Hands down best meal I've had since I moved to Norfolk in March 07.
I actually heard about it in April 06 when it opened up, but at the time I thought, "Where is Suffolk anyway?"
Fast forward to last night when my boyfriend had heard about it from a co-worker and I'd just returned from a business trip and didn't want to cook.
From downtown Norfolk where we live, it should be a 15-20 minute drive, but we got lost. Upon arriving, we were happy we'd taken the drive. The Vintage tavern is located pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It's on the gounds of "Governer's Pointe", which, as far as I can tell, is a pretty swanky subdivision.
We decided that we sit in the bar, it was inviting and comfy. Award winning animals bagged by the owner decorate the walls. It has a little "lodge-y" feel.
We ordered a martini ($9ish) and a G&T ($8ish) decided that we'd eat at the bar. We looked at the menu and right away several things caught our attention. We asked our bartender her fave thing on the menu and she replied quickly, "The pork chop," which is what I'd been eyeing. The bartender asked two of the servers who approached the bar what they're fave dish was and they both said the pork chop with much enthusiasm.
We ordered a mixed greens salad ($6.50) and the sausage app ($10). The mixed greens were pretty straight forward with a few red grapes and a nice apple cider vinegar dressing. It also has a delicious, delicate cheddar cheese cracker atop. It was wonderful, just full of butter and cheese, crumbly and crispy and a tad spicy.
The sausages are all made in house and the specials for the day were a lamb sausage and a duck and black currant. Served with a cranberry mustard, bread, grilled onions and a little cucumber salad. Wow, the sausages were delightful! Flavorful and not greasy at all. The lamb was lamby and the duck was just a little gamey -- great really.
BF ordered a glass of Pinot Noir ($11) and headed to the men's room. Of course, that's when the entree arrived. It was an apple cider marinated pork chop, grilled and served medium ($23). It's not a Frenched chop, so there's meat up the bone. The sides were mac & cheese and brussels sprouts with bacon.
Oh, my! Slap me silly. I had a bite of the mac & cheese and tried to figure out how I could eat the entire serving before BF returned from the men's room and then explain to him that, "No, there wasn't any mac & cheese." It's super cheesy, bread crumbs on top, a little spicy and amazing. Nothing fancy -- no lobster or crab or blue cheese or anything added at all, but simple and spectacular.
Brussels sprouts were actually opened and leafy, still bright green and crisp with onions and bacon. Very, very good.
And the pork chop, oh the pork chop. I think I will remember this pork chop for a long, long time. It was pink and juicy and flavorful and tender, with good grill marks. There was a mustard sauce that really made it even better. It's a huge serving, I can't imagine being able to eat it alone.
Well, we had to have dessert. All of their desserts, including ice creams are made in house. We had the special -- a pineapple upside down cake with vanilla ice cream. We also had a half size of the Guiness ice cream, which is served with a wafer and Bailey's on top. The pineapple cake was good, surprisingly not too sweet. I only got to taste one bite, so that must mean the BF like it very much. The Guiness ice cream was very good, almost like a light coffee ice cream. Their ice creams are very well done, dense and full of flavor.
I had a glass of port and the BF had a second glass of wine. The bill ended up at $105 with tax, before tip.
I loved it and would definitely go back. The only negative I have to say is that it did seem a little forced and a little corporate. There wasn't a lot of character, other than planned character. It seems a little bit like a fancy chain. But still, so much nicer, better quality than anything I've experienced in the Hampton Roads area yet.