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spending 3 mos in Rutland- need places to eat

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we are spending 3 months in Rutland and needed good places for breakfast, lunch and dinner....

surrounding areas are fine also as long as we don't have to drive 2 hrs.

all help will be appreciated,


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  1. Make sure you go to Gill's for lunch. Great subs at pretty reasonable prices!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: RichK

      I second Gill's. make sure you get your sub with cabbage instead of lettuce. Also, travel a bit and go to the Fairhaven Inn in Fairhaven. Their Calamari is the best I've tasted and if they have their Greek Lamb, go for that. Even the cottaage cheese/horseradish mixture they serve with the Vermont version of a saltine is yummy. Please report back.

    2. Hi Andy,

      If you're up for it, drive to Middlebury (about 40 minutes north on 7) for some tasty eats. Tully & Marie's was always good, as was American Flatbread. Even further north (and then a bit east) is Bristol, home of Mary's at Baldwin Creek. There's also a fun swimming hole nearby called Bristol Falls. Be sure to check out the local hiking!

      Actually, come to think of it, I can't think of a better lunch than a picnic following a light hike. Enjoy!

      1. Although I've never been, I have farmer friends who eat breakfast religiously at Clem's in downtown Rutland. There is also Back Home Again Cafe in Rutland www.backhomeagaincafe.com, for good sandwiches and wraps.

        The Rutland Farmers' market is great, on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9-2. They have a vendor selling Pakistani food, which would be a good quick lunch.

        For dinner, the only recommendations I can give you are for the Dorset/Manchester area, which is about 30 minutes south of Rutland. The Dorset Inn and the Inn at West View Farm are wonderful places to dine.

        1. Ummm, Andy, listen.....
          If it wasn't for a Hound conscience I wouldn't even tell you about Harry's Cafe. So don't tell anyone else, okay?. Take Rte. 7S for 5 miles and hang a left onto Rte.103 for an easy 11 mile cruise on into Mount Holly, near Okemo Mountain. You will show up anytime after 5pm having made a previous reservation. After having an unbelievable great dining experience you'll shake the head side to side and say; "How can THIS be in the middle of nowhere!" Again, ssshhhh!

          Obtw Andy, they almost called the place Andy's but I'm glad they didn't, Harry's makes much more sense.



          Harry's Cafe
          Mount Holly, VT, USA, Mount Holly, VT

          6 Replies
          1. re: Harp00n

            Little Harry's is on West St. in Rutland. Owned and operated by the same family that owns Harry's Cafe in Mt. Holly. Dinner only from 5:00PM. It's been there for about 9 years.

            121 West St.
            Rutland, VT 05701

            1. re: Gio

              Gio- My husband went to dinner at Lil Harry's and said the food was awful and that he would never go back..this was before I got up here..

              Someone tell me if Harry's Cafe is really worth the drive since Lil Harry's fell thru the cracks foodwise..


              1. re: Andy

                I've never tried Little Harry's so no comments there. "Big" Harry's is a place that that I've been to numerous times and ranks as solidly as any rec I can make. If you didn't go it would be your loss, not mine. I've been going to and championing The Perfect Wife since it's inception and have never had a less than great meal there, either. Obtw, Amy Chamberlain the chef/owner, is indeed a female, 'least she was the the last time I saw good lookin', talented her. She also claims to have The Perfect Husband.

                1. re: Andy

                  This is a responce to Andy - sorry - I'm out of place again. Arrrrrgh!

                  Wow - I'm really surprised to hear that. The menu really does not change all that much from week to week, but what they do serve is fresh, tasty and quite well served. There are hords of regulars who are staying in the various condos in the area, plus locals who eat there several times a week. It's kinda like a local hangout but with a touch more class. My goodness, we've been up and down that menu for more than 10 years and never tired of it.

                  As for Little Harry's in Rutland, it's really just a clone of the Mt. Holly cafe....same menu basically but we always enjoyed everything we ate there. We usually sit in the bar area....although the service in the other dining room is good but can be harried.

                  Gosh, I wish your husband gives it one more try. And - NO I do not have an interest in the operation. Just feel really comfortable with the ambiance and food.

                  1. re: Gio

                    Don't cha just hate it when that happens? LOL!

                  2. re: Andy

                    I ate at Little Harry's last month and loved it. We had pad thai and green curry mussels, which were wonderful. It's got a nice atmosphere, but the service is a little uneven.

