Spend Your Happy Hour with Us!

Vickers old fashioned

Make it two gloriously happy hours—spend them with us Monday through Friday from 4:30–6:30 p.m. Your taste buds (and your wallet!) will thank you.

Revisit some of the drinks you forgot you loved, like the Old Fashioned, Vesper, Manhattan or Cosmopolitan. Or sip on a seasonal hand-crafted cocktail like our fruity Strawberry Daisy; our rum, ginger beer and lime-inspired Dark & Stormy; or our gin and rosewater-forward sweet Rose Collins. You’ll feel any tension or stress positively draining from you as you relax in our comfortable bar.

Vickers strawberry daisy

Looking for a great house wine or craft beer? At Vickers Restaurant, we’ve got you covered with selections from around the globe and around the corner. Enjoy whatever libation suits you at happy hour prices:

  • $6 select house wines
  • $6 house martinis and mixed drinks
  • $3 off featured hand-crafted cocktails
  • $3 select domestic beers
  • $4 select craft beers

Vickers martini

Feeling a bit peckish? The same talented chefs that turn out our fine French cuisine have crafted a tempting happy hour menu. You won’t be able to resist noshing on discounted bar bites that range from just $4–$11. Drool over nibbles like savory Truffle Parmesan Pommes Frites, hearty Spinach and Artichoke Fondue and a well-stocked Artisanal Cheese Board. Or sink your teeth into a light dinner of tender Crab Cake Sliders, comfort-food favorite Pappardelle or our beefy Bistro Burger.

During happy hour, we loosen up—won’t you join us?

Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.

Nina Malone

Photos: Alexandra Whitney Photography

What Is This “Vickers” Everybody Is Talking About? An Insider’s Peek into Our Story

There’s something to be said for doing things the way they’ve always been done. It’s more than consistency or tradition; it’s a way to honor what works and what’s right. In our case, it’s the very core of what makes Vickers Restaurant what it is—a local stalwart dedicated to exceptional service and timeless cuisine.

Vickers dining room

It all springs from our owner, Arturo Burigatto, who brought a lifetime of gracious food, wine and service to Chester County in 1972. Born and raised in the bucolic outskirts of Venice, Italy, Arturo’s cultural values are still present in the way we source the finest food, prepare it with skill and care, offer an unparalleled wine cellar and impart enjoyment to our valued customers.

Arturo’s journey to Exton took him the world over and infused in him a love of real food, wonderful wines and fine entertaining. His career started at the famed Hotel Danieli in Venice’s city center and went through Zurich, the Pomme d’Or Hotel in St. Helier in the Channel Islands, the Savoy Hotel in London and the pink sands of The Princess Hotel in Bermuda.

vickers vintage collage

“Europe was truly my guide to this idea of culinary extravagance,” he said. “In Italy, I learned about white glove service. In Switzerland about precision of presentation. In the Channel Islands off the coast of France about fine wines and velvet sauces.”

Thanks to a love story, Arturo’s expertise eventually came to the United States. He met the love of his life and his wife of 39 years (she passed away in 2010), Theresa, in Bermuda, and in 1969 they moved back to Philadelphia to get married. Arturo landed at Le Champignon, a noted French restaurant he managed in the traditional style. In 1971, a client piqued his interest in a small farmhouse about 35 miles west of the city. He and Theresa took the drive to Exton and when Arturo saw it, memories of his old farmhouse in Italy came flooding back. To him, it felt like home.

vickers patio

And so the circa 1823 farmhouse became home to one of Chester County’s most popular restaurants. Aptly named Vickers after the original owner, potter and abolitionist John Vickers, it opened on May 17, 1972. Arturo’s gorgeous restorations plus the addition of a fourth room, a bar and a small kitchen, coupled with European-influenced service and French cuisine, were an instant sensation: there was a three-month wait list for Friday and Saturday evenings.

