A Suffolk road trip led us to Hampton Roads #1 restaurant per Hampton Roads Magazine. We kicked off our top 10 food tour with VintageTavern last Friday and I must say it was an incredible evening.
It wasn’t just the food and wine, but the people. Food is great - but it is more enjoyable when shared and appreciated with others.
The Vintage Tavern physically captures everything your mind conjures up when you think of a tavern. There are dark woods, dimmed lights and in the actual tavern (bar) the heads of your potential entrees. In the banister leading to the upstairs dining is a coin that was found on the property dating to the 1800s. It is rustic.
The waiter was great and recommended a fabulous bottle of wine that he said they were able to offer at a discount ($70) after having one of the owners visit the Napa winery. It was a great introduction for me to the Cabernet Franc which is one of the major black grape varieties principally grown for blending. A Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon. We enjoyed at least four bottles of Trespass Vineyard’s 2005 Cabernet Franc. The same bottle can be ordered from the winery for $47. I recommend it.
We started with the Taste of Southern Goodness which included buttermilk biscuits, deviled eggs, shaved Virginia country ham, Tavern sausage and house-made strawberry preserves. By far my favorite. Call me weird but I have been craving deviled eggs and these were so unique and tasty. I couldn’t put my finger on the smoky goodness that lingered in each bite. We also sampled the Vintage Tavern “Wine House” Charcuterie with house sausages, cured meats and pickles.
|Taste of Southern Goodness|
I split the summer peaches and fresh mozzarella salad with Benton bacon and toasted pecans. It was good but not nearly as good as the peach caprese salad I just had at Sonoma.
|Summer peaches and fresh mozzarella|
As a special that evening was tenderloin of wild boar. Yes please! After hearing the waiter describe that dish there is no way that any veal chop or roasted pig plate could sway me. Granted, I have never had wild boar but I am so thankful I have now. I was surprised to discover how un-pig-like the tenderloin was. To me it was like a good beef tenderloin or buffalo perhaps. Delish! I did sample the veal chop which is on the standard menu and it too was super tasty.
We also enjoyed a side of crab mac and cheese as did everyone else at the table. The waiter said it would feed two. I’d say three to four people would get a good sampling from one order.
The only disappointment for me for the evening was my dessert selection. As a special they had a peach upside down cake with homemade blueberry ice cream. The ice cream alone was awesome but the cake was too dry. Others desserts were sampled without complaint; I think this was just a case of me being out ordered.
Cheers to you Vintage Tavern for your number one score. We have nine more joints to discover to ensure you are worthy of the honor. Heck, I may have to come back at the end just to verify; if not for anything other than the Taste of Southern Goodness. You spoke to my heart with that one.