In it’s heyday Vinny Testa’s was a hot spot, a suburban gathering hall, one of the few places in town you could catch up with neighbors and enjoy a casual meal. Those were big shoes to fill and after Vinny Testa’s lost it’s luster Lexington sort of lost it’s dining hall. Of course they weren’t the only restaurant in town, but the energy and vibe of the grand space that had the town’s young and old coming in again and again for large plates of tasty food, a place to hang their hats and shoot the breeze for a while faded too. Until now.
Finally, someone had come in and restored the space to a new glory. Vine Brook Tavern is a great space for a casual dinner, business lunch, or a huge fancy “to do” thanks to it’s well designed spaces. The owner and chef work closely together to put out really good food including classics (fish and chips), classics with a twist (a Cobb salad with a little heat), and unique contemporary dishes (shaved cauliflower salad with beets, Brussels sprouts and a ginger sesame vinaigrette). The Vine Brook Tavern family is just beginning to create what can once again become that town gathering spot. Families will be celebrating everything from graduations or weddings to lost teeth, surviving skinned knees and learning to read. Neighbors will gather for wine tastings and book club discussions. Business folk will take an extra 5 minutes on their lunch break to linger and chat with their colleagues and community members.
When I first moved to New England, we stayed with friends in Lexington and now even though we live in Cambridge, I still have been hoping for something good to replace the old Vinnie Testa’s. I’ve been in a few times: once when the tavern first opened, a couple times after my daughter’s piano lessons for a mother daughter lunch, and recently to try their new lunch menu as an invited guest. I will definitely continue to visit for a working lunch, lunch with friends, and dinner with the family.
Here is a peek at what Vine Brook Tavern is all about.