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Upper Valley Restaurants: Carpenter & Main or Simon Pearce

Is there a clear favorite between these two? Is Carpenter & Main still in business, it looks like their website is out of date....

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  1. And where, pray tell, is Upper Valley?
    Maine?
    New Hampshire?
    Vermont?
    Massachusetts?
    Connecticut?
    Rhode Island?

    1. There are so many other choices in the Upper Valley. Pane y salute, the Parker House Inn, Mangowood, Carpaccio
      Carpenter and main has sadly gone downhill since the change in ownership.
      Simon Pirece is an "experience" and not always great for dinner - we perfer lunch there.

      1. I immediately understood Upper Valley to mean the upper CT River valley in NH and VT - most anyone in VT or NH would know this.
        I love Simon Pearce, but prefer lunch to dinner - better value and better view. I haven't been to Carpenter and Main.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sophie fox

          Well, I, for one, live in Maine and, even though I grew up in the, I guess, lower Connecticut River valley in western Mass., I didn't know about the upper nomenclature. You can't assume everyone knows what you're talking about.

        2. I prefer Simon Pearce to Carpenter and Main. I've been to both places once and have to say our meal at Carpenter and Main was sub par. The food was bland and overly salted. My husband and I felt that it didn't meet the standards expected of a highly priced meal. The service was very good, though.

          Simon Pearce is also highly priced but the food and the service were impecable. We had a table next to the water at sundown so the view was beautiful.

          I know that my opinion is base upon a single visit to each restaurant but first impressions are important, right? :-)

          2 Replies
          1. re: AUJester

            Has anyone been to Carpenter and Main recently? I've got a couple small gift certificates and am thinking about trying it soon.

            1. re: stroshow3

              My most recent experience was a few weeks ago in the Tavern. I had a
              Wood Creek Farm, Bridport all-natural burger on homemade english muffin with an assortment of homemade condiments: tomato chutney, mustard relish and bernaise sauce accompanied by delicious crispy fries and a small garden salad consisting of shaved fennel, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, shallots and herb vinaigrette.

              Strawberry shortcake for dessert.

              Complimentary dates stuffed with almond paste, assorted olives, and other delightful nibbles at the bar.

              Everything was delicious.

          2. Just went to the website and it is updated now. Carpenter and Main blows Simon Pearce out of the water in my opinion. C and M is constantly changing their menu as new produce comes into season and accordingly the ingredients just seem more fresh than any other restaurant in the area. Also the service is impeccable... friendly without being intrusive and the bistro menu makes it possible to have a tremendous meal without breaking the bank.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dr. Kelso

              I agree on the lunch thing at Simon Pearce. Lunch is great and not too over the top in price

            2. If you haven't been in a while, or haven't tried dinner, it's worth another look at Simon Pearce. After recovering from the hurricane Irene flood in a remarkable three weeks, the restaurant reopened this past weekend with some changes. Menus will now change more often to innovate with the season and the availability of fresh ingredients. Prices have been adjusted downward a bit at the same time. You should not look at Simon Pearce as an "experience" or a special occasion restaurant - ask the locals who come for lunch and dinner once a week, every week!

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              Simon Pearce Restaurant
              1760 Quechee Main St., Quechee, VT 05059