Though Vintage 56 has been named one of Brevard County’s favorite date restaurants and is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, job promotion or girls’ night out, this gem isn’t just for special occasions. Sure, they have cloth napkins and a menu that rivals any of the upper echelon eateries on the Space Coast, but Vintage 56 isn’t the kind of place you stick a pin in for later. It’s the kind of place you add to your regular rotation.
Blue Jeans and Big Appetites Welcome
Vintage 56 is located at 200 Barton Blvd. in Rockledge, in a strip mall where you wouldn’t normally seek out an elegant dining experience–or at least where you wouldn’t normally find one. But that’s part of Vintage 56’s charm.
Despite its classy decor and attention to detail, the restaurant (its staff included), has none of the stereotypical pretentiousness you might find in other establishments of similar caliber. Vintage 56 is laid back and fun, a place where you’d be just as comfortable (and just as welcome!) drinking beer in shorts and a t-shirt as enjoying a top quality steak with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in your Sunday best. It’s upscale dining in a casual atmosphere, so feel free to shop at the nearby dollar store or outlet before stopping in for a bite to eat (and drink).
Food That Makes You Go “Mmmm.”
The chefs at Vintage 56 use only the freshest local ingredients and show great care and attention to flavor when preparing each plate, and the menu they’ve developed is a refreshing alternative to the everyday offerings you might find elsewhere. The first thing you’ll notice is the Vintage 56 “Small Plates” section, a list of mouth-watering tapas you can either start—or make—a meal with. There’s Shrimp Stuffed Portabella, Drunken Thai Shrimp and Korean BBQ Beef Tacos, for example. Next, your eyes will be drawn to the “Rustic Flats,” a selection of gourmet flatbread pizzas that includes scallop, wild mushroom, pear and brie, and four-cheese topped options. You can’t go wrong.
In terms of entrees, Vintage 56 offers a small but so-good-sounding-it’s-still-hard-to-decide selection of seafood, beef, chicken and vegetable dishes. Standout items include Shrimp A Ya Ya (jumbo shrimp atop smoked gouda and andouille grits with lager cream sauce), the Pepper Crusted Tenderloin Filet (served with espresso demi glace and starch and vegetable du jour) and Jalapeno Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken (with truffled potato mash and braised collard greens with smoked pepper cream gravy), not to mention Lobster Ravioli and Potato Gnocchi.
Vintage 56 also offers soups (including the rapidly-becoming-famous Shrimp Bisque) and salads (like Strawberry Chicken). And don’t forget about martinis and other cocktails. The restaurant devotes about a quarter of its menu space to its specialty drink selection, which means they take their alcohol very seriously. Can’t decide which wine, martini, cocktail or even shot to pair your food with? Just ask your server. Either that, or take your time and try a few different ones.
And It Won’t Break the Bank
We’re taught from an early age that when we see whole number prices on a menu (i.e. “14” instead of “13.99”), we’re at a fancy place, paying a premium price. Not so at Vintage 56. Most of the “Small Plates” are $10 or under. The “Rustic Flats” go from $8 to $12 and the entrees are anywhere from $12 (Vegetable Primavera) to $29 (Pepper Crusted Tenderloin Filet), with a variety of tasty options in the mid-range (such as Clam Linguini for $14 or Veal Marsala for $18). All-in-all, it’s more than reasonably priced, particularly if you’re a fan of fresh ingredients, flavorful food, and an ambiance that’s both classy and casual at the same time. Now, go add Vintage 56 to your “List of Restaurants to Try.” And if you’ve already been there, well, then add it to your “List of Restaurants I Go to Often.” Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
To get in on special event announcements and offers (like a free bottle of wine w/ dinner), “like” Vintage 56 on Facebook!