If all went according to plan, Lexington’s newest eatery would have enjoyed a soft open on Election Day, and then something with a little more fanfare early next week. But, as has been the case with so many things over the last few weeks in the northeast, Sandy had a say in the opening of Vine Brook Tavern.
Marcus Palmer, the restaurant’s owner/operator, confirmed Tuesday that the opening was delayed until early next week, due to complications stemming from the superstorm that slammed the northeast last week. A countdown on the eatery’s website puts the opening at 5 p.m. next Tuesday, Nov. 13.
When Vine Brook Tavern does open, patrons can expect a thoughtful menu, hospitable service and a welcoming environment fit for an evening out or larger family events, according to Palmer.
“We expect people to do multiple courses here,” he said. “It’s not going to be a turn-and-burn. For us, dining is leisurely.”
A paint job has transformed the exterior of the building, formerly home to Vinny T’s and, more recently, Buca di Beppo. While going from yellow to a colonial blue-grey has been dramatic, Palmer said the interior transformation has turned out even better than he imagined.
Reclaimed barn wood, reclaimed/custom light fixtures and custom furniture, plus a menu featuring elevated regional fare, will separate Vine Brook Tavern from its predecessors. Well, that and a name chef like Chris Frothingham, whose past gigs include stints with Palmer and celebrity chef Todd English.
“It’s nice to work with someone I’ve worked with before,” Palmer said of Frothingham, “And his strong suit is contemporary American.”
According to Palmer, the menu will be reflective of the eatery’s name, and will feature regional fare with a twist. For instance, there might be meatloaf, but it’ll be crusted with porcini mushrooms.
If the cuisine is upscale, the pricepoint will be reasonable, Palmer said. Appetizers start in single digits and entrees in the $17 to $25 range, but with the occasional special skews toward the higher end.
And, true to its name, the Vine Brook Tavern’s concept extends to the drink menu. Palmer said there will be 24 quality beers and 24 quality wines available, along with some signature cocktails.
The restaurant will seat about 130, with private event availability for parties of anywhere from 14 to 40.
Expect dinner hours to be from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with a bar menu available until 11 p.m. and the bar closing at midnight. On Sundays, dinner will be from 4 to 9 p.m., with the bar likely open until 11 p.m.
Vine Brook Tavern will also offer a Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunch and brunch, with those hours being from about 11:45 a.m. through 3 p.m. on those days.