J’s Restaurant, Nashoba Valley Winery, 100 Wattaquadoc Hill Rd., Bolton MA
I first dined at J’s during mud season – gray damp gloom, puddles and mud. I thoroughly enjoyed the brunch and knew I’d make a return trip in more pleasant weather. So on a beautifully perfect summer’s day – sunny, mid 80s, low humidity – I made my return visit.
Brunch isn’t a particularly lavish affair; rather, the menu is focused, thoughtfully composed and well executed. For starters – spinach bisque soup, smoked Maine trout with lemon sage cream cheese, a Mediterranean display comprising hummus, quinoa tabbouli and grilled vegetables, assorted salads including the popular – at our table at least – wakami salad. Breakfast items included caramelized banana french toast, a vegetarian strata – actually more like a frittata – and breakfast meats. Savory selections – the delicious Vidal Blanc braised chicken with zucchini, cherry tomatoes and brown rice pilaf and my favorite, honey lavender pork loin with Virginia grits – lots of cheese – and chayote slaw – the vinaigrette a perfect foil to the sweetness of the pork and richness of the grits. Dessert encompasses sliced fruit, mixed berries, cheeses, finger pastries, a fruit crisp and almond tart. Much of the food is locally sourced. And the kicker? All this for only $22.50++! Please note – though some items may be regularly available, the menu does change weekly. A large selection of the winery’s beers and wines is available by the glass. I enjoyed the somewhat honeyed and full-bodied Pinot Gris. The restaurant has a patio for those inclined to al fresco. Only an hour from Boston, brunch here is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday in the country. The restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner. Check the website for hours of operation, FAQs and more about the winery’s beers and ales, wines and spirits.