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Best food near Stowe, Vermont

Staying at Topnotch for 3 night and looking for great dining recommendations near Stowe, Vermont... any suggestions?

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  1. 1. Hen of the Wood - Waterbury (15 minutes)
    2. Kitchen Table Bistro - Richmond (25 minutes)
    3. Michaels' on the Hill - Waterbury (10-15 minutes)

    All are excellent and will likely require a reservation.

    9 Replies
    1. re: TonyO

      Another recommendation for Hen of the Wood. :) It's the most recommended. :)

      1. re: TonyO

        anyone feel any love for the alchemist? i've had mixed experiences there food wise (beer has always been exceptional)... i can't hardly wait to get to hen of the wood, but unfortunately when i can get up to the mnts my time and resources are precious and scant...

        1. re: sarabean

          Everyone I know loves the Alchemist for the brews. The food has always been, IME, mediocre. Decent for pub food. I've never had the brews, so I can't comment on those (I'm not a drinker).

          1. re: sarabean

            The beer alone is worth a visit to the Alchemist. In terms of food, I've eaten there a handful of times and have never been disappointed. The food is a step up from typical pub food. Typical being the type you'd find at the Vermont Pub & Brewery. They place a strong emphasis on local ingredients which shows they're actually cooking fresh food and not reheating Sysco products.

            1. re: mjp81

              I should have said I've not eaten there in at least four years, so I probably shouldn't comment on the food either. :)

              1. re: mjp81

                I ate there a few weeks ago, and we had good food As mjp said, it's a cut above standard pub food with the same prices and slightly smaller servings than your average pub. It means that I can finish a serving without feeling like I ate too much pub food. I had some hibiscus marinated lamb on special the night I was there, and it was lovely. My only gripe is the $6 french fries, which seemed to set their high price on the fact that they come cutely served in conical baskets. They are fresh cut, but I still don't think it's good value compared to everything else.

                1. re: thinks too much

                  $6 fries does seem a bit steep; I certainly don't remember paying $6 for fries last time I was there. I am among the few who do enjoy the food there, but I love pub food. Its my junk food, since I don't eat fast food or junk food very often. The crab cake sandwich is good and their fries come with homemade ketchup and an aioli, both of which are yummy. I'm not a ketchup fan in general, so their ketchup is an exception for me.

                  1. re: Bri

                    yay for me! i made it up north last week and dragged everyone into waterbury, broke as we all are. i don't remember the fries as 6$ as the bill for the entire table of 5 (drinkers!) was 97 bucks. maybe i'm more used to city prices but that action is fine with me. and the beer is UNBELIEVABLE!!! i am a wine drinker and i crave their beer. i think the menu is fairly thoughtfully designed to pair with their beer (cheese dip w/soft pretzels). they really do take pride in what they brew and brew it exceptionally well, so the food takes a backseat, but it's fine for us!

                    1. re: sarabean

                      I just read a new review in 7 Days that they changed their menu last month and the food was given a good review. I'm going to have to hit it again and see what's new...

          2. I see you are a new poster to Chowhound. You may get more information if you do a search of the New England board. Near the top it says "search this board". Just entering "stowe" bring up a number of fresh posts. I wish I were in Stowe. Good luck. It was years ago but we enjoyed Michael's.

            1. Don't miss Hen of the Wood. They also run a great deal on Mondays if you are trying to save a few $$$

              1. Absolutely, postively Hen of the Wood. And you will LOVE Top Notch!

                1. We went to Norma's at TopNotch about two weeks ago. The food was pretty abysmal. Stale croutons mixed into avocado underneath woefully underseasoned tuna tartare(although very fresh tuna). Some peanut soup catastrophe smoked salmon beignet disaster with crawfish sauce. Fried to beyond crispness and charred in places...absolutely awful. Wines were quite nice and the setting is beautiful when they light the fire pits next to the pool. Just don't eat the food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Wursthof

                    There is a new chef at NORMA's I think he has done a great job at reviving the menu, the setting as other have mentioned is great-we'll be haeding back to topnotch in a few weeks
                    Some of our favs inlcude:
                    Dutch Pancake house for Breakfast(on Mountain Rd)
                    Thin Crust Pizza for lunch at Pie in the Sky
                    Michael s

                    Last trip we also tried Solstice in the Stowe Mtn Lodge, nice property, trying real hard in terms of service and presentation-but wasn't quite there yet.

