I had the brunch at Vine. Maybe I am nostalgic because it was my first “ridiculous brunch” experience, but I have very good memories.
In terms of ambiance, it did feel a bit like a cafeteria experience because they had so many long “hall” tables, but in terms of variety and value, I think Vine is high on the list. If anything, Vine may overreach in the amount of diversity it provides for the brunch experience. But it hits more than it misses.
There are a good variety of starters, and things are often provided in small taster sizes, which change during the course of the brunch. This means that the brunch remains a process of discovery during the entire time.
The carving station is as good as any I have seen so far in the city. I particularly appreciate that they have the fixings for a proper Sunday Roast. If you have read my other reviews, you will know that Yorkshire pudding and brown gravy are dealbreakers for me when it comes to a non-specialized brunch. Roast beef and roasted root are preferable, but I can work around that.
Vine is one of the blessed places that provide all of those things. I can almost conclude my brunch experience based on these items, because when it comes down to it, that is what I am most yearning for in a brunch.
And yet Vine goes far beyond that. The sushi is not the best in the city, but it is definitely good enough and does not offend. There are the usual grill and Indian options outside, some dim sum dumpling options, and plenty of seafood.
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the seafood, because I had expected much more based on what I had read. I had anticipated full lobster or langostino tails based on the reviews I had read, but what I got was medallions of cold lobster tail, with rings of shell still around it. It was a taster experience, which was OK, but it was cold. I was hoping for warm butter and dipping, but instead I got cold lobster tail. Bummed me out.
Other than that, I was pleased. There are definitely some hit and miss parts of the brunch, but I know you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I can say that I was pleased most of the time. The beverages flowed freely (as you expect), the service was attentive, and when I told the servers my friend was celebrating a birthday, they brought her a pretty big mousse cake with fireworks sparking out of the top. We were so gored with food by that time that we couldn’t do it justice, but the thought and the decadence was truly memorable.
Again, this was my first brunch experience, but I measure all other brunches against this one experience. And I chose this as my first experience because more than one person I surveyed had recommended it as the one they tend to go to the most. I was pleased with it, and although every brunch I have since experienced has surpassed this one in some way, nothing has since provided such a comprehensive and value-based experience as the one at Vine.
I guess it is true. You never really forget your first. I haven’t. Recommended.