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Burlington, VT area in November

Hi everyone. For my boyfriend's birthday, I booked two nights at the 1804 Potter House in Jericho, VT, in November. I know it's near Burlington. I love Burlington but have not been there in some time. I know he's going to love it (he's been before but a long time ago). I'd love to find out some of the Hounds' favorite dining destinations as I'd like to take him out for a fantastic dinner. It doesn't have to be pricey. I'm interested in places with great food, a cozy atmosphere, nice staff, and a good wine list. I'd even love to know any specialty dishes for each place. Just to give you an idea, we like places like Basta in Cranston, RI, Pinelli's in RI, Franklin Cafe in Boston, Union Bar & Lounge in Boston, Joshua's in Wells, ME. Pizzeria Regina--the original in the N. End, Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. Are you sure you want to stay that far away from Burlington? Jericho is near Burlington in the same way that downtown Boston is near the I-90/I-495 interchange. It's a good solid 30 minute drive on a not-so-nice secondary road to get there. If you have a couple drinks in you, you might regret staying that far out.

    Places you might like in Burlington to eat:

    A Single Pebble (Chinese)
    American Flatbread Pizza

    6 Replies
    1. re: signothetimes53

      Trattoria Delia for a fancy romantic, rather expensive dinner

      Love them. :)

      1. re: signothetimes53

        I wouldn't really recommend Smokejack's -- we found the food no more than adequate. Still, that's better than Pauline's, where last week we ate one of the worst meals I've had in a restaurant in a long, long time, kicked off by a plate of foccacia that had at least twice as much salt in it as it should have. So much so that the front-of-house guy, who was doing double duty as the bartender and the host, demanded soon after we got ours that they stop sending it out. It also included the very first French onion soup I have ever not only not finished but sent away after a couple of bites: again, no discernable flavor except salt, and about 3/4 cup of flavorless, stringy, greasy, melted cheese. The "16 dollar steak" was worth about half that, thanks in large part to a demi-glace that was once again nothing but salt.

        On the plus side, however, on two successive trips, we've had very nice breakfasts at Penny Cluse Cafe, near the corner of Cherry and Winooski just off the Church Street Mall. It can get crowded and noisy, but the food is both fresh and tasty. And this native southwesterner quite likes the dishes that include decent green chile and surprisingly tasty beans and tortillas.

        And on our way out of town Friday morning, we had a genuinely great diner breakfast at the Dutch Mill on Route 7. Mine included by some distance the best chicken fried steak I've had since moving to New England, as well as two perfectly-cooked over easy eggs, well-done (in both senses) home fries and two thick slices of toasted homemade bread.

        We didn't eat there, but we did stop at Leunig's for drinks one night, and I strongly recommend that. Terrific room, excellent old marble bar, entirely unpretentious bartender (from one conversation, I think she's the owner's daughter) who made a fine Negroni for me and French 75 for Allstonian. Plus there was a quite nice electric-piano-and-bass jazz duo in an unobtrusive corner, always a plus.

        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

          FYI, Smokejack's has been closed for over a year.

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            Re: The Dutch Mill. Is that the ramshackle looking place adjacent to the campground in Shelburne??? I never would have associated that with good CFS but will definitely put it on the list for the next trip. I wish I had seen this post sooner. What kind of gravy did they serve? was it on the steak or on the side?

            1. re: Wursthof

              Yes, that's the place. We were surprised at how good it was too! The gravy was your standard heavily peppered white gravy, as it should be. As I recall -- this was over a year ago now -- it was served on the steak, but I'm sure you could get it on the side if you asked.

        2. I would add in L'Amante... but if you're from Mass/RI area, you are swimming in good Italian so you might want to branch out to something different. I agree with signothetimes about everything but Leunig's, which I find mediocre and disappointing every time I go.

          1 Reply
          1. re: biggirlco

            Good point, biggirlco.

            I should have said Leunig's for drinks and the atmosphere at the bar. I agree, the food is mediocre, and has been for a long long time.