“Not many people had seen steaks flambéed tableside or knew that spinach could fresh and be served raw as a salad. It didn’t have to come out of the freezer,” Arturo reminisced.

vickers menu

A hallmark from day one has been our tableside service. Many of the same dishes from our original menu have stood the test of time, including our wildly popular Steak Diane Flambé, Dover Sole and Bananas Foster. Arturo relished the opportunity to do what he does best and what he loves: fine service, outstanding cuisine and true entertaining. Forty-four years later, he continues to do so. He doesn’t care for fleeting trends or what “experts” may say; it’s risky, but he’s true to himself and what he knows works, and that authenticity translates into something our customers know they can count on—and enjoy. “Today, people often aren’t dining; they’re eating,” Arturo explained. “People want it fast. That’s not who we are. There are always special occasions to get dressed up, to take the time to savor a meal and your company. There is always a reason to have a superior fine dining experience.”

vickers tableside

It’s not that we never consider menu changes: we do offer a lighter menu in the bar and on our patio that features Kobe beef sliders, steak frites, lighter pastas and shared plates. We’ve also taken to heart how to make the butter-heavy French sauces that were popular back in the day a bit lighter, too (don’t worry—there’s still butter!). We see customers’ palates evolve, but that doesn’t mean our core style has to change. Instead, change comes with a Vickers twist to embrace elegance and stay true to our roots. “It’s elegance … updated,” Burigatto likes to say.

vickers steak diane

Arturo did a brief stint away from Vickers, but it was his desire to continue his signature fine dining that brought him back 9 years later after owning the Kennedy Supplee Mansion in Valley Forge and Primavera Pizza Kitchen in Downingtown. In 1999, Arturo and Theresa sold Vickers so that, after 27 years, he could leave his mark elsewhere. And while both those restaurants did well under his direction, once he sold the Kennedy Supplee in 2004, he really missed fine dining. Primavera was successful, but it was a different type of cuisine and clientele—and when Vickers came on the market in 2008, he bought it back.

“My wife used to joke that I was itching to get back into my suit,” he added. The reality is that he missed the fine plating, the velvety sauces, the unique ingredients like North Dakota bison and Burgundy snails. But mostly, he missed the creativity that comes with creating a dining experience for guests. “It’s not just the food,” Arturo explains. “It’s the candles and the fireplace, the flowers on the table, the starched linens, the way you decant an excellent bottle of wine. We plan everything very specifically from the second you make your reservation. This is what real service is.”

Vickers pinky nelson

And with that, on November 12, 2008, Vickers was restored once again to its classic glory. If our walls could talk, they’d tell stories of a young couple in their thirties staying up all night polishing the floors for the 1972 opening. They’d share the tale of four kids—all girls—playing on the grounds at their second home and enjoying Dad’s freshly made breakfast on Saturday mornings while Mom filled vases with fresh flowers. Those same 15-year-olds all grew to help out as coat-checkers. There are memories of happy couples getting engaged and celebrating milestone anniversaries. We remember small, intimate weddings and personalized corporate events. And we’ll never forget famous guests like astronaut George Driver “Pinky” Nelson, Oscar-winning actor David Niven, musicians Hall & Oates, actor Harrison Ford and, most famously, former U.S. President Richard Nixon with daughter and son-in-law Julie and David Eisenhower. (Fun fact: Hannah Milhous Nixon was the great-great granddaughter of Martha Vickers Milhous, John Vickers’ sister.)

Vickers nixon

“As much a part of our history is Mike Buono, our maitre d’ and manager since the beginning,” Arturo added. “When we’re on the floor together, it’s like magic. You’ll still see him on Saturdays and at special occasions.”

And continuing with the true family business, you’ll find Amanda Burigatto Brogan, Arturo and Theresa’s youngest daughter, behind the scenes at Vickers. As the creative director, Amanda oversees all aspects of the brand. From event planning and wedding execution to menu design and cocktail invention, she is responsible for preserving the integrity and authenticity of all things Vickers.

“It’s in my blood,” she says. “I’m so lucky and grateful to have the chance to work with my parents and to bring my experiences and knowledge to a place that means so very much to our family.”

Vickers wine

Amanda’s career started in New York at Hearst Magazines, where she planned events and programs for prestigious beauty and fashion brands like Estee Lauder, MAC and Chanel. “There is an enormous amount of global experience here at Vickers and we love the opportunities to pass that know-how on to our clients and their events,” says Amanda.

For more than four decades, Arturo has dedicated his life to Vickers and the Chester County restaurant industry with one goal: to provide exceptional experiences to his customers. Trends come and go, but old world panache mixed with updated elegance never goes out of style. You can rely on us for what we are—Vickers stands as a landmark in history and a hallmark of authentically fine cuisine.

vickers dining room now

“At Vickers, we love to entertain,” he said. “Whether it is for a simple dinner or a wedding or a birthday party, we will always give the same outstanding service and fantastic food that you have come to expect. Isn’t life about enjoying? That’s what I think, and that’s why I created a restaurant focused on the good things in life: delectable food, exceptional wine and wonderful company.”

Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.

Nina Malone

Exterior, tableside service, Steak Diane, wine rack and present-day dining room photos credited to Alexandra Whitney Photography.

Dos and Don’ts for a Memorable Bridal Shower

Middle aged woman serving dessert to female guests at bridal sho

Congrats—you’re the maid or matron of honor! And you just realized it’s more than standing up for your BFF and helping to pick the perfect dresses. There are duties that come with that title, not the least of which is arranging an unforgettable bridal shower.

No worries. We’re here to help! Save yourself the headache and start by checking out our event planners’ on-point dos and don’ts.

First and foremost: don’t lost sight of the purpose of the event. It’s a bridal shower, a time for friends and family to gather together to celebrate the bride and wish her well on the journey ahead.

Next, know your bride! This will ensure the shower is a fit with her personality and preferences and make it a day she’ll remember fondly. Is she outdoorsy, prim-and-proper, a sports fan or a traditionalist? Does she like (or hate!) themes? Does she embarrass easily? Is she into shower games—or not? Brainstorm with the bridesmaids and the mother of the bride to gain insider intel.

vickers flowers

Don’t go it alone.

Do enlist the help of bridesmaids and the moms.

Many hands lighten the load! Gather consensus from the other bridesmaids, and then delegate tasks to make sure no one is overwhelmed. The mother of the bride is traditionally involved, but also consider reaching out to the mother of the groom, if appropriate.

Don’t ruin the surprise.

Do ask for the list and open dates early.

Let’s face it: the bride knows you’ll eventually plan a shower, so keep in touch and make sure you get the wedding guest list as soon as it’s done. That should be fairly early in the couple’s planning, so feel free to ask if they plan to be out of town, oh, say, four to six months hence (wink, wink!).

Bridal Shower Bachelorette Party Celebration Marriage Concept

Don’t forget snail mail invites.

Do go the online route, too.

Pro tip: only invite those invited to the wedding. The couple may have had to make some tough decisions about whom to invite, and you don’t want things to get awkward by inviting the bride’s former high school bestie. As for the invitation itself, go for both paper sent through the U.S. mail and some sort of e-invitation to be sure both Great Aunt Millie and 20-something Cousin Devon can easily reply.

Don’t decorate like it’s the wedding.

Do tailor it to the bride—and theme it if you think she’s game.

This swings back to knowing the bride. Age is a bit of a factor: brides under 35-ish will likely enjoy a display shower with a simple seasonal or color theme marked with easy games like a Q&A about the happy couple (with prizes!). Brides over 35 may prefer wrapped gifts, a bow hat and traditional games like a scavenger hunt from what might be tucked away in guests’ purses.

Group of women on baby shower party having fun wearing party hats blowing paper streamer

Don’t overdo the activities.

Do have fun!

Aside from figuring out if the bride—and the crowd—will be into party games, do keep in mind the bride will need time to mingle and visit to greet and thank everyone. Keep activities to a minimum, but remember to have some of the bride’s favorite music playing in the background for a festive atmosphere.

Don’t feel you have to host it at a home.

Do look for a venue that specializes in wedding parties.

Hosting at home seems like a good idea … until you have to clean, re-arrange furniture to suit the number of guests, borrow and squeeze in extra chairs, decorate, cook and clean up. We’re tired just reading that! There are many excellent venues that can handle as much (or as little) as you’d like—at various price points—freeing you and the bridesmaids up to make cute party favors (more on that in a bit).

vickers interior

Don’t assume you can’t afford a plated affair.

Do work with a venue’s event planner to explore all the options.

Grab your favorite bridesmaid—you know, the one with the level head who’s fun to hang out with and will help you make good decisions—and hit a few venues. Call ahead and make an appointment with the event planner. You’ll likely find that a lunch or brunch can be affordable. A few money-saving tips:

  • Start with finger foods and hors d’oeuvres, and then offer a simple meal.
  • An easy plated meal may very well be in your budget; ask!
  • Consider a buffet to encourage mingling—the event planner can direct you to affordable options.
  • It’s OK to limit the bar—choose champagne cocktails, beer and wine, and consider the bride’s favorite drink as a showcase.
  • Make desserts fun! Instead of a cake, think about mini cupcakes, a pastry assortment or something spectacular like cherries jubilee.

