hen of the wood, vt
has anyone been to hen of the wood in waterbury vt? i looked at the website and the menu looked springy... is it current? Is it worth the drive?
Depends on how long the drive is ! I have eaten there and liked it. It has great atmosphere and likely will be very crowded during foliage season, especially on weekends.
I have heard it's absolutely incredible, but have yet to try it...a lot of local ingredients - they were in I believe either Gourmet or Bon Appetit recently...
This is a rather late reply, so hope you have already tried them. They are my all time favorite in the area. It's a 20 minute drive for me, but I would be willing to drive an hour. Here are some highlights...
The atmosphere is wonderful. It's a converted old grist mill, with flagstone walls, wood accented windows, with an upscale and unpretentious feeling. The owners/chef and staff are great. The waitstaff are foodies themselves, familiar with the food and the wines that they serve. I have never had a bad meal there, I try to go at least once a month. They are part of the VT Fresh Network, so the menu changes based on what is in season.
Soups - wonderful seasonal soups. I recently had the sunchoke soup - amazing flavor and not full of cream that makes it too heavy.
Calamari - fresh, sauteed, a light and tasty dish
Chicken Liver Pate from Misty Knoll - delicious. Always short a piece of two of toasted Red Hen Bakery bread, but they are always willing to prepare extra pieces for you.
Cheeses - great selection of cheeses, and like I said the staff are foodies, so they are really familiar and can help guide you to the right selection.
Scallops - when on the menu, you should definitely try it, the flavors that get infused as they prepare it really help define this dish.
Short Ribs / Rib Eye - can't go wrong with their meat preparation.
Trout - this was a whole trout, and I was prepared to do some work for my meal that night. To my surprise, the trout arrived deboned, but it looked whole - head and tail in place all the bones in the middle were gone. What a treat!
Anyways, you get the idea. I would highly recommend this restaurant. And... Mondays they have the chalkboard menu where entrees are just around $20, and Tuesday is 20% off a bottle of wine.
I think I preferred the Mist Grill which preceeded Hen of the Wood - but Hen of the Wood is a very good place in itself. In that general area - Kitchen Table (Richmond), Hen of the Wood (Waterbury), & 1824 House (Waitsfield) are all places I'd recommend..
I've been twice- The first time was superb in both food and service. The second time was the complete opposite- The scallops I was served were bad- The service was just as bad.
Next time will be the rubber match!
Eric Warnstedt, the chef at the Hen of the Wood has just received the award from Food & Wine magazine for 2008 Best New Chef. There are only 10 such awards given accross the US. He will be featured in this July issue of the magazine. So, it makes me curious to try the restaurant... I am wondering if it is pricy though...
re: Vermont gourmet
Their entrees are generally in the $20s, with their gnocchi dish at $16. They have "Chalkboard Mondays" which has a slightly shorter menu, but all entrees are under $20 (around $18). They also have 20% off bottles of wine on Tuesday, if you are in the mood for trying a bit more expensive wine. I noticed signofthetimes53 mentioned a $72 bottle of wine, definitely their higher end... the Palmeri there is ~$60, which is a great deal, since it's $53 from the vineyard. And they have plenty of wines in the ~$30 range.
Here's their recent menu (with prices) http://henofthewood.com/cuisine.html