          2. OK, here is my 2 cents:

            Burlington: Trattoria Delia, L'Amante, Taste
            South of Burlington (but no further from Jericho): The Kitchen Table Bistro (Richmond) and The Hen of the Wood (Waterbury)

            None are "cheap" or overly expensive but all are excellent in both food and service. The strongest wine lists are Trattoria Delia (all Italian) and The Kitchen Table Bistro (focuses on domestic bottles). If you are here during the week, the Hen of the Wood has a 6 course chef's tasting that will be as good as any restaurant anywhere and is under $100 w/ wine pairings.

            3 Replies
            1. re: TonyO

              Yo Tony,

              The Kitchen Table Bistro stops serving dinner at 8:30?

              1. re: 2top

                That's the latest they'll seat a reservation party, but obviously the kitchen stays open until those diners are finished.

                1. re: 2top

                  I've left there around 11:00 on more than one night.......................

              2. P.S. Don't waste your time with pizza in Vermont. It is like ordering pizza in North Carolina..........90% awful, 8% edible, 2% great.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TonyO

                  I would agree with you Tony about pizza in VT, but I wou;d say American Flatbread is in that 2% great.

                  BackBayGirl, if you are not famliar with them - www.americanflatbread.com. They are focused on local organic ingredients, and not your traditional pizza - most of their "pizza" don't have tomato sauce. Some of the ingredients will make you wonder why it's on a pizza, but when it arrives, it always delicious. The original is in Waitsfield, I-89 Exit 9, and then Route 100 South. There is almost always a wait.

                  1. re: travelames

                    Seconded, about American Flatbread - great pizzas, great salads, great craft beers (always changing), great staff. One is right on City Hall Park in Burlington.

                2. Jericho is not that far out and Route 15 is a fine road.....in November you will not have difficulty getting into town.

                  I agree with all of the restaurant suggestions so far.....great choices!

                  As an added suggestion....the New England Culinary Institute is located at the INN at Essex in Essex - a town that you pass through on your way into Burlington. They operate two restaurants there - The Tavern: a cozy, casual pub like place with great food! and a more elegant, sophisticated dining experience called Butler's.....all located within the INN with fabulous food!

                  Enjoy your stay in Burlington....great town!!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Azure

                    <<Jericho is not that far out and Route 15 is a fine road.....in November you will not have difficulty getting into town.>>

                    If you say so. But it's a 30 minute drive no matter how you slice and dice it, and Route 15 is a slow and tedious secondary road that screams "be very cautious about alcohol" when driving in the blackness of a November night. Add a light misty 32 degree rain, and you have just a lovely recipe for disaster.

                    1. re: signothetimes53

                      Just to clarify, we usually switch off if having a cocktail. If one night one of us wants more than 1 drink, the other will not indulge and will drive, then the next night, it's the other person's turn to be the dd. We also don't speed in and out of a restaurant, so we don't drink and then leave right away. We like usually to have an app, then order a meal, etc. So, one of us is always a designated driver when we go out and if we go out two nights in a row, we take turns. We never drink and drive.

                  2. Also, has anyone heard of the inn we're staying at or stayed there? Just curious on your impressions.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: BackBayGirl

                      Hey Baby Back, good choice in staying out of Burlington, too many college students and only so so food....the beauty of Jericho, Underhill, and the Richmond areas are a treat for a romantic getaway! Good for you girl. There are some great trails to hike in the area.

                      As for the food I recommend Sonoma Station for a fine dining experience without the snobbery of some others. You practically describe the place in your description "I'm interested in places with great food, a cozy atmosphere, nice staff, and a good wine list." If you like steak they have a great one with blue cheese and the crab and avacado appetizer is yummy. The food is also great at Hen of the Wood and the Kitchen Table...with meals like the ones you will get at those three you will not need to eat anywhere else! Pretty sure they all have web sites to check out the menu's for yourself. Sure to be great experiences all the way around. When you do make it into Burlington snuggle up for a pre-dinner drink in the basement of the 1/2 lounge, pull the curtains in around you and enjoy each others company. If you are lucky there will be music playing upstairs for you to enjoy but not be blasted by, being down a flight.

                      Anyway - sounds like a nice trip. Way to keep the love alive - must be a lucky man. I hope you have a great trip!

                      1. re: touringvt

                        Touringvt makes very good restaurant suggestions, BBGirl, but the advice to go hiking in the woods of Vermont in November is terrible advice. That's hunting season, and it's just not a very safe idea at all.