Vickers cannoli

Don’t forget party favors.

Do choose something that will be a keepsake.

Few shower guests really look forward to Jordan almonds packaged up with a bow. Go for something they can use and look back fondly upon, like a cute frame, personalized mini candle or mini bottle of wine. Before the guest takes her favor and leaves, make sure she fills out an envelope (and give the bride matching thank-you cards) so the bride doesn’t have to stress over “thank-yous” as the wedding nears.

We’d love to be one of the restaurants you consider (of course!). At Vickers Restaurant, we specialize in special events. Check out our beautiful venue, and see how we cater to happy couples before and during the wedding. Our event planner would love the opportunity to do the same for your bridal shower.

Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.

Nina Malone

Flower photo credit: Bonsai Doll Fern Photography; restaurant photo credit: Vickers; cannoli photo credit: Ed Williams; remaining photos credited to BigStock

3 Cocktails We Can’t Get Enough of This Summer

We love a refreshing white wine and a crisp craft beer as much as anyone during the lazy, hazy summer months, but truth be told, what we really crave is a cocktail. There’s something about a just-made—and hand-made—chilly and flavorful beverage.

Our list of favorites is long, but we pared it down to a few we simply can’t live without when the sun is out and the temps are high. Check out our top three:

5.12.16Vicker's410

Strawberry Daisy

A not-too-sweet treat featuring muddled strawberry, vodka and a kiss of mint. Sure to become a new standard, this drink is everything that’s awesome about a summer cocktail!

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Traditional Martini

Go old school with the perfect splash of dry vermouth plus gin (that’s the classic!) shaken to perfection on ice and strained into a chilled martini glass—with a generous olive garnish. Enjoy vodka and a lemon twist garnish? Have it the way you like it.

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Old Fashioned

Straight out of Kentucky comes this everything-old-is-new-again powerhouse, a mesmerizing mix of bourbon and simple syrup with a scant dash or two of bitters all dressed up with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. Look for Luxardo Gourmet maraschinos—they’re luxe!

Our summer cocktail menu features these tempting tastes as well as other old standards you forgot you loved. Just as delicious: our hand-crafted cocktails are $3 off during Vickers‘ Monday through Friday Happy Hour. Join us from 4:30–6:30 p.m., when you’ll spy other great specials like $6 house martinis and mixed drinks, $6 select house wines and $3 select domestic and $4 select craft brews. Ask about our discount bar bites, too.

Cheers to sunny days, sultry nights and fresh summer cocktails!

Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event-planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.

Nina Malone

What’s Tableside Service All About?

vickers tableside

While others are bringing back the fine art of tableside service, at Vickers Restaurant, it’s never left. We’ve been plating from show-stopping presentations for more than 40 years. Trends come and trends go, but stellar tableside service is a classic—one you’ll enjoy watching before digging into your meal or dessert.

Tableside service hearkens back to a more genteel time in France, where skilled chefs would work in front of the house to display their prowess. It was a way to sell the sizzle that has since transformed into part culinary arts, part showmanship. For the guests, it’s pure fun.

vickers salad tableside

Offering the highest standards of fine dining and European service made our restaurant famous and is at the heart everything we do. Tableside service was a natural choice for our owner Arturo Burigatto, whose storied history spans some of the finest white-glove establishments here and abroad. He was born in Venice, learned culinary arts in Switzerland and worked at the Savoy and The Ritz-Carlton in London—to name a few. He also managed Philadelphia’s Le Champignon before he fell in love with, bought and opened Vickers.

What Tableside Means for You

  • It’s a great show perfect for impressing a date or a client.
  • It unveils the mystery of exactly how your dish is made—and the care that goes into it.
  • It allows you to completely customize your meal on the fly: light on the garlic or no anchovies on the Caesar salad, for example.

Bonus: you can nab recipes and tips from what happens right before your eyes.

Vickers steak diane

Indulge in Our Tableside Flambé

You’ll never forget your first Steak Diane—our most popular entree—prepared in front of you. In fact, you’ll want to order it again and again to see sumptuous beef tenderloin, dijon mustard, mushrooms, cream and brandy prepared to perfection and finished with a quick flame.

