Waterbury, VT Hen .. Wood
I've been a couple times. The ambiance is very hushed and quiet, and feels oddly formal, probably down to the cold stone dining room, which seems very closed in. It seems like a winter place to me - the chef seems to favor game and other rich, savory filling dishes. Had some amazing pork belly as an appetizer, but that's about all that stands out. Great all-american wine list and clearly they use local porducts, but I didn't think it was exceptional, and it's certainly not cheap. But then I wasn't nuts about the mist grill, either.
Interior is a little bit spruced up since the Mist Grill (e.g. leather backing to the hard wood benches, seating along the window, etc.) I hear they want to construct an outdoor deck.
I thought the food was roughly on the same level as the Mist Grill. The first visit to Hen I thought it was on the same level, the second visit I thought it wasn't as good. Seems like the chefs need to get a little more creative when adding flavours into the dishes. Most were bland the second trip. Top shelf ingredients, and very good execution, but lacking as for combinations of flavours/ingredients to make dishes go to that next level.
A nice feature is a cheese menu.
Service was excellent the first trip, and fair the second.
Had 4 various cheeses, the King Salmon (very good although slightly undercooked), Ribs (good, though not as tender as I'd hope - but good flavour), Rabbit (fair), and Halibut (no flavour). That said, it is a good place, and I'd recommend it for the area - but I feel like it has lost something from the Mist days. Not much, but something.
Had dinner there with some friends last weekend. Very good - on par with the Mist Grill. The interior is relatively unchanged, and they are part of the Vermont Fresh Network.
I had a oyster & cod appetizer which was exceptional, and venison which was good but not great. Two other folks had flank steak and duck, respectively, and both were quite good. The wine list was also pretty nice, albeit not the best value.