the new old place

Jeremy Hill

Destination: Monty’s Old Brick Tavern in Williston

Purpose: Check out the place under its new ownership and enjoy a sweet Sunday afternoon of music with Ray Vega (trumpet/fluglehorn), Jeremy Hill (bass) and Joe Capps (guitar).

Monty’s reopened as Monty’s around a year ago, after two or so years being run as the breakfast-and-lunch only “Old Brick Café”. A couple of unremarkable experiences there under its former name were enough to keep me away for a while, and I hadn’t made it back in there until today. Glad I did.

It was a little on the early side for dinner, so a glass of Malbec and a couple of selections from the $3 appetizer menu just hit the spot. The mini flatbread was deliciously crisp and melty and very hot when delivered, while the hummus plate offered a generous selection of raw vegetables, perfectly firm kalamata olives, and pita corners. The rounded scoop of hummus in the middle of the plate had good flavor though it was crumbly and served fridge-cold. OK, not great. However, as a BIG contrast to previous experiences there, the service was timely, attentive, and very pleasant.

Musically, too, Monty’s has come into its own in supporting local music including the Sunday afternoon jazz series. Today’s lineup was Ray Vega (trumpet/fluglehorn), Joe Capps, guitar, and bassist Jeremy Hill. They swung through classics including Bye Bye Blackbird, and Things Ain’t What They Used To Be in a leisurely first set that made a lovely accompaniment to the incoming fading sunlight from late afternoon into early evening.

These are all players you’ll have a chance to see again (in different ensemble pairings) over the next couple of weeks as the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival gets into full swing downtown. Look for them, you’ll love the music. And when you’re ready to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon of music and good food, I recommend taking a little drive outside of Burlington (maybe on a Sunday afternoon?) and visiting Monty’s.

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