Last month Sixty Vines opened its doors — and its taps — in Plano. It's the latest restaurant from the group behind Velvet Taco, Ida Claire, Mexican Sugar and Whiskey Cake, which occupies the same shopping plaza as Sixty Vines. But proximity does not breed likeness in this instance. Where Whiskey Cake goes for a homey vibe, Sixty Vines pours lots of light and casual California glam into its space.
The dining area is broken into three segments: a plant-filled sunroom, a cozier offshoot from the primary seating area and the expansive main hall which affords prime views of the tap wall and the open kitchen. And oh, what a kitchen to behold: a gleaming white stainless steel beauty where pasta hangs to dry and men slide pizzas and cauliflowers in and out of the wood-burning oven.
But let's circle back to that tap wall. Sixty Vines offers, as its moniker would suggest, 60 wines by the glass — 40 of which are on tap. It's a glorious thing to behold, not only for wine connoisseurs but also for pseudo wine-snobs, habitual lushes, resveratrol freaks and, you know, your average adult.
The taps are available at brunch, as are a selection of handsomely priced cocktails. A mimosa is $3, while a carafe runs $12. If you're looking for something a little different and with a modicum of sweetness, try the grapefruit ($4), a mixture of honey lemonade and Infinite Monkey Theorem sparkling wine made slightly bitter by the presence of grapefruit. Sixty Vines seems to have a crush on bitter brunch drinks, as the menu also features a bubbly cappelletti aperitivo. Cappelletti is akin to Campari but has a rounder, sweet finish. It's a refreshing addition to any brunch cocktail list, and at an equally refreshing price of just $4.
The menu, like the decor, slants Californian. There are shared plates that star the likes of tapioca-dusted zucchini and a whole, wood-fired cauliflower served dramatically with a knife piercing through its cruciferous core. The salmon is cured with beets, and local sausages and Wagyu abound. Salads and plates of pasta are offered as are pizzas, ensuring that all members of a brunch party can find something that suits their palate.
Our table chose the butcher's brunch ($15), a rise-and-shine combination of soppressata, prosciutto, calabrese, provolone, mozzarella and sunny side eggs on a San Marzano base. The pizzas straddle the line between a Neapolitan and a more straightforward thin-crust style. Based on a previous visit wherein we enjoyed Vines' squash blossom pizza, it's clear that the kitchen can produce a fine pie with an evenly charred crust. The butcher's crust, however, sported an excessively charred rim on its undercarriage. The culprit was likely the many toppings which, delicious though they were, demanded more time in the fire than the crust could spare.
An order of the pineapple upside down pancakes ($11), however, was executed perfectly. Three cakes — tall, springy, dense without being heavy — were crowned with citrus-infused butter and one perfect Luxardo cherry. Cinnamon and sugar flecked the interior of the cakes, providing warm aromatics punctuated by fresh pineapple. A perfect autumn brunch dish — if only it weren't served with the world's tiniest maple syrup pitcher.
Was our meal perfect? No, not exactly. But one slightly ashen pizza does not a bad restaurant make. Until things even out in the oven, give the rest of the menu a go. Even with the missteps, our visits were made thoroughly enjoyable by a highly attentive and knowledgeable waitstaff. And, you know, wine.
In our estimation, Sixty Vines is a brunch worth driving for. Yes, even from Dallas — not to worry, the Tollway has both north and southbound lanes for your convenience.
Sixty Vines, 3701 Dallas Parkway, Plano