              2. Clem's is good for standard breakfast fare; Outback has decent pizza up on the Killington Road. Sal's and Ramuntos are also old-standbys for pizza. We've had a lot of good luck with the food at Mountain Top in Chittenden (more upscale), but haven't been in about 18 months. Countryman's Pleasure used to have good German food, but it's been a few years since we've been there. In Manchester, Zoe's has great sandwiches and wonderful fresh house made potato chips, which are often soft in the middle. There's a new pub on Route 7 in Wallingford-- it feels kinda New Yorky but is worth a try.

                All this said, Rutland itself is not exactly a chowhound haven at all. My wife grew up there and we go back frequently, but we don't really think of our trips as opportunities to eat. Do share what you find-- we'd love to know about new or hidden places. We heard a rumor about a little Indian grocer serving hot dishes but I wonder if this was the Pakistani booth at the farmer's market?

                13 Replies
                1. re: newhound


                  We went to dinner in Manchester twice last week...Once at Mulligans for their clambake--$19.99 for 1 1/4 lobster, steamers and mussels, corn on cob and steamed potatoes along with cole slaw and incredible Clam Chowder..It was Terrific..It is ONLY on Wednesday and Thursday nites and you need to get there really early as they run out before 7 pm!!

                  In addition, we went to the Perfect Wife- the chef/owner is female and a grade of NE Culinary Institute....Great atmosphere--good service..
                  Had the chicken chowder ( yes , chicken) that was out of this world..also shared a spinach salad with a terrific dressing....For main course, I had the sea bass steamed in a veggie broth that was TO DIE FOR....Hubs had the prime rib that he rated great..It was big enuf to kill a cow! Dessert ( we forced ourselves) was a strawberry shortcake ( just ok) and to die for LEMON tiramisu that IF I could have stuffed in another morsel I would have ordered another piece of it....Absolute heaven!!

                  Cannot rave enough about the Perfect Wife...we will be going back...Expensive but worth it................

                  1. re: newhound

                    Take a road trip South and come to the Brattleboro area!!! Try the Riverview Cafe, Top of the Hill Grill, Thai Garden. Stay overnight at one of several charming B&Bs ..then take Route 30 out of town to Newfane and splurge at the Four Columns Inn. Or head the other way and take the Putney Road out of Main Street Brattleboro and drive to Putney (or cheat and take I-91 and get off at exit 5 and be right there without that pesky scenic drive) ;) and satisfy your down and dirty bbq urges if you have them at Curtis's BBQ...I think he bills himself as the 8th wonder of the world. Any guy that converts an old bus to a bbq stand in rural Vermont is an intrepid soul indeed. You can watch Curtis himself tending his chicken and ribs on the outdoor grills.
                    Three months is a long time to go without a road trip........so hit the road and come to Brattleboro!!

                    1. re: vermontpoet

                      With the sad demise of Holy Smokes, W. Hatfield, Ma. (catastrophic fire), Top of The Hill Grill is now King of The BBQ Hill in the Ct. River Valley area and head and shoulders above Curtis', IMO.

                      1. re: Harp00n

                        Just curious, but no recs for Sirloin Saloon ? They used to have a great reputation but maybe the change in ownership has lead to a decline in food/service ??? Outback on the mountain road in Killington is one of the best pizzas I have found in Vermont (hey, it's no Brooklyn but finding a great pizza is always welcome in the Green Mountain State).

                        1. re: TonyO

                          You really need to lay-off that 2BC that you're always championing Big-O.
                          Sirloin Saloon, it's brethren Dakotas or Outback are all passable at best. Does a really first class steakhouse actually exist in Vt. or Western Ma.? I can't think of one off the top of my head.

                          1. re: Harp00n

                            Steakhouses are not a strength here in the land of meatloaf and crock pot suppers ! In this area, the move has been towards Steak Frites with a few places doing it right. As far as a great aged piece of beef that is properly cooked, that would be available at the O' Residence ! The Sirloin Saloon once had a great reputation (here in Shelburne) and some of the Dakotas (I have been to Latham, NY and Pittsfield, MA which were part of the smae company as the Sirloin Saloons) were much better (IMO) than any Outback and have much better ambiance. We have a Long Horn here and for a chain, I think it is head and shoulders over the Outback. I mean, when someone sits down at your table to take your order and suggests a Fosters 25oz can as a beverage, it probably won't threaten Peter Luger's anytime soon !

                            1. re: TonyO

                              I almost wept when you mentioned Peter Lugers. The Oak Room in Boston is the only thing that approaches it in New England, IMO. Man, a nicely aged rib-eye, done rare, is truly perfection.

                              Obtw, is there anything approaching either in the Capitol District?

                              1. re: Harp00n

                                There is a place called Angelo's Prime 677. I have never been there but the menu, if executed properly, seems to have the steakhouse formula. It looks pricey but steakhouses usually are and are likely to only get more expensive as beef prices continue to climb.

