Vermont’s restaurant scene represents a panoply of regional and international flavors. It’s possible to take a tour of the world without leaving the state. To help you embark, we have gathered, in the next few pages, a small taste to whet your appetite.
Leunig’s Bistro & Café — 115 Church St., on the Church Street Marketplace, Burlington. Experience Leunig’s and you’ll believe its motto: “The panache of Paris and the value of Vermont, right in the center of downtown Burlington.” It has charming decor, creative food, and a well-appointed bar, plus an art deco lounge upstairs and live music for dinner. The sidewalk patio at the corner of Church and College streets offers a prime spot for downtown people-watching (or for being seen). Serving lunch, dinner, and Saturday and Sunday brunch (first-come, first-served), when the restaurant’s special-blend coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice make a great start. (802) 863-3759; www.leunigsbistro.com.
Starry Night Café — 5371 U.S. Route 7, North Ferrisburgh. Chef Josh Krechel and his wife, Amanda Seubert, run this newly renovated fine-dining restaurant midway between Middlebury and Burlington. Chef’s wholesome, classic menu features seasonal Vermont products, organically grown when available, and includes locally raised beef and carefully sourced fish. Offerings range from comfortable soups to elegant creations, and the bar menu embraces the eclectic to the familiar. Starry Night features a large, octagonal dining room, and a newly added full-season back porch, complete with a handcrafted stone fireplace and cathedral ceiling. Both have gorgeous views of the Vermont landscape. Reservations recommended. Open Wednesday through Sunday 5:30 to 9 p.m. (802) 877-6316; www.starrynightcafe.com.
Bistro de Margot — 126 College St., Burlington. Chef Hervé Mahé opened Bistro de Margot, named for his grandmother, just over a year ago. Classic, yet modern French dishes — escargot, house-made country paté, steak frites, mussels — are served in a convivial, polished atmosphere. The menu evolves with the season and the chef’s mood. The French wine list is well crafted and moderately priced. A monthly $40 prix fixe, three-course menu is available year-round. Available for private and corporate events. Open Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 9:30 p.m. (802) 863-5200; www.bistrodemargot.com.
Mexicali Grill & Cantina — Maple Tree Place, Williston. Head South of the Other Border for California-inspired Mexican, two doors down from Majestic 10. The recently expanded patio boasts 15 umbrella tables for your outdoor fiesta. For fresh, summer flavor try jalapeño cilantro slaw served in deep-fried, tilapia fish tacos, or the slow-cooked, shredded pork quesadillas. The Salsa Bar features homemade tortilla chips and unlimited spicy ranch plus seasonal salsas in a range of heat from salsa fresca and pico de gallo to peach habañero and XXX. Explore daily drink specials or a variety of local and Mexican beers, fruit- and jalapeño-infused margaritas, sangria, and specialty margaritas. Open Monday through Friday at 11; Saturday and Sunday at noon. (802) 879-9492; www.mexicalivt.net.
The Windjammer — 1076 Williston Road, South Burlington. Locally owned and operated since 1977, The Windjammer describes itself as Burlington’s original steak and seafood restaurant. In addition to classic American fare, the menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options, and an extensive salad bar. Creative cocktails, craft beers, and a Wine Spectator wine list complement both the restaurant and pub menus. The restaurant has supported Vermont farms, producers, and businesses since 1978. (802) 862-6585; www.WindjammerRestaurant.com.
The Upper Deck Pub — South Burlington. Located above the Windjammer Restaurant is a family-friendly, sports-themed pub that offers its own extensive menu featuring steak and seafood plus a great selection of burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers. Complementing the menu are the Upper Deck’s broad wine list, creative cocktail menu, and a variety of microbrews on draft. (802) 862-6585.
Pauline’s Café and Restaurant — 1834 Shelburne Road, South Burlington. Chef David Hoene is the creative energy behind one of the area’s best known chef-owned restaurants. Pauline’s has been serving locals and tourists alike for over 30 years. Whether you’re seeking an intimate dinner for two or entertaining large groups of family, friends, or clients, the restaurant offers a fine-dining experience in a casual, comfortable environment. Menus feature many locally raised or foraged edibles from the Lake Champlain basin. Famous for its Maine crab cakes, Pauline’s also offers local free-range chicken, organic American beef, and farm-fresh vegetables in season. The wine list is carefully chosen to complement the food and features many biodynamic and organically produced wines from around the world. Dining options include a casual café; relaxed, elegant upstairs dining rooms; two private party rooms; an outdoor patio in season; and a cozy bar. All dining venues are wheelchair accessible. Reservations are recommended. (802) 862-1081; www.paulinescafe.com.
