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Bday/anniversary weekend in Waterbury, VT

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Heading to Waterbury for last weekend of Sept for a combined wedding anniversary/40th bday celebration. We both quasi-foodies, so looking for something special and tasty for both nights.
The one place I have heard of, from previous research, is something with the name "Hen" in it but it skips my mind.
Our friends who have gone to Waterbury also talk about the Alchemist for a drink, and maybe pub grub.
If you recommend 5 places, varying from good basic pub food to fine excellent Vermont/New England cuisine, that would be great.
Cheers.

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  1. Hen of the Wood for your anniversary dinner. Fine dining, I've not heard very many negative things about it, and most of what I've heard has been what I would consider a minor issue. I haven't been there myself but I have my reservations in for my anniversary end of this month.

    Stebu Sushi, on Main Street. WONDERFUL sushi (at least to my untrained palate, don't go here expecting some expert sushi out of Japan). Great prices. Nice ambiance. I love this place.

    Juniper's Fare. Great breakfast, best home fries I've had in Vermont (period, no discussion ;). They do great lunches, and also have a Friday night take out italian food thing that's really a wonderful deal (entree salad, bread, and a dessert for between $7.50 and $9, and it's really GOOD local stuff).

    Kelli's Grill. This is a breakfast/sandwich bar/salad bar/burger/cheese steak sort of grill located inside the gas station across from Aubuchon's Hardware on Main Street. Don't be put off by the gas station. The prices and quality are both reasonable.

    Park Row. Breakfast and lunch. Great sandwiches, great breakfasts, decent prices (higher than Kelli's but a little better quality, as well). I loved the gazpacho I had there recently.

    Ocha Thai. This is, from all I've heard, really good Thai for the area. Authentic is bandied about (authentic for the area, I assume). I don't know from great Thai, but I really like the food here. It's a little higher priced than, say, Juniper's Fare, but well worth it. :) Nice ambiance, as well.

    The Alchemist, from what I've heard, has great brews and good pub food. I don't drink and I am seldom in town still when they're serving their pub food, so I can't comment on that.

    Don't get sucked in by Marsala Salsa. It's not really very good. Also, Arvad's. You'll get better sandwiches for better prices at Kelli's and Juniper's Fare.

    I know nothing about the place on the same side of the street as Arvad's and between Arvad's and Ocha Thai. Used to be Waterbury Wings. I don't know what they are now, or what they serve, so I can't comment on it. :)

    Have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Morganna

      Morganna - I've always liked Park Row for breakfast - they have great omelets, but I find their homemade-bread toast a bit heavy (I can barely get through one piece). If you're saying Juniper's Fare is a better breakfast, where is it as I'll be up there in 3 weeks?

      Ocha Thai is good and I thought better food and more reasonably priced than their place in Montpelier.

      Alchemist may have good brew, but often gets much too crowded and loud for my taste (no doubt due to the good brew).

      1. re: velotrain

        Juniper's Fare is at the corner of 2 and 100 (um b, I think, not sure, I never go down that road), near Snowfire auto. Used to be a place called The Feed Bag. So head south on Main until you see Snowfire on the right, Juniper's Fare is