Last month one of my best friends celebrated her birthday at the Vine Brook Tavern in Lexington, MA with her family. The next morning when I asked how the meal was she raved and insisted we go back together.
When I used to work in Waltham, sometimes we would sneak away to Lexington Center for lunch, but I haven't been back in at least 5 years. Vine Brook Tavern is on Waltham Street, right next door to a BTone Studio and across the street from The Upper Crust.
I love their patriotic window boxes.
As we walked in we noticed a chalkboard advertising their special summer cocktails. Don't mind if we do!
Ready to be sipping on something cold and refreshing, we each ordered one of the signature summer drinks. My friend chose the strawberry peach sangria (sauvignon blanc, Malibu rum, strawberry and peach puree) and I went with something called the watermelon patch. She offered me a sip of her sangria and right away I tasted the Malibu. She said, "This tastes like a tropical vacation!"
The watermelon patch (watermelon, cucumber, mint, cucumber vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and a splash of soda) tastes like juicy watermelon at first, then finishes with the taste of fresh mint.
While we looked over the menu, our waitress brought us a basket of bread with a side of honey butter.
There were several specials that evening, including $2 dollar oysters and a caprese salad with burrata cheese.
To begin, my friend ordered two oysters which came over ice in an adorable silver skillet.
After she had enjoyed both she commented, "These were super fresh, but they were a bit small in size." I joked that perhaps that's why they were only $2 dollars!
As a starter, we shared the French fries with a side of truffle aioli. They came in a huge portion, ideal for sharing with a large group.
The truffle aioli was so addicting. I wanted a second dish of it!
For her entree, my friend ordered the Caesar salad. She remarked, "I wish it had more dressing. It does have tons of cheese and croutons, but I wouldn't order it again because it's way too light on the dressing."
After much deliberation, I decided on the veggie pizza which comes topped with broccoli rabe, mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar.
Look at that delicious, bubbly crust!
This pizza was excellent. The crust had a great crunch and I love to eat the bubbles. I normally don't eat goat cheese, but this was lightly sprinkled so it didn't overwhelm my palate. I only ate three slices, so I was able to take the rest home and bring it to work for lunch. Bonus!
We ordered one side dish to share which was the street corn topped with cotija cheese and lime juice. Whenever I have ordered Mexican street corn in the past, it has come on the cob and topped with cheese and sauce making it extremely messy to eat (definitely not date food). Vine Brook Tavern's version comes off the cob which is just brilliant!
Their version has tons of cheese which makes the dish extra rich. The lime juice provides some acidity to cut the sweetness of the corn and the decadence of the cheese.
I would drive back to Lexington just for this corn.
If you find yourself in Lexington (they have tons of fun events in the fall at Wilson Farm) stop in for a meal at Vine Brook Tavern. Make sure to leave room for the street corn!