                  2. I just gotta add, since we're talking Waterbury, too.

                    Sushi at Stebu Sushi is WONDERFUL. I love it, great prices, too!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Morganna

                      By the way-
                      Would Hen Of the Wood be kid friendly? No children's menu needed-just curious if they accommodate at an early sitting,

                      1. re: montreal traveller

                        Oh good question. I have to admit I've never been there yet (I am longing to go, I gaze at the menu when I want to torture myself, and I read all descriptions of meals there with lustful eyes).

                        TonyO, you out there reading this?

                        I'd think that well-behaved children wouldn't be a problem but if you're kids are very young... might be best not to go there. Still, Tony?

                        1. re: Morganna

                          She's six, she's been fine at Michaels and many other better end restaurants when dining at the appropriate time.

                          1. re: montreal traveller

                            Oh well, heck, if she's been to other such places, then I doubt *I* would have an issue were I dining there, too. :) I dunno how the staff are, though. :)

                          2. re: Morganna

                            Hen of the Wood wouldn't be my first option with children as they would not likley appreciate the food and there are a lot of adult only parties. This is really a place to savor your meal with good company and a glass of wine. I love my children, but I wouldn't take them to this place (the 19 year old or the 4 year old or any in between!).

                      2. Ah, Stowe, my wannabe home.

                        I haven't been back for nearly three years, but have always had a good meal at Mr. Pickwick's at the Ye Olde England Inne.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sablemerle

                          thanks for posting about Pickwicks, I took your recommendation last week when I was in Stowe. The chicken breast with sauteed spaetzle and baby carrots was amazing.

                        2. A good breakfast spot is the Park Row Cafe on the park in Waterbury. I just returned from lunch at Ocha, the new Thai restaurant in town. Food was great. If you're looking for Mexican or Caribean then try Marsala Salsa on Stowe St in Waterbury

                          All places are fairly casual, esp. Park Row Cafe.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sharon05676

                            Ocha Thai, Stebu Sushi, Juniper's Fare, and Kelli's Grill (as well as Park Row) are all better options than Marsala Salsa. MS was great when it first opened but it's gone downhill over the years.

                          2. Does anybody have a read on the Sunset Grill and Tap in Stowe? It was recommended to me by the manager of the Dutch Pancake Cafe for its smoked meats. We went but my friend refused to eat there due to a dirty outdoor table and its sports bar ambiance and we ended up at the generally unexceptional McCartheys.

                            The recommendations for Hen of the Wood and most other Stowe/Waterbury area restaurants are generally spot on. If your child is well-behaved, I would definitely not miss it on account of him/her. Its definitely not a pretentious place, but I would go for an early reservation. I found Ocha to be a good choice for the area but did not care for their papaya salad.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Highland Park

                              I'm very surprised no one has mentioned Tanglewoods in Waterbury Center yet. It's one of our favorites. American cuisine; very reliable and consistent, nice ambience, same owners for over 20 years. The only complaint I would have--and it's a mild one--is that the menu rarely changes. That said, they do always have at least three specials each night as well as southwestern night on Thursdays, so it's a very minor complaint. ;) Besides, I almost always get either the sesame encrusted tuna steak or the duck! If you're in need for some upscale comfort food (and don't have any heart issues...), you can't beat the white truffle mac & cheese w/peas and prosciutto!
                              I agree about Hen of the Wood--a wonderful dining experience and I love the focus on local foods.
                              Highland--I've been going to the Sunset Grille & Tap Room for about 18 years now...it is most definitely a sports bar/casual restaurant. I've never had anything there that I didn't like. Most often, we go just for the wings and a cold brew, but I've also tried sandwiches, soups, ribs and enjoyed them all. Definitely not a gourmet experience...but very good, hearty food well prepared.

                              Tanglewood's Restaurant
                              179 Guptil Rd, Waterbury Center, VT 05677

                              Sunset Grill
                              West Rd, Belgrade, ME 04917

                              1. re: VtYeti

                                um, don't know why the site pulled in a URL for a place in Maine...The one I'm referring to is most def in Stowe!

                                1. re: VtYeti

                                  Thanks for the Tanglewood information VtYeti. I had heard it was good and meant to ask about it. And thanks also for the info on Sunset.

                                  Do you know if the dining room at Trapp has improved recently? I know its a tourist place, but at one time the food in the dining room was quite good. Last time I ate there I refused to go back. However, I guess with choices like Hen of the Wood and Michael's there would have to be a compelling reason to gamble. on the dining room.

                                  1. re: Highland Park

                                    I would say have a few brews on the deck at the Trapp. They brew their own and it is very good.

                                    1. re: Highland Park

                                      We ate at their new deli last month...sandwiches were 'okay', beer was pretty good.