Rutland, VT - Fine Dining Wasteland?
I have relatives in Rutland, and it seems that whenever we look for a fine dining option for a special occasion that doesn't involve a half hour drive, it's an exercise in futility. We've been to Royal's 121 West and Courtryman's Pleasure a number of times, both of which are very good. However, Royal's has slipped a little since the owner died. I'd also like to believe there's more than just two good restaurants in the city. Please tell me I'm not wrong, and tell me where to go....perhaps I should rephrase that. Is there anything in Rutland that's nice for a special occasion besides the two I've mentioned?
I feel your pain. ;-) I spend my weekends at Killington during the winter and have a hard time getting decent meals in the area. Its even worse in the winter with the thousands of people just like me looking for dinner out after a long day of snowboarding/skiing. I usually just end up eating the free wings the bars give out during happy hour or end up at the Sirloin Saloon for steak and salad.
I thought the Countryman's Pleasure was a decent place, but I'm a sucker for German food and beer. I'm sure you're familiar with Chef Claude's on the K access road. Decent place, but nothing that knocks your socks off. I did have a pretty good meal at that Italian place in downtown - Three Tomatoes? last season and will probably go back a few times this year to get away from the K crowds.
If you know of any other decent places in the area, please let me know.
I too feel your pain...I live in Addison County and my mom lives in Bennington County, so Rutland is a natural 1/2 way meeting point. We've been to Sirloin Saloon (nothing great IMO), Ramunto's Pizza (YUM), and the Midway Diner, and am always looking for new places to try out.
That said,it's not Rutland, but 20 minutes north in Brandon, Chef Robert Barral (New England Culinary Institute) will be opening (or it may already be open) Cafe Provence. It's getting lots of press in the local media and am anxious to try it out. If anyone makes it there, please post a report.
Though I am friends with Chef Robert (of Cafe Provence in Brandon) I wanted to share a couple of thoughts.
If you can make a trip to North Bennington, there is spectacular dining at "Pangea". Really worth the trip. Be sure to call for a reservation. They have a marvelous wine list as well... if you like red, ask for Ca Viola; if you like white (or in this case EVEN if you are primarily a red wine drinker, this white passes the test!) try Imyr. Both Italian, both tremendously yummy.
Also, a fine chef (Christian) used to head up the kitchen at the Weybury Inn which is in the area (not sure of the town name, but can probably be found easily enough).
There are quite a few nice places in Rutland - I'm surprised your relatives don't have any better ideas than Countryman's or Royal's!
For good Italian try the Palms on Strongs Ave.
The best Pizza is Ted's in Center Rutland
Bjarn's (steak and stuff)on Rte 4 toward Killington
South Station on Corner of Route 7 and Allen Street
Sawdis in Pittsford (North on Rte 7)
Weathervane for seafood
Get breakfast at Sugar n Spice in Mendon (Rte 4 toward Killington)
And there's a bunch of great places on the mountain.
By the way, people in VT don't mind driving for a good meal. If you're ever inclined for a GREAT meal go north to Middlebury to the Dog Team Tavern, its completely worth the skipped the lift lines.
Good luck to everyone looking for restaurants...I'd be interested in hearing what you think.
I realize this is an old post - but it's still a current struggle. So in the event people continue to see this as I have here are a few suggestions. And yes, they involve a bit of a drive from Rutland.
Mountain Top Inn • Chittenden
The Red Clover • Mendon
Birch Ridge Inn • Killington
Café Provence • Brandon
A little more casual but pretty creative and good:
Roots the Restaurant • Rutland