Vickers Steak Diane 2

Then, drool over three desserts that benefit from a touch of fire:

  • Bananas Foster, just-cut bananas cooked quickly in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, then splashed with rum and banana liqueur and ignited
  • Crepe Suzette, a French specialty slathering a thin crepe with caramelized sugar, butter, citrus juice and zest and then set aflame thanks to Grand Marnier—plus vanilla ice cream
  • Cherries Jubilee, a generous serving of vanilla ice cream with cherries marinated in cherry liqueur set afire

Watch Freshness Unfold

We’re fans of the slow food movement and choose local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients as much as possible, especially from our friends at the Sankanac CSA in Kimberton. You’ll delight over two fantastic dishes prepared tableside:

  • Our Classic Caesar Salad has been the real deal for nearly half a century, marrying crisp romaine, house-made croutons and parmesan with our authentic made-to-order dressing of pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, anchovies and raw egg yolk.
  • A whole-fish Dover Sole, filleted and kissed with sauce meuniere.

vickers caesar salad

We invite you to try tableside service when you next join us at Vickers. It’s not just for special occasions—though anytime you’re dining with friends, family and colleagues it’s special. Pair it with a great wine and you’re on your way to an unforgettable evening. It’s a show for the senses as you see, smell and then taste fresh and fantastic food prepared beside you, and just for you.

Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.

Nina Malone

Photos: Alexandra Whitney Photography

How to Host an Effortless (and Fun!) Graduation Party

vickers featured

That time of the year is coming, when high school and college kids will be decked out in caps and gowns with diplomas in hand and stars in their eyes. They’ve done the hard work and deserve to be honored for their accomplishments.

In other words: it’s time to party!

A graduation party is a huge deal, something your grad will remember for the rest of his or her life. The easiest way to make it effortless? Let someone else host it! Many restaurants cater to special events, relieving you of most of the burden (including set-up and clean-up).

graduation girl holding her diploma with pride

Here are our top tips for an effortless and fun graduation party:

1. Create the guest list.

This will be a mix of your grad’s friends, your friends and family. Start big, and then cull down the list if you need to for budgetary purposes. Pro tip: drop the list into a spreadsheet program to easily manage it and have everyone’s information (address, phone, email, etc.) in one place.

2. Set the budget.

Some of you are saying, “What budget?” If you’ve not considered what it might cost, visit a few of your favorite spots and talk to the event planner. You’ll get a good idea of what you can get for your dollar at each venue. Pro tip: don’t skimp on the food; we’ve got other money-saving ideas for you!

Vickers celebration credit SplitShire

3. Have a joint party.

Money-saving idea number one: Explore whether it’s possible to co-host with your graduate’s best friend’s family. It’s likely their interests and preferences are the same, and splitting the cost can only be a good thing. Pro tip: set expectations with your grads early about number of guests.

4. Work with a theme.

Let the grad choose a cool theme that means something to her or him. It can be as elaborate as Game of Thrones, as laid-back as a “beach theme” or as simple as a favorite color. Weave this throughout the invitation, decorations, food and even thank-you notes. Pro-tip: ask your grad to participate in getting the decorations—this is a fun outing and a way to spend the day together.

5. Send invitations online.

Teens and 20-somethings live in a digital world, so use something free like Evite or Paperless Post, or work with your grad to pull together a Facebook event. Pro tip: be prepared to send paper invitations to older relatives who may not be computer-savvy.

6. Work with the venue for the perfect food.

How to handle food sensitivities and preferences for a crowd? Leave it to the professional! Most good restaurants have a special event planner who’ll keep an eye toward gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and even vegan options that fit your theme and are delicious. Aside from that, allow your grad to choose a few favorite items (especially the dessert!). Pro tip: you’ll save money with a finger-food and small-plates event instead of a more formal, sit-down meal.

Vickers fingerfood credit kaboompics

7. Make sure there’s music.

Depending on your budget, that could be a local band or DJ, but to get exactly what the graduate loves, consider having your guest of honor pull together an iPod playlist (another money-saving win!). Many venues have equipment in place to pump music out from your device. Pro tip: remind your grad that Aunt Betty and Grandma aren’t into the latest and greatest and perhaps he should mix in a few “quieter” songs now and again.