                                1. re: TonyO

                                  Wow, I'm glad you'd said you've never been to Angelo's. I did a pretty lengthy search on the Tri-State board and I gotta tell ya, I've never seen so many uniformly bad reviews for a place where dropping $300-400 for dinner for two is the norm, ever! On the other hand, Cliff's Country Inn, Ballston Spa, which I'd never heard of either, had some nice reviews. Pricing is moderate here, but then, their menu is nowhere near as ambitious as Angelo's.


                                  Cliff's Country Inn
                                  57 RT 9P, Ballston Spa, NY 12020

                                  1. re: Harp00n

                                    Mr. HarpOOn,

                                    I have indeed been to Cliff's ! This is no classic steakhouse but if primerib is what you are hankering, then you have cometo the right place ! This is one of the ose classic upstate NY places in the class with The Bears and The Restseekers (not sure of the status of either one as I have not lived in that area in 10 + years). However, I know from my carniverous cohorts that Cliff's is going strong !

                          2. re: TonyO


                            We went to Sirloin Saloon last week..It was good- but the meats needed salt and I never salt anything..I had the lamb chops-which were cooked perfectly but needed more seasoning and some garlic...friend had the prime rib and she loved it..huge piece....dessert was no great shakes--we have been trying everyone's "crisp" or cobbler and so far,none are worth the calories..

                            Road trip!!! I am laughing as I must have driven with my friend a 1000 miles last week..Hit Woodstock and had a terrfic chicken and mango chutney sandwich that was so big, I took 1/2 home--that was at Bentleys---

                            Also hit Montepelier and went to the Grille of the NE Culinary Inst. for lunch-- it rates 100% on food and about 80% on service..we had a shy young waiter and he tried ---had the lamb ragout over gnocchi and it was to die for....and dessert of homemade blueberry lemon sorbet- Came with 3 scoops so it was enough for 2...we will defintely go back there--

                            Keep those suggestions coming..I am not adverse to road trips at all !!!!!!!!!!!!

                            1. re: Andy


                              Since. you are not averse to going to Montpelier, try J Morgan's. We're sort of new to Vermont, drive frequently back and forth to CT and Montpelier is a good stop on the way back to Burlington on Sunday eves. Tried it last Sunday. Steaks were very well done (house aged and house cut) sides are excellent. Someone nearby said that their fish/seafood was perfect, but can't vouch. Did the NE Cul Grille before, not impressed so much.

                              Glad to find this post; still exploring the state and looking forward to trying some of the recs.

                      2. re: newhound

                        The Indian takeout place indeed exists (or did last I knew)! It's in a little convenience store on old Rt. 4 in Center Rutland - I assume the proprietors must be South Asian, could even be they're the same folks who were at the farmer's mkt. Look for the little sign in the window that just says "Indian food"; if I remember correctly it's not far past the Village Snack Bar on the right-hand side if you're going out of town. I can't give a first-hand endorsement, but my mom says it's good (she got hooked on Indian after we vacationed in London, so she has some idea of what's good).

                        I also enthusiastically second the recs for Black Sheep Bistro and, being a native Brandonite, Cafe Provence (sorry about your Sully's experience, it's kinda hit or miss).

                      3. Head a little bit north of Rutland to the Town of Brandon. There you will find a lovely cafe called Cafe Provence. Reasonable prices and very authentic regional food. You won't be disappointed. And the town itself is adorable.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: FoodieJim


                          In our quest for food for the next 3 mons. , everyone around this city has given us places to go...we ended up last nite in Brandon at Sully's Tavern-AKA Patricias...it came highly recommended...the bargain was there but the taste was missing big time..we both had the Shepards Pie ( which at $7.50 for dinner , incl. bread, salad and cheese and crakers, ) had to be the cheapest dinner in 3 weeks... but the flavor of the Shepards Pie was totally no flavor--doesn't anyone use seasonings here in this area.....However, the dessert-Homemade Raspbery pie was OUTSTANDING...we will go back here again and try something else on the menu..good service..One thing to remember- they charge you for refills on iced tea-- after they give you the 2nd refill...We are from the South and that is something that is never done...but we learned....

                          We are also going to try Cafe Provence-hubs went and looked at the menu and said it looks great...

                          Right now my staple is -Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub- on Rt7-used to be the old red lobster-according to the waitstaff..has been consistently good...had a terrific lobster salad one time, a cobb salad another time and tonite had a rare tuna salad with this terrific wasabi seasame dressing....

                          Ok good people- keep those restaurant tips coming...I will be here forever....

