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.

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:

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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 to Expect When You’re Looking for Good Service

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

Trend Alert: Flipping Your Wine

We know—craft beers and ciders are all the rage. We like them as much as the next food-and-drink lover, but we’d be lying if we didn’t admit we’re partial to versatile, food-friendly and classic wine.

Wine, in itself, is a luxurious thing, and it pairs well with luscious food. Whether you match the notes in your wine to complement or contrast with your food, you’ll find something for everyone in a good restaurant’s solid wine program.

Yes, we said contrast. Wine and food pairings are subjective, and sometimes the palate wants what the palate wants. Luckily, the far-ranging varietals available make wine an epicure’s delight. While we’re serious about the variety we offer at Vickers Restaurant, we know your enjoyment trumps our recommendations—and we encourage you to expect that no matter where you choose to have dinner.

Red wine pouring into wine glass, close-up

More good news: choosing to drink good wine doesn’t have to break the bank. Wherever you dine, consider French wines to get the best bang for your buck. When you select a French wine, you’re tasting centuries of authentic winemaking. Long bloodlines of vintners have handed down time-honored and time-tested techniques, generation by generation. Even some of the vines are hundreds of years old—and still producing great grapes. Pro tip: consider something from these storied appellations: Burgundy (often Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes), Bordeaux (frequently Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes) and Côtes de Rhône (predominantly Grenache grapes).

At any good restaurant, a knowledgeable server or sommelier will make a recommendation for what should pair best with your meal. But if you’re not feeling it, we invite you to be bold, be brave and flip your wine.

Red Wine Flipped: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sipped along with hearty beef or rich foods come to mind, but there are other amazing varietals that pair with chicken and fish. When you’re in the mood for a red regardless of what’s on your plate, consider a Pinot Noir, Côtes du Rhône or Malbec.

White Wine Flipped: Thoughts of drinking Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc with light fish or chicken pop up, but there are more-than-approachable reds that do the trick with steaks, chops and pastas. When you must have a white with your richer repast, try an oaked Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Pouilly Fuissé.

Vickers wine 2 credit picjumbo

Dining out is an experience, from the moment you’re greeted until you wave farewell. A good restaurant will respect your time with your companions, provide outstanding service and assist you with selecting on-point food and beverages. An attentive restaurant will also cater to your personal preferences and tastes, even if that’s a bold Cabernet Sauvignon or an oaky Chardonnay with your juicy steak. Choose and enjoy!

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

Special Occasion Alert: Time to Reserve Your Mother’s Day Celebration (It’s Not Too Early!)

No need to fret about finding that “wow” gift this May for the special women in your life. We know what Mom, Grandmom, Stepmom, your wife, your sister, your favorite aunt and your best friend want for Mother’s Day—brunch or dinner at Vickers.

The special women in your life do so many things for you all year long, so pamper them in style. Vickers is a special occasion destination (and might we say a gift in itself!). Bring those special ladies to one of two made-for-them meals on Sunday, May 8:

  • Brunch from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. featuring eight warm weather-inspired appetizers like Lobster Bisque, Spring Asparagus, Fruit and Yogurt and Spring Greens Salad; nine drool-worthy entrees including Spring Vegetable Quiche, Eggs Benedict, Seared Salmon and Chicken and Mushroom Crepe; plus tempting dessert selections from our pastry chef. Adults are $34 for three courses; children under 10 are just $17.50 for two courses.
  • Dinner, starting at 4 p.m. (with the last reservation taken for 7:30 p.m.). Our full regular dinner menu will be available, headlined by soul-satisfying classics such as Smoked Salmon, Caramelized Scallops, Heritage Spinach Salad, Tagliatelle, Free Range Great Plains Bison, Roasted Rack of Lamb, Vickers Crab Cakes and Filet Mignon Béarnaise. Save room for our signature desserts.

vickers fish

Special occasion alert: Mother’s Day is one of only two times each year we’re open on Sundays for brunch, and brunch is the only time we have a dedicated children’s menu. Don’t miss it!