                    2. Thanks everyone, for the advice. Keep it coming. My trip isn't until November. I still haven't heard from anyone who has stayed at the 1804 Potter House, but if someone has and can tell me about it, that would be great. I hear they do a nice breakfast for the guests each morning.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BackBayGirl

                        very true s-o-thetimes53....it always hurts to stay off the trails so people can kill furry creatures in the woods, but it is the safe thing to do, and i have at times been nervous for my safety and that of my dogs while hearing gun shots in the distance. thanks for the safety reminder.

                        as for the potter house, sorry i don't have any advice on the place but you will have to let us know how it is after nov.

                      2. My trip is coming up next month. Any other suggestions? I just want to get as many as possible.

                        5 Replies
                          1. re: BackBayGirl

                            You can cross off Smokejack's from your list. They shut their doors for good last week, sad to say.

                            1. re: signothetimes53

                              What happened to Smokejack's? I always thought that was one of the standby nicer restaurants in Burl. It was quite decent the one time I went there.

                              1. re: Joanie

                                Yeah, they were closed when we were in Burlington. Had a for rent or for sale sign on them.

                            2. re: BackBayGirl

                              We always go to Magnolia's Bistro when we are in town, but its only open for breakfast and lunch. i second Trattoria Delia - the food is excellent and it is a romantic atmosphere.

                            3. Hi, all. Thought I'd send an update as we got back from our trip today. On Saturday night we went to Trattoria Delia. It was EXCELLENT! I think it might've been Parents' weekend at some of the colleges, so we couldn't get a table until 9:45. It was well worth the wait. My boyfriend had a wonderful mushroom pasta dish w/ a cream sauce. I had one of the specials which was a pumpkin ravioli in a light truffle cream sauce. For an appetizer we ordered the calamari. My boyfriend LOVES calamari and orders it if it's ever on the menu. Well, he loved the calamari. He said it was very fresh and the tempura they put on was very light...not heavy. It was definitely a hit. Before we got in for 9:45pm, we killed some time by going to Drink down the street. We had a drink and some appetizers and we played board games. It was great!
                              On Sunday we did some wine tasting, cheese tasting at Cabot, and ice cream tasting at Ben & Jerry's. For lunch we stopped at the Depot Street Malt Shop in Stowe. We had a nice, quick meal. Very reasonably priced. Then at night, we went to the Lincoln Inn to their tavern. It was nothing fancy, just good pub type food and they had a jazz band playing.
                              The 1804 Potter House was the b&b we stayed at in Jericho, about a 1/2 hr away from Burlington. The owners were very nice, made a great breakfast, and it was interesting to see all the history on the house. After being there for an hour, we already felt like we were at home w/ family. Just a great experience!
                              Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions. We're definitely going back in the future, so we'll get to try some other restaurants next time.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: BackBayGirl

                                Thanks for the update, BBG. It's always fun to read the results of a long-planned trip, such as yours. Glad you had some great food and good times...

                                1. re: BackBayGirl

                                  Come back this November!

                                  There's a new restaurant, The Bluebird Tavern, in Burlington, where the old Tortilla Flats used to be. Right to the top of my list! We have tried most everything on the menu already, and loved it. Simple, innovative, excellent ingredients and results, reasonably priced, with capable and friendly staff, and a great atmosphere! Just right for Vermont. The chef, Aaron, was previously at Shelburne Farms. Here, I think, his creativity has been liberated!

                                  Here's the info:

                                  The Bluebird Tavern
                                  (802) 428-4696
                                  Bluebird Tavern 317 Riverside Ave, Burlington, VT 05401

                                  1. re: Kaiopect8

                                    And his portions have been shrunk to miniscule levels....................

                                    1. re: TonyO

                                      ...assuming there is anything left to eat when you get there as they were out of numerous items on two visits for us and the candy bacon coated almonds were stale.

                                      Too bad because I thought it might have potential when visiting up there.

                                      1. re: Wursthof

                                        Potential is the key for this location. I agree that the "concept" is appealing, it is the execution that I think is lacking. Judging from the street buzz and reviews I have read, this seems to be the prevailent opinion.