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“Perhaps best Lexington has to offer”
Review of Vine Brook Tavern

Vine Brook Tavern
Ranked #51 of 66 Restaurants in Lexington
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Located in the heart of historic downtown Lexington, Vine Brook Tavern offers contemporary American fare with European influences housed in a warm setting that narrates its roots within the community. Led by owner Marcus Palmer and Executive Chef Chris Frothingham, both alumni of the Todd English Group, the pair combine their years of hospitality expertise and skill for executing comforting cuisine into a unique interpretation of casual yet elegant dining.
LexGSR
Level Contributor
119 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Perhaps best Lexington has to offer”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Lexington is not a hub for food, although there are some very good ethnic restaurants. (The predecessor restaurant in Vine Brook's location was truly awful.) For "American" fare, the choices have been limited. Vine Brook is certainly a very good addition. The service was quite refreshingly good. The food was good - not outstanding, but certainly good. Worth a visit if you're in town. And the place is huge, so you should be able to get a table at all but the most busy of times.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LexGSR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Loved it!”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Had dinner there last night with friends and the food and drinks were spectacular. I am surprised by the other reviewers commenting on poor service. Our service was stellar. I started with the ginger margarita which was a not-too-sweet and very refreshing cocktail on a summer night with the calamari appetizer which was surprisingly velvety in texture rather than the over-fried, tough rings you usually get in most restaurants. I loved the bed of Napa cabbage it was served with - a great accompaniment to the dish. I had the scallops for my entree which were prepared perfectly and paired with delicate pea shoots and a grilled corn salad. Sadly, I didn't have room for dessert but our friends did and raved about it. The atmosphere was extremely comfortable - we had a very large booth for the four of us. I would definitely go back.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Possibilities, but too loud!”
Reviewed July 5, 2013

We had heard not-so-wonderful things from friends about this place and had avoided it. Then saw a local review on television that was quite complimentary. Figured we had to check it out. We were seated promptly near the downstairs (quite busy) bar and had some qualms about the tin ceiling and TVs tuned to Red Sox action, but decided that we'd sit where the (owner/host?) guided us after we told him it was our first experience. The menu is thoughtful, tries to put some spins on traditional New England fare and sort of succeeds. The watermelon gazpacho was quite good, fresh greens w/green goddess dressing very good too if a little dense w/dressing. The fish mains were 'eh' - fish nicely cooked but a little blah. Need to order the sides to beef up the mains, increasing the cost (and the grilled asparagus weren't trimmed so were 1/2 inedible.) However, our clearest memories will be that the downstairs seating area is so full of hard surfaces/competing noise that conversation was nearly impossible; and that our server had far too much to do to adequately connect with all of her tables. Spotty check-ins, and several reminders for wine etc made it hard to enjoy the meal. We'll probably try again, but hope the owners increase server training and get a handle on the noise level.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Woodsybarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
212 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“HUGE Disappointment”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We had seen the Vine Brook Tavern on a local restaurant show, The Phantom Gourmet. The prices were a little high for lunch but I did not care due to the restaurant's reputation. My spouse had a flat bread and I had the burger. Let's start with the flat bread....it was flat and by that I mean tastesless. The dough was WAY to thick to be called flat bread, the sauce was right out of a can, and the cheese just as well have been missing for all it added. It had fresh basil on top and thank God because at least there was some flavor from it. I did not finish it and it was not because the portion was huge, it was $11.00 and the size of a personal pizza at Pizza Hut (which btw is MUCH better) The burger was okay not EXTRODINARY and for $14.95 for a burger and a few fries I at least think it should be Angus Beef. Service was poor. Of course the person at the desk greated us as we walked in and then the waitress came over. Took a while to bring the water and I THINK there might have been some ice cubes in it at one time but apparently that was during the ice age which has long been over. I asked for lemon and had to ask twice. I know that their claim to fame is the beer but it was hot and we were not in the mood for alcohol. We ordered and waited, and waited and waited. NOw I was expecting some great food to come out of the kitchen due to the wait. There were maybe 10 patrons in the restaurant and they all had food so what the cook (no not chef) was doing all that time beats me. When the server finally brought our food I asked for more water. Too bad the waitress was more interested in the people at the table next to us and brought their sample of beer. Finally my wife gave me her water 15 to 20 minutes later the waitress started to make the rounds with her pitcher of luke warm water and when she came to me I told her not to bother I had already had some. POOR service, poor food. What is the big deal? What did I miss? I don't really care what I missed. This was the one and only time I willgo there. Again there are tons of restaurants in the world and life is too short to go back to a terrible one and sadly this qualifies in that catagory.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Gary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
“A Weeknight Winner”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

I recently met two friends here for dinner and drinks and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We started at the bar (of which they have two) and each enjoyed a delightful signature cocktail and a chat with the lovely bartender. We then sat down for dinner in their newly renovated, comfortable space, where we were served by a very kind, attentive and knowledge server.

To start we shared the gazpacho and roasted cauliflower steak. The gazpacho was summery and smooth with a refreshing combination of watermelon and cucumber and the added zing of fresh scallions. The cauliflower steak was a great adaptation of one of my personal favorites, roasted cauliflower. Instead of being split into florets, the cauliflower was served as one large slice and then simply seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, roasted until just soft and finished with capers. Both appetizers were an excellent size and allowed each of us to take a few bites.

For dinner I enjoyed the scallops (although it was hard to choose as the menu is diverse and everything sounds delicious). The large scallops were incredibly fresh and seared perfectly. They were accompanied by a grilled corn salad, pea tendrils, parsley oil and fingerling potatoes, which were portioned and seasoned superbly to create a truly well rounded dish. I would also highly recommend the pork chop with spaetzle, brocolini and breaburn butter (that a friend tried), which was creative and delicious, yet well balanced—avoiding an easily heavy dish.

The menu is rounded out with several incredibly yummy sounding sides—we had to resist from ordering all of them. Our night was made by this friendly neighborhood restaurant with great food, fast service, and a relaxed, happy atmosphere. I will be glad to return to try a more of their fresh and creative menu items and to sample the tasty sounding ‘blunch’ menu. This place is truly a hidden gem and we walked away pleasantly full and not regretting a bite we took!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Laurie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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