brook Tavern, 20 Waltham St. Lexington, provided a delicious escape for the Boston Brunchers a few weeks ago.  This new American style restaurant and bar brings to Lexington a style that is growing ever so popular in the big city.  But it was not always fun and games.

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This revolutionary establishment received harsh reviews at first. It seems a town used to fighting off outsiders (circa 1775) was a tough critic.  But now, as with our British relations, things have changed for the better.  Everything from its ambiance and character to its unique menu offerings gets enthusiastic approval from the locals. It even appeared on Phantom Gourmet last week.

And this better be the case, as I had an amazingly fabulous time here.  It was another scenario in which the entire staff was accommodating, wanting us to enjoy ourselves as much as possible and also proud to help us do so with what they offered.  My favorite part of the Brunchers excursions is that we usually get to try a large variety of the menu and Vine Brook provided a new twist on how to do so, by bringing out three main dishes at a time in whole form for us to get up and surround the table taking pictures, then take dishes away to cut into portions, and brought back finally for us to feast..

First, the cocktails. My other favorite part is that more restaurants than not believe brunch is not complete without cocktails. Lots and lots of cocktails.

(back) Latin Lebowski, cachaca, chocolate malted milk, agave, ancho chile $9. (front) Elderberry Cocktail, St. Elder, Scharffenberger, soda $9.50.

(back) Latin Lebowski, cachaça, chocolate malted milk, agave, ancho chile $9.
(front) Elderberry Cocktail, St. Elder, Scharffenberger, soda $9.50.

Vine Brook Tavern has a long list of carefully designed cocktails and our server was insistent that we try as many as possible. She brought us each a different one to sample and pass along. Besides the two above we tried the Moscato Mist $8, Bloody Mary, and Hemingway Daiquiri $9.50. The chocolate and lime drink (separately) had the most flavor, and the Bloddy Mary was sufficient, but that’s a hard one to mess up. The other three lacked some extra umph.

Hemingway Daquiri

Caipirinha, cachaça, lime, sugar, $9.50.

Now for the food: everything was new.  Never a dish I’d had before, therefore each one that I’d like to have again. It was a mix of brunch and lunch food, (they actually call this Blunch) and I think eating should always be done like this. Here are the stars of the show, in favorite order.

1. Challa French Toast

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Maple pecan butter, blueberries, maple syrup, maple bacon $11.

Flavor Profile: Crispy and sweet, not too overwhelming. It had a perfectly crunchy coating on the outside and was soft in the middle. The maple pecan butter was to die for. The best french toast I’ve had in a while.

2. Farmhouse Flatbread

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All local farm ingredients, asparagus, corn, bacon, caramelized onion, egg $13

Flavor Profile: Light and fresh, sweet hint, soft and chewy.  Everything amazing about summer veggies on a thin crust pizza. Oh, topped with a sunny side up egg.  Wish you thought of this, right?

3. Smoked Salmon Club

Everything bagel, scallion cream cheese $14.

Everything bagel, scallion cream cheese $14.

Flavor Profile: Sharp, dense, filling.   The salmon and bagel were fresh, and you can’t go wrong with scallion cream cheese.  Attacking this whole guy would’ve been a struggle but a sixth of it was perfect.

4. Sopressata Flatbread

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Cherry bomb pepper, aged provolone $13.

Flavor Profile: Hot and Spicy.  Really hot and spicy.  It was welcome in my book but the spice was slightly much for others.  A little heavy with the ham and pepperoni, it’s not your typical breakfast but that’s why I liked it.

5. Pressed Shaved Steak Sandwich

Horseradish Dijon, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, house chips, sharp American $13.

Horseradish Dijon, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, house chips, sharp American $13.

Flavor Profile: A strong adult steak and cheese. Extremely delicious, but not as inventive as the other dishes.

6. Turkey Burger

Avocado, house mayo, munster, LTO, Idaho fries

Avocado, house mayo, munster, LTO, Idaho fries

Flavor Profile: Soft and light.  The avocado and sauce were tasty, though the burger itself was extremely soft and lacked extreme flavor. It was good but definitely the least so of all we tried.

And of course no brunch is complete without Opera, at least that’s how they do it at Vine Brook Tavern.

Joel Edwards, Opera piece from Tosca

Joel Edwards, Opera piece from Tosca

Now my highlights from these Boston Brunch get togethers include not only a dessert buffet, mind blowing duck hash, cocktails and sun on the Sinclair’s roof, but a personal opera show, among 6 very tasty I-want-to-go-back-for-them-now dishes.  Thanks again Vine Brook and Brunchers!

Vine Brook Tavern on Urbanspoon

As part of my involvement with Boston Brunchers this meal was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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