No Name Cafe in Windsor, VT
Want a nice dinner out in Windsor? The No Name Cafe has a dinner menu again so now you have options. While the entré offerings are limited, the food is excellent. It’s more expensive than a greasy burger at the diner next door, but well worth it.
The current menu (varies) includes:
* Sirloin Burger w/ Vermont cheddar & fries, chipolete mayonnaise, lettuce, etc
* Choice of pastas with a choice of sauces: artichoke, spinach and tomato vegetable trio, or pesto sauce. Add chicken or shrimp
* Pork chop with Walnut Dijon crust
* Seared North Atlantic Salmon with chipotle maple glaze
* Chicken Cordon Blue (stuffed with red peppers, goat cheese and maple ham)
These ranged in price from $10 for the pasta to $18 for the salmon. The pasta got raves, the chicken was delicious and the sirloin burgers were a cut above (even the fries with them were much better than average). They serve a few house wines, a selection of beer and even some hard liquors (going for the martini crowd, though I saw they had Jim Beam as well). They work extra-hard to make a nice presentation of your meals. That includes jazzing up the desserts, which this time included chocolate decadence cake (super-rich), orange creme brulee and a yummy apple crisp.
Oops, almost forgot the daily soups ($7), which I’d order again. The first was a creamy asparagus, which got raves from the asparagus lover and had such a delicate flavor that even us non-asparagus-lovers enjoyed tasting. The other was a cream of tomato that is nothing like the canned version that I’m used to. This tomato soup was so rich, with minced garlic and other veggies, that I had to protect mine from my companions!
We’ve had guests up the past 2 weekends (spring fever for flatlanders?) and went to No Name both Saturday nights. The first time we were pleasantly surprised that they had live music, and we went back the second time because we knew they’d have live music again. This weekend was a guitarist we’d heard play on the steps of the Windsor House at Windsor Heritage Days, Mr. (?) Thomas. Both nights of music were great, and made the wait for our meals almost unnoticeable. We even splurged on desserts because the women I was there with liked listening to (and watching) the guitar player! :-)
The music we heard was great, it felt almost like having him play in your living room. I read they’ve had small bands play, which I’d think might be a bit loud while you’re eating dinner, but maybe some people like that? I guess it would work if they’re good.
Since they started as a coffee house, you expect those are going to be good. I’m not a coffee drinker but I noticed they offer espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and other specialty coffees.
The wait-staff is very attentive, great at handling orders and helpful in suggesting favorite choices off the menu. The owner always drops by to make sure everything's going well and chat. He mentioned each night that their chef had worked at Simon Pierce, hence the high quality and art-full food presentation.
They also have a lunch menu with wraps, sandwiches and other items.
Hours: Open at 7 am daily.
Dinner Hours: Weds-Monday nights: 6-9:30, Sunday 5-9:30
Location: South Main Street on the east side of the street between the auto body and the Windsor Diner.
Extras: Wi-Fi, couches and comfy chairs for lounging, soft drinks including Harpoon sodas (my favorite), open mike on Friday nights, live music on Saturday nights.
Full Disclosure: I've met the owner a number of times, usually at the Cafe, but it's not like we're close personal friends. I have no financial stake in the restaurant, nor do any friends or relatives
Thanks for the update StewinWindsor,
We came through Windsor last week only to find our favorite spot in the Upper Valley had sold, one of our new favorites from last summer had closed, an even the small (and extremely slow) Subway had gone the way of McD's. I can't believe the Windsor Station has been sold. We had been going there for 20 years. I hope the new owners are half as good as the Aldigheri family. Is No Name still owned by the Juniper Hill Folks? If so the food will always be good. On another note, what happened to Clara's? The food was wonderful, just like the old Hartford Diner when they owned it. I know parking in Windsor is difficult and they did not have a good location in terms to parking spaces. We ended up eating at Stellas in Hartland, which isn't anywhere near as good as when it was Joanies. Again thanks for the update. We will add the No Name to our dinner menu the next time we come through from Boston, not just a quick lunch, like last time.