While you’re enjoying, point the guest of honor to the Festive & Fancies on our cocktail menu. Mother’s Day calls for drinks made with bubbles and pop, like the inimitable Dowager Countess: crème de violette, St. Germain and champagne. Or she may opt for the Cranberry Sparkler, our vodka, cranberry, orange and champagne float. So many options—how to choose?

Vickers Cocktails

At Vickers, we pride ourselves on bringing a little bit of elegance to your fancy outing. Take the hassle out of hosting and make reservations for up to 10. You’ll enjoy our gracious tableside service at dinner and Downton Abbey-style attention from our impeccably trained servers at both meals. Relax and linger—you won’t be hurried as we respect your dining time together.

It’s not too early to make your Mother’s Day reservations—we will sell out, and we want you to be with us on this important day. Here’s a pro tip: Call our maître d’ at (610) 363-7998 because we always have a few seats tucked away (and a few more for our VIP customers, too). We love online reservations, but the Internet doesn’t tell all.

Make it memorable Mother’s Day with us at Vickers!

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

3 Wedding Trends for Today’s Couple

Your wedding day will continue to be all about you in 2016—no doubt about it! But this year is also set to bring some welcome changes to the wedding planning landscape, special touches that will make for a more memorable event.

Our expert event planning staff predicts the following and encourages you to consider these up-and-coming trends that really are new twists on classic favorites.

1. Relax Over Food and Drink

A proper dinner is all the rage in 2016. Gone are the days of “stationed receptions,” which seemed like a good idea but turned out to be long and exhausting for guests. After a full day of getting ready, driving a distance to the ceremony and possibly waiting for the reception, your guests’ day is just about as long as the bridal party’s day. By dinnertime, everyone is ready for … well … dinner.

At Vickers Restaurant, we’re seeing a pull away from these cocktail-style receptions with lots of finger foods to a renewed focus on a light cocktail and hors d’oeuvres hour followed by a traditional sit-down dinner. The only exception to the finger food rule is a dessert table. Nine out of 10 couples choose a dessert table—and their guests appreciate the extra detail.

vickers desserts

Signature cocktails are still in, but need to be well thought out. While a bourbon neat may be your favorite, it’s not wise to offer that to your guests who may not be as seasoned as you are in the bar department. Lighter libations like a champagne cocktail or spiked sangria are more palatable beverages your guests can enjoy (and not pay for the next morning!). Consult your wedding planner if you’d like to design your own custom cocktail.

Pro tip: If the number in your party will be 60 or under, ask if your guests can order with personalized menus. It saves you time and often money and is an elegant and impressive surprise for your guests. This is something that Vickers does often for its weddings.

2. Decorate with Lots of Flowers

We’re seeing flowers everywhere once again. Centerpieces are becoming more of a focus and brides are putting more dollars into their tablescapes than their bouquets.

vickers flowers

This year, we’ll see brides carrying small bunches of baby’s breath but wearing fresh flower crowns, floral necklaces and even fresh floral sashes and giving a nod back to traditional flowers like roses, hydrangea and (if you’re lucky enough and can find a local grower) dinner plate dahlias. Luckily, Vickers’ floral design team grows our own dinner plate dahlias organically and right around the corner.

Pro tip: Antique colors are really making a statement in 2016. Choose positively sweet and ethereal muted pinks, peaches and creams to be on-trend.

3. Make an Evening of the Rehearsal

Over the past five years, we’ve seen rehearsal dinners become more than the traditional meet and greet. With many out-of-town guests coming from afar, it’s nice to say “thanks for making the trip” by including them the night before. The rehearsal dinner also is an opportunity for the groom’s side to shine and feel they’re an integral part of the wedding events.

Rehearsal dinners were once reserved for intimate family to get to know each other and for the fathers to toast the happy couple back and forth. In 2016, we’ll see many couples treat the rehearsal dinner as a welcome dinner—and that’s just great for the extended family (and friends!).

Pro tip: If you’re doing a rustic wedding, choose a formal dinner for the rehearsal. If you’re doing a farm-to-table theme, opt for a traditional filet Béarnaise at the rehearsal to delight your guests. Your wedding planner will help guide you to the perfect rehearsal dinner fare.

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