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Feb 27, 2003 01:05 PM

Four Columns Inn - Newfane VT

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Any comments on both the restaurant and the Inn?

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  1. We're local so we haven't stayed there. However, the restaurant is our favorite local upmarket dining spot. There's a huge wood fireplace, lots of space between tables, and just generally great ambience.

    The chef has his own garden and lots of local providers, including a local woodsy-mossy sort who forages wild mushrooms, fiddleheads, ramps and such. Specials are usually very special. The wine list is very well-priced, so we tend to drink better stuff there.


    1. More than 25 years when the restaurant was still run by the founding chef, Rene Chardain, we had a wonderful meal there. About two to three years ago we went back and the place was a disappointment. Nothing measured up. The bread was uninspired. The scallop dish I ordered was served cold. I would not recommend it.

      8 Replies
      1. re: VivreManger
        Andrew Chardain

        I find that a complete surprise, my grandfather trained personally the chef who is still currently there. However I do realize that since my grandfather, Rene, has passed on, that the Four Colums Inn has not been the same, nor will it ever be. Please write back. Thanks

        1. re: Andrew Chardain

          You can say that again!!!!
          The restaurant has NEVER been the same since your grandfather passed on!!!!
          We used to eat there and stay there back when your grqndfather owned and operated the wonderful Inn.
          A warm and wonderful staff,outstanding food,clean rooms,and a beautiful setting were hallmarks of your faimly's dedication to their patrons.
          We were back a few years ago also and like Vivre said we too would not recommend the place either.
          We found the food medicore and several settings down from the origanal,outstanding food your family used to serve.
          The service was still excellent and the place was clean but we too were disappointed with the food.
          Just because your grandfather trained the chef who is presently there does not mean that the chef carried on the great food-making skills your grandfather possessed.
          Too bad another Chardain was not interested or able to continue keep this fine in in your family.

          1. re: catnip

            my father was to say rather unique in his talent of cooking and although he had
            six children does not mean that they inherite his gift.Some of the children are
            in the business and doing quite well.
            We were fortunate to have known him and that he left us with so many pleasant
            memories of deliteful food.
            But all is not lost there are many grand children out there some of which seem
            to have the desire and passion.Lets hope some of those genes surface to give
            us another ,as his older son called him--CHEF DU MONDE.
            Patrice Chardain

          2. re: Andrew Chardain

            What a great surprise Andrew!

            the Four Columns Inn was our first Inn as a couple many years ago.
            we went back again this fall to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary.

            It is not the same - I agree
            I have fond memories of weekend talking to your le grand pere after a meal to thank him
            - he was so proud of his trout pound and herb gardens that he prepared his dishes from.......

            The pound is still there but not stocked with fish

            We did sit around the pound and reminisce about perfectly prepared trout and frogs legs and wonderful crusty bread,,,,,,,

            the morning meals were blah for sure now - laid out in chafing dishes

            the evening meals were adequate but not inspired or worth the high price we paid

            I would not recommend it anymore to newcomers and woudl tell friends to keep their original experiences fresh as they are not replicable here at the moment!

            We have fond memories of you granfathres cooking genius and I expect you are proud of him and the memories he was able to create for so many!

            1. re: few

              My fathers formula was to give his customers a taste of europe and he did that very well.It makes me proud and happy that he is remembered after all these years.
              My greatest regret is that he left Newfane but I hope people realize the he was
              the founder of the Four columns Inn.

              Patrice chardain

              1. re: few

                Hi few
                Your comments are from a year ago are again of the fond memories the chef
                gave us.I was with René from the start and helped build the ponds and did most of the refrigeration work.Did you know that the chef ran the Newfane Inn from 1958
                to 1967 and decided to build the four columns Inn.
                I am retired and follow the evolution of the Inn closely and to be honest all the
                owners have greatly inhanced the beauty of the Inn.Chef Parks has done an exellent job over the years and to compare with my father would not be realistic.
                The world of cooking is constantly changing ,Fernand Point would be lost working
                at the French Landry in California.
                Thank you for writing about a great chef and person.
                Patrice Chardain

                1. re: patrice chardain

                  I concur with Few's opinions completely.
                  The pFour Colums used to be a great Inn to stay at and to eat at but I too would never recommend the place anymore.
                  The place ahs gone downhill badly since your father ran the place.
                  We were there last year and the place was truly disappointing and friends,who we told to avoid the place and who went there anyways,told us that they should have listened to us.
                  They too didn't like the place anymore either.
                  Like Few said this is a place we reminissce about but no longer frequent.
                  I'm glad to hear that someone still likes the place.

                  1. re: catnip

                    I personaly never stayed at the inn since he sold it .We are trying to be middle of the road and not slam anyone however you stand by few
                    and seem to have been disapointed on your last visit.
                    .I feel that you are sincere in your comments and I would share information
                    if need be about the Inn and my father.with anyone.Thanks for your comments.
                    P/S I guess want to start a René Chardain fan club?

                    Patrice Chardain

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. While we did not have the chance to experience the Four Columns prior to Rene's passing, our recent experience was priceless. Both the restaurant and the inn were a gem in a village that welcomes all of its guests with open arms. Each meal was skillfully prepared and delicious, albeit somewhat pricey.

              Four Columns Inn & Restaurant
              PO Box 278, Newfane, VT 05345

              1. I've read the responses to your query about the Four Columns Inn, and I have to say I'm a bit nervous about having made a reservation to dine there this coming Tuesday. However, never having had what I assume is the distinct pleasure of eating Mr. Chardain's cooking, I wonder how bad can it be? It was highly recommended by two other upscale restaurant owners in Brattleboro (their restaurants are closed on Tuesdays). It is an important dinner for me, as I'm hosting two of my clients. Any further thoughts on this would be appreciated.

                Four Columns Inn & Restaurant
                PO Box 278, Newfane, VT 05345