Waitsfield & Warren Vermont
Any suggestions on lunch and dinners for 4 days? Any great day trips? Any foodie places I shouldn't miss? Thanks for your help.
In Waitsfield you're only about a 1/2 hour south of Montpelier, the state capital. (Take Rte. 100 north for a scenic drive.) There's a pretty good restaurant in the Crown Plaza Hotel on Main St., J. Morgan's Steakhouse.
A few miles north from Montpelier is Stowe. Home of the famous Von Trapp Family Lodge, of Sound of Music fame. http://www.trappfamily.com/ There's lots of shops and lovely views all around this area. In fact both Warren and Waitsfield abound with charming shops and and scenic drives. I believe Rte. 17 east will get you to Middlebury, where the Frog Hollow State Craft Center is. It's about an hour's drive. Great shops and of course the University. http://www.froghollow.org/
This whole area is quite lovely. We Love Vermont!
I'm from the area myself. The Valley itself doesn't have a lot of great restaurants, though its a short drive from lots of good food. In Waitsfield I'd recommend the 1824 House on Route 100. Not open every night, but amazing eats in a gorgeous location.
In nearby Moretown you'll find Maynard's snack bar (on Route 100B just past the intersection with Rte 100). This is an old-fashioned roadside stand with great hand-cut fries, burgers fried clams, and creemees, a VT summer staple. They also make their own pies. You can eat at the picnic tables outside which are right next to the Maynards' dairy farm. It's a real locals' place.
A 15-min drive up Route 100 in Waterbury is The Alchemist, a brew pub right on Main Street with great food. They're only open for dinner and it gets crowded especially later in the week so show up early. No reservations either.
Also in Waterbury are two amazing fine-dining places, Michael's On the Hill (my fave) and Hen of the Wood. In my experience they're foodie heaven, with local ingredients and tasty cooking, but both are expensive. Definitely reserve a table if you plan on going.
For more casual dining in Waterbury, try the Cider House, a newish barbecue place on Route 2.
As Gio mentioned you're also close to Montpelier. If you're in town on Saturday they have a great farmer's market in the morning. Main Street Bar and Grill is run by the New England Culinary institute and is usually fairly good. I'd also recommend hitting Gesine's on Elm Street (open wed-sun I think) around lunchtime for one of their amazing maple lattes and some of the tastiest pastries and sandwiches ever. They don't have much seating though, so if it's nice you could take your food to the State House Lawn.
Oh for.. I just noticed this thread is over a year old. ;) Oh well, my response is still apt. :)
Can't agree about J. Morgan's. It's mediocre at best and I was going to comment at some detail about how their management treats their employees badly but I decided not to. Suffice to say they're not that great a restaurant, and if you're going to come to Montpelier there are a lot of better ideas for good food at a reasonable price.
Sarduccis, for one... the Thai place, what is it called. something Orchid (why can't I EVER remember the name of that place? Royal Orchid?). And if you don't mind driving just a bit more, Ed's Barrrbq in Barre is really good, and there's a Mexican place in Barre, El Sol, just up the street from Ed's, both on Main Street.
But really, there's a lot of good places in the Waitsfield/Warren area, as I recall, just can't remember the names.
We were just there last weekend and we found 2 outstanding restaurants.Sweetwood and Comman Man.We gave a very slight edge to Sweetwood .Entrees were $25 range and well worth it.Be advised both restaurants seem to cater to the over 50 crowd of which we are part of..Spotted Cow for breakfast or lunch is very nice.
I agree with most the other suggestions, except that I would not waste my time going to Stowe (tourist trap) or Morgan's in Montpelier. The Pitcher Inn now has casual fare in their downstairs "Tracks Room," which has good food, a fantastic selection of wines by the glass or bottle, and great decor. Haven't tried Common Man or Sweetwoods lately, but I suggest Easy Street (Route 100 about a mile south of Route 100/17 intersection) for breakfast (best in the Valley), lunch , or a very good-value dinner. All of the Waterbury suggestions are on the mark as well.
Lots of good suggestions here. And lots of other choices for lunch, like the deli at The Warren Store in Warren. At Green Cup Cafe on Bridge St. in Waitsfield, you can sit outside by the covered bridge. For lunch or dinner, the cafe at the Big Picture movie theatre is making a creditable name for itself. Dinner at the Hyde Away on Rt. 17 is good ol' comfort food. Basic good stuff at Egan's Big World at junction of Rts. 17 and 100.
Foodie-worthy take out is at Michael's Good-to-Go by Mehuron's grocery. In the same complex is Sweet Pea Natural Foods; good veggie lunch offerings.
I agree with most of the above.
1824 House: Great atmosphere, great food, great service. Prices in the fine dining range.
Common Man: Decent place - but if you are going to spend in this range, I'd suggest 1824 House. Prices towards fine dining range
Sweetwood Grille: Have had mixed experiences here. Never bad, sometimes mediocre. One time they tried 3 times and failed to make a dessert on their menu, and had to ask if I wanted something else instead. Once again, for the price, I'd say 1824 is a better bet. Prices a notch under fine dining range.