8. Ask about audiovisual.

Hey, it’s your kid, and you’re going to want to say a few words. Your graduate may or may not give you the eyeroll, but you’re proud and everyone should know it. Most good restaurants have a simple microphone and speaker set-up. Pro tip: keep it short and sweet, and ask the grad to say a few words, too.

9. Tell the story in pictures.

Photo montages are all the rage, but you don’t have to pay someone or be a design-master to pull one off. PC users can accomplish great things in Powerpoint or with the free Windows Live Photo Gallery. Mac users can do the same in Keynote. Pro tip: while it’s tempting to whip out tons of baby pictures, go for a good mix with a low embarrassment factor (as in, keep it to one crying baby picture, please); hit the big life moments instead.

cupcakes credit Life of Pix

10. Ponder party favors.

Not as big a deal as they are with showers, party favors still are a nice touch—and you don’t have to break the bank. An easy, popular and money-saving trick is to put out assorted candies plus decorative cello bags. Guests can make-their-own on the way out. Pro tip: make sure there’s good mix for those who may be sensitive to chocolate or dairy-based candies.

11. Send thank-you notes.

This gracious tradition is not old-fashioned; it’s good manners. Ideally, these would be paper and sent via snail mail—an incredibly classy touch. But even digital notes are preferred over no thanks at all. Pro tip: this is where a well-constructed guest list spreadsheet comes in handy.

Hosting in a hall is another option, but you’ll need to be prepared to do everything from scratch including the food, place settings, beverages, audiovisual equipment and sometimes even tables and chairs. Hosting in a restaurant will cover many of those items as part of the price, plus you’ll have access to the event planner’s trusted vendors—it’s one-stop shopping for the big day. Make a few calls, meet with a few venues and you’ll find the perfect spot (at the right price!) to celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments. Congratulations!

Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.

Nina Malone

Photo credits: top to bottom, BigStock, SplitShire, Kaboompics, Life of Pix

What to Expect When You’re Looking for Good Service

vickers service featured

Do you miss seeing Mr. Carson instruct his charges to deliver Lord Grantham and company impeccable service at every meal? Even if you weren’t a Downton Abbey fan (is that possible?), you’ve no doubt heard tales of grand dinners delivered by a well-appointed staff.

Today’s fine dining restaurants may not use a ruler to measure the silverware’s distance to ensure uniform place settings, but the good ones do offer classic service in a refined atmosphere. After all, when you choose this type of evening out, your expectations are high—it’s not fast food or casual fare—and should be met.

Vickers Service 2

Look for the following in any refined restaurant:

It All Starts with the Ambience

  • Classic restaurants still use a smartly dressed maitre d’. That important position takes reservations and preferences, welcomes you, seats you, ensures that any special requests are met and bids you adieu at the end of a lovely evening.
  • You should hear light music in the background—you’re not in a nightclub, after all. A piano player is a classy touch.
  • Look for crisp white tablecloths, sparkling stemware and impressive place settings.

Service Is an Honor

  • Making sure a restaurant’s guests have a spectacular evening—beyond the great food and drink—is the hallmark of a properly trained server. It’s a noble occupation, so seek out establishments where the staff does it right.
  • Your server should be well dressed in an ironed collared shirt, preferably with a tie or bowtie, and ironed pants (but any uniform that doesn’t involve a short-sleeved shirt and khakis may be acceptable).
  • A server’s top responsibility is to respect your evening with your companion or guests, not to chat you up or turn you to his or her menu preferences. That having been said, a server should be fluent in special needs to make suggestions for those with dietary requests.
  • The restaurant should have ample staff circulating to swiftly attend to questions and requests, pour your wine, refill your water and refold your napkin.

Vickers service

And Then There’s the Menu

  • All the attention to detail in the world won’t make up for sub-par food and pedestrian beverages. Look for a restaurant that plates a tempting mix of the classics, like Dover Sole, Filet Mignon Béarnaise and Crab Cakes, plus modern classics like Free Range Great Plains Bison, Caramelized Shrimp and Scallops and Seared Duck Breast.
  • A good restaurant will offer a varied wine list as part of a fully stocked bar. You should be able to choose the libation that suits your mood and your pairing preferences.

In an age of instant gratification, smart devices and hustle-and-bustle, make time to recharge during an inspiring night out with that special someone—or someones. Choose a restaurant that shows its respect for you with an elegant atmosphere, attentive staff and delicious offerings. You deserve it.

Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.

Nina Malone