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Sep 10, 2007 09:00 PM

One Dinner -- Manchester VT Area

It's been nearly 3 years since I've been up in the area (am NYC-based) and would like some recent recon from those of you in the know.....

I've got a Saturday night in October to reserve for a nice meal. This need not be a romantic place--it's not that kind of night. For purposes of guidance, you should know that I am not a fan of overwrought food, and I am a fan of quality (local when possible) ingredients and stellar (ideally unpretentious) service. A great wine list would be a plus, too. I've been to Three Mountain Inn and Inn at West Brook Farm. The food was fine at both, but neither wowed me enough to necessitate a return trip.


Thanks in advance.

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  1. Did you mean Inn at West View Farm? If so, I'm sorry to hear that, as it's one of few places I would recommend that fit your criteria. Another would be the Victorian Inn in Wallingford.

    I suspect someone will chime in and recommend the Chantecleer, but I would caution that overwrought food and pretentious service are exactly what you will get there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GG Mora

      Yep. Thanks, got the name confused....AND I am having trouble remembering which restaurant is which (West View Farm and Three Mountain Inn). One of them had a prettier, slightly more upscale room (with a fireplace), but I don't recall which one. Could you possibly help me out? I'll check out the Victorian Inn (you recommended it to me a couple of years ago, when I was last up that way....)

      1. re: skigirl

        Never been to Three Mountain, but the only fireplace I recall at West View is in the sitting room.

    2. I've found Manchester to be surprisingly tough for even decent food, to say nothing of something memorable. Chantecleer was excellent, but that was a few years ago, and it is very expensive. Avoid "Chez Henry" like the plague - truly awful food and service at stunning prices. This past spring, I had supper in the tavern at The Perfect Wife and it was excellent - a nice crabcake sandwich with superlative onion rings and a good dark beer - also very reasonable. I haven't been impressed by any of the food at the Equinox. I'd also avoid the Arlington Inn - a "chef-innkeeper" - rarely a good idea. I recall a cheesy mashed potato deep-fried eggroll, nuff said!

      1. My two picks would be the Dorset Inn or the Inn at West View Farm, which is right down the street from the Dorset Inn.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dukegirl

          Pascal's Bistro in Pawlett is worth the's about 6 miles past Dorset. The food is completely different from anything else in the area. Pascal can be found at the local farmer's markets selling his homemeade sausage and pate and he has quite a following so reservations are necessary. The regular menu is standard French Bistro...escargot, steak frites, mussels etc all excellently prepared but the specials are outstanding. One night I had a whole red snapper done with Moroccan spices over red rice. You will be well taken care of and feel as though you had a special meal. If you don't want to drive too far, I would go to the Perfect Wife (the Tavern is very good but you'll want the dining room) ask for a table by the window. Everything is farm fresh, well prepared and full of flavor. You will be in rural Vermont, please don't expect the crisp service you would get at a big city restaurant. The service is much more casual.

        2. Okay, I have to add a plug for Verdé at Stratton Mountain. I was loathe to pimp it, having not been there since the new chef (Rogan Lechthaler) took the reigns early this spring. My husband and I had dinner there last night, and I can can heartily recommend it. I had a braised pork belly app and roasted cod with sweet corn "chowder" w/house-cured guanciale as my main. Hub had mussels in a tomatoey fumé/broth and an English steak with horseradish jus and roasted seasonal vegetables. All superb. Very professional but unobtrusive/unstuffy service, terrific wine list, and a personal visit from the chef at the end of the evening (totally affable, unpretentious guy, young – maybe 30). Dessert was a weak spot; Chocolate pots-de-creme was undercooked and resembled chocolate cake batter, caramel ice cream was anemic and dressed with a feeble butterscotch sauce. Good chocolate "brownie" alongside, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: GG Mora

            heh. turns out we're staying at stratton mtn, rather than in manchester, so this is certainly helpful info should we decide not to drive. thanks.

          2. I just wanted to second the person who recommended the Dorset Inn. My husband and I stumbled upon the Inn for lunch this summer and had a wonderful meal.