La Villa Bistro — 3762 Shelburne Road, Tenneybrook Square, Shelburne. A family-owned and chef-operated fresh Italian restaurant since 1995, serving lunch and dinner every day. Local food and a relaxing atmosphere make for great times with family and friends, and you can enjoy watching the chef work in the open kitchen. Gusto Gelato, an authentic gelateria making high quality gelato and sorbeto using traditional artisan methods, is in the space adjacent to La Villa. The gelato is made in small batches using local milk and natural ingredients. It’s lower in fat than ice cream and has a wonderful, creamy texture. Gusto flavors run from popular fan favorites to new and adventurous combinations. Opens at 11 Monday through Saturday, and Sundays 4 to 8:30 p.m. (802) 985-2596; www.lavillabistro.com and facebook.com/gustogelatovt.
Morgan’s Tavern — Middlebury Inn on the Town Green. This historic inn, which dates back to the early 1800s, has an exceptional dining room open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu in this Vermont-style public house features food prepared from fresh, locally sourced ingredients from small farmers, artisan cheese-makers, and specialty meat suppliers in the Vermont Fresh Network Partnership. Serving breakfast daily, 7 to 10 a.m.; lunch Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; afternoon tea daily, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.; and dinner Wednesday through Sunday, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Available for private dining, meetings, weddings, and events. (802) 842-4666; www.middleburyinn.com.
Leonardo’s Pizza — 83 Pearl St.,Burlington, South Burlington, and Winoosk. This year marks the 27th year for Leonardo’s Pizza. Offerings include traditional, gourmet, and vegetarian pizzas as well as salads, breadsticks, and wings. Leonardo’s makes its own dough daily using King Arthur Flour, and you’ll find over 20 specialty pizzas for carry-out or free delivery. Look for business charge accounts and mobile-app or online ordering at www.leonardosonline.com. The locations are open seven days a week: Burlington, (802) 862-7700; South Burlington and Winooski, (802) 951-9000.
McCarthy’s Restaurant — 454 Mountain Road, Stowe. McCarthy’s is a Stowe institution since 1974. One look at the menu — breakfast or lunch — conjures up memories of places your parents took you as a kid, but with a modern, Farm-to-Table twist. For breakfast, you’ll find freshly baked goods like cinnamon rolls and sticky buns, local eggs cooked just about every way imaginable. Think eggs McCarthy on an English muffin, or scrambled with broccoli and Cabot cheddar on pita. Or try huevos rancheros or a breakfast burrito or quesadilla. Lunches feature wraps with funky names like Chicken with the Blues (cheese, that is). A lineup of panini includes a Tuscan with grilled marinated chicken, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, red onions, and spinach and walnut pesto. Burgers, homemade soups, smoothies, Speeder & Earl’s coffee. Makes you want to go now, doesn’t it? (802) 253-8686; www.mccarthysrestaurantstowe.com.
Cloud 9 Caterers — 142 Hegeman Ave., Colchester. An Eco-conscious approach inspires the menu of this caterer located in Fort Ethan Allen. The unbelievably broad selection of menus includes foods and beverages to be passed or plated for sit-down affairs, buffets, and cocktail parties. A member of the Vermont Fresh Network, Cloud 9 prides itself on offering locally sourced food that is “eclectic, contemporary, and fresh.” Services include event-planning with destination consultations for up to 800 guests for served sit-down dinners, or 3,000 guests for cocktail events. (802) 655-7370; www.cloud9caterers.com.
Joyce’s Noodle House — 5 Carmichael St., Essex Junction. For dining in or takeout, Joyce Fong, the chef-owner of Joyce’s Noodle House, creates lip-smackingly authentic Chinese dishes generous with vegetables. Joyce’s will make any menu item a vegetarian one on request. Specialties are dim sum Mandarin-style, Cantonese meat, spicy Szechuan and Hunan dishes, and noodles — soft, crispy, fried, in soups — delicious noodles. The menu includes several Thai dishes, and combination dinners are served all day. Full bar. No MSG is used, and Joyce’s cooks with only 100% vegetable oil. Prices are reasonable, and credit cards are accepted. (802) 288-9828; www.joycesnoodlehouse.com. •
To make your restaurant part of the next Dining Out, call (802) 862-4109.
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