With Peter Havens currently closed for vacation, 319 Main readying a transfer to new owners (and thus closed on certain upcoming dates), and Max's no longer at the West Brat location, we are striking out with previous favorites. From NYC and am looking for alternatives for a few days/evenings in early August. Previous postings are somewhat helpful but dated. Any suggestions or updated opinions are much appreciated. Thanks to all.
Capers is very good. Just 4 or so doors up from 39 Main. And Max's is now north of town on Putney Road; don't know if ownership has changed and therefore know nothing about its current quality.
A new place called Alici's Bistro just opened up right in town on Harris Place. I have not been there yet, but one of the cooks from 39 Main is now there and we always ewnjoyed his creations. Another wonderful place to go is TJ Buckleys on Elliot St- I have never heard a negative word about them. As for Capers, we went and I was very disappointed in the food. I ordered the Filet and it was undercooked- basically raw in the middle and I had asked for it to be cooked Medium. I sent it back and then it was cooked properly, but by the time I got it back my husband was almost done eating. It was also nothing like it was described on the menu. My husband's had ordered one of the vegetarian options which also was not like it was described on the menu. We will not go there again.
Well here's a mixed review of TJ Buckleys. We ate there last night and were at the same time impressed but ultimately disappointed. First, it is a lovely space, very intimate and it's always a treat to see the kitchen work (everything seemed to go quite tranquilly). The hostess and the chef were nice people.
The food was hit and miss. The appetizer plate was pate with crackers, mustard, chutney. Pretty standard stuff, but tasty and enjoyable. Our mains were scallops with fried polenta, golden beets, and pork belly; and hangar steak with mashed potatoes. The scallops were great, the polenta done well, and the pork belly tasty. The steak dish was disappointing. When it hit my table the steak had cooled to room temperature, and it had done so for two reasons: 1) it was undercooked (rare when I asked for medium rare) and 2) the chef had 4 of these finishing at the same time, and they sat on the prep table for a few minutes prior to plating. In other words, by the time it got to me it had cooled down to a degree that made the steak less enjoyable than it could have been. The steak itself was ok, nothing to write home about. Lastly, we shared a chocolate cake for dessert, which was dry and really had nothing going for it.
In addition to the food disappointments, each entree was $35. Anywhere else and these are $25 meals, particularly mine, which was no frills steak and potatoes. The emotionless cake was $7. I could justify such prices if the entrees were lights-out delicious, but they weren't, and considering the simplicity of the dishes, there didn't seem to be much to justify such prices.
Buckley's is indeed a worthwhile experience, if you never been. This miniscule upscale diner only has seating for about twenty people. They only offer four constantly changing entrees per night; one each of beef, poultry, fish & shellfish, Whatever's the chef's bought fresh that day is what goes on the plates and are innovative and expertly prepared. They don't take credit cards and reservations are imperative if you decided to go!
T. J. Buckley's
132 Elliot St, Brattleboro, VT 05301
The Thai Garden on Main Street is one of my favorites in Brattleboro. Also, the Riverview Cafe (downtown near the green bridge to NH) can be very good and offers many choices made with fresh local ingredients. Top of the Hill Grill on Putney Road. The one time I went to Capers, I wasn't thrilled with my food..but my dining companion's dessert was amazing. For a casual lunch (don't expect great ambiance) the food Co-Op at the bottom of Canal Street/Main Street has some delicious, healthy choices.
If you want breakfast or brunch, try the Chelsea Royal Diner on Rt. 9. If you decide to go the pizza route... I think the best in town is Village Pizza .....near exit 3 off I-91.
Enjoy your stay in Brattleboro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'm a 3rd generation Brattleboro resident..so I'm a tad partial to this wonderful, lively town)