the best restaurants in the burlington, vt area?
We like Pauline's Cafe at 1834 Shelburne Rd. (Rte. 7 north) in South Burlington. First floor bar menu and casual, second floor a little more upscale - but with basically the same menu. Seasonal local organic produce and cheeses. Had a memorable antelope Wellington there and soft shell crabs with fiddleheads every spring....homemade breads and lucious desserts.
Never a disappointment. They have been there for 25 years. Here's the link to their web site:
Their sister restaurant is Leunig's in Burlington. The link is listed on the Pauline's site.
Is money not an issue? Are you looking for more bistro food or ethnic? Here are a few selections, there are lots of reviews on the website here:
• Taste-do a search, lots of chowhounders in the area love it. I ate there once, but want to go back!
• Trattoria Delia and L'Amante-both Italian, lovely restaurants. My fave is Delia, romantic, and I've never had a bad meal there.
• Cafe Shelburne-this is outside of Burlington, but I think I may have had the best meal of my life there! French. Expensive, but oh, so worth it! :-)
• The Green Room-I really like this spot, they have small and large plates, so you can either share--or not. I only ate there once, but have stopped in for drinks several times. Rotating menu and the food was delicous!
My two cents, Leunig's is good, but I wouldn't go there for my birthday dinner. The service is always spotty and the food is good, but I just don't feel like it's special enough. I'd stop at the bar for a before dinner drink instead!
Try our local weekly newspapers website: http://www.7nvt.com/7n/home.htm
Happy Birthday! Hope you have a terrific dinner!
Here's my two cents:
Depending on when your birthday is, the degree of seasonal influence will be affected (best from May - October). That being said, I would choose from Trattoria Delia (not very "Vermont" but always excellent, The Kitchen Table (Richmond, about 15-20 minutes from Burlington and they try to utilize as many local ingredients as possible and do it very well), Taste and L'Amante (excellent as noted above). Some of the others mentioned I have not been to (Green Room, Cafe Shelburne) or simply do not like (Leunig's and Pauline's tend to use too many ingredients instead of focusing on primary item).
I would advise visiting the various websites and making a reservation, as like anywhere, the best places are busy.
If it helps as a reference point, one of my favorite places in San Francisco is Scala's Bistro (so you know what impresses me, well prepared food at reasonable prices in a setting with some character).