Warren Deli: Pretty solid, can't go wrong, deli. Huge sandwiches - go with a small before attempting a large. Prices are deli/lunch range
Hen of the Wood: Mostly excellent - and recommended for a visit or two. Also a great atmosphere. Prices are fine dining range
Jon Egans - Ehh, nothing special. Only open for Supper. Prices somewhere in the family restaurant range.
The Den: So-so, nothing special. Havent been to supper here - only numerous lunches. Prices in normal lunch sitdown range.
Easy Street: Excellent sandwiches here, good muffins for breakfast. Solid deli. I only prefer the Warren Deli to this because I have gotten arrogant attitudes every so often in Easy Street. Different style deli. Easy street is more botique if you will. Warren Deli is more old school. Both are good. Deli pricing (could run $10/pp)
Pitcher Inn: Havent eaten in the cheaper section, but have done the upscale part, and the wine cellar. The atmosphere is romantic-type thing. Wine cellar was really nice - not a cheap operation. The food here was what I expect for fine dining. I personally preferred 1824 House & Hen of the Wood to Pitcher Inn. But this is closer to get to, and solid. Fine dining pricing
Hyde Away: This would be my pick for comfort food...cheddar meatloaf type dishes. Family restaurant price range.
Michaels Good to Go: I really liked this place for a lunch spot. Its hard to describe what they do here - but you can see the menu at madriverbytes.com (which is useful for some of the other picks suggested). There are some things that come across bitter - but I cant place what it ever is...my best guess is anything with the Chipotle. Good change-up if you are tired of sandwiches. Lunch range - could run $10/pp
La Patteserie - This place is located across the street from the Shaws/Post Office area in Waitsfield (virtually behind Michaels GoToGo. They have real good rum balls here, and the sandwiches are no-nonsense homestyle sandwiches on fresh baked bread. The hot pepper relish is typically excellent, as is the horseradish (if you like a kick to your sandwich). They also have a good wine selection here. Typical Deli pricing $7-10
Warren House: Stay away. Pretty bad. Fine dining price range.
Timbers (Warren) - sits atop Sugarbush. Wide open post and beam lodge type environment. Visited Timbers twice when it first opened and havent been back, so I dont know how they have progressed. For my visit the food was pretty good, the desserts were alright - nothing to write home about, but nothing terrible either. Fine dining price range
Alchemist: Pretty decent place. I like the food more than the beer. Lots of people rave about the beer; I've never had one I've liked. Brewpub - moderate price range ($10/pp?)
Bobcat Cafe: This is in Bristol - which you can get to by following Rt17 (from the fork where Jon Egans is). I preferred the beer here to Alchemist, but I'd give the edge to the food (in my one experience at Bobcat) to Alchemist. Brewpub - moderate price range.
Jays Restaurant - located next to USPS in Waitsfield. Family / Sr. Citizen-tyep restaurant. Low key, family dining. Breakfast is served here. Not a terrible place, but nothing great either. Family dining price range
Big Picture: - a newcomer onto the scene. I think it does a pretty good job. Cool atmosphere. Good switchup for a lunch spot (Lunch pricing - normal)
Perelli's Pizza - standard type of place. Pizza, subs, etc. Good for hot dishes (like buffalo chicken sandwich, etc.) but sometimes you get an attitude here. Takeout orders usually run late. Good change up from the standard sandwich fare. Lunch pricing - say $7-10/pp. Open for lunch & supper.
I'm sure I've missed some various places...but thats about the best I can do for the second.
At least I'm not the only one resuscitating an old thread here :).
Mostly logged in to post a really disappointing experience at SweetWood Grill - we'd asked our local hosts to pick a good place for a small celebration (limited by our 2 sons; not so much the 3 month-old but definitely the 6 year-old, who behaves well but does not appreciate pricy food [yet]). Some parts of the meal were fine, and the desserts were even good - as was the Schramsberg sparkling wine, decent price. However, 3 of 4 entrees were atrocious: one filet ordered medium-rare but delivered gray (ok, not the first time) and two chicken dishes served on a potato gratin that was literally raw (and more worrying given that one of those went to my breast-feeding wife, as raw potato's alkaloids can be highly toxic to infants). Mentioning all of this to the staff got no response at all; a polite email note to the chef brought this morning a tirade of defensive abuse. So we will not be returning :).
I'll try Hen of the Wood next time; that seems to be a consensus pick here. Thanks for the recs, folks.
I went to a private party at SweetWood when they just opened... the mini versions were all pretty tasty. Then we went back for an actual meal, the sauces were tasty, just you could tell just poured it over some rather tasteless foods. It was very disappointing - we have not gone back since.
Hen of the Wood is my personal favorite. The Week magazine just listed 3 top restaurants in the area... Kitchen Table Bistro, just off Exit 11, on I-89, Green Cup in Historical Waitsfield Village, and Hen of the Wood.
Kitchen Table Bistro
1840 W Main St, Richmond, VT 05477
The Green Cup
40 Bridge Street, Waitsfield, Vermont