                          1. re: Andy

                            Andy, since you're not adverse to driving a distance, head a bit farther north to Vergennes and the Black Sheep Bistro. Us Chowhounds on here rave about it, you can probably find some reviews on the site. Also in Vergennes is Christophe's, which Tony O eloquently reviewed a couple of weeks ago.

                            But, before you get to Vergennes, you could go to Middlebury, about 20-30 minutes north of Brandon. There is Tully and Marie's, Mr Up's, the Storm Cafe, Fire and Ice, Taste of India...some great restaurants in our little county!! :-))

                            There's also the Bobcat Cafe in Bristol. This is my hometown pub, and although people rave about the food, I think it's just ok and pricey. I love the atmosphere and bar, it's always a happy place, running into friends and aquaintances.

                            And then there is Chittenden County...but that's a conversation for another day! :-) Enjoy your stay!

                        2. Oh, glad to see this thread again. I want to take back my recommendation of Clem's. My farmer friend told me yesterday that it's gone way downhill. He ate there the other day and the eggs and potatoes were in a puddle of grease. And to add insult to injury, my friend is a potato farmer and he tells me they are using pre-cooked frozen pototoes for their homefries. They were still frozen in the middle, he said. How sad.

                          He did say that he had breakfast at Mom's Country Kitchen in Wallingford and it was the best breakfast he'd had in a long time. I've eaten lunch there and it's been great, so I'll have to try it for breakfast sometime.

                          The Back Home Again Cafe folks also told me they are going to start serving breakfast in the fall.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: dukegirl

                            I've been to Cafe Provence and can attest it is very, very good.
                            Ramuntos has good pizza. If you go on a weekend, be prepared to wait a bit for you pizza as the place is really popular.
                            Sewards - I never see it talked about here, but we stopped there for lunch on our way back north. Typical diner type food. The shake for desert was excellent!
                            My parents live in Wallingford and love Sal's South, which from what I understand, is a branch of the Sal's in Rutland. I'm anxious to try it myself.

                            1. re: bm_vt

                              Dukegirl- you answered a question nubs had about Sal's S in Wallingford..nice to know it is part of Sal's in Rutland..

                              AddisoChef- thanks for the update on Vergennes places adn Middlebury..
                              It seems Manchester has been a close place for us to drive to...Tonite we hit Candalara's for Tex Mex- thursdays are 2 for 1 Margaritas and we had pomegranete margaritas...VERY good...the chips are a mix of flour and corn tortillas-we like the corn better- the salsas are good- one grren one from tomatillos and the traditional red salsa...Prices for dinner are on the steep side esp for Mexican food...we shared a platter of Chicken Fajitas( marinated in lime and cilantro ) at $17.95 and added 5 shrimp for an addtil $5.95. The waitress was sweet enuf to add an addtl tortilla to the normal 3 so we could share..Margaritas were $5.50 each for 2 of us..bill with tax and tip--roughly $55 ==that is high for Mexican in my book but I am beginning to realize VT is an exp place to eat out..The decor is terrific here and so is the service....and there is also outdoor dining ( no..we didn't since it was 92) but the inside is adorable...come early..this place gets crowded....

                              1. re: Andy

                                Ok Group -- Another restaurant to ADD to the try list..
                                We had dinner today in Manchester at Zoey's Double Hex-- it is on Rt.11/30 heading out of Manchester..I had the Maple Glazed 1/2 chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and salad-- All for $12.95 -- hubs had the meatloaf with bacon and mushroom gravy ( fantastic! ) ..came with 2 pieces of Meatloaf and salad and baked potato..$11.95. Included is also homemade bread..
                                We both decided this may become our kitchen as the food is great, service was good, restaurant is cute ( they also have a screened porch to eat on), and the PRICE is definitely right for the terrific quality of the food...Whod'a thought to put maple syrup on Chicken...but it was delicious!

                                1. re: Andy

                                  Another place to check out (no pun intended!) is Heli's on Route 4 on the right heading toward Pico. I haven't been in a while, but it is owned by a young Czech couple who serve reasonably piced Eastern European fare along with traditional offerings. It is in the middle of the Mendon Mountainview Lodge but has a nice dining room with a deck and view out the back. They have a menu on-line.

                                  Also, locally," Mary" makes outstanding pies and they are sold at the bagel shop and at Burnham Hollow.

                                  The Down Home Again Cafe has good sandwiches and soups. Many people go there for the fish or turkey sandwiches. The grilled Vermont cheddar is very good value.

                                  If you haven't already, visit the Saturday morning farmer's market in downtown Rutland.

                                  What a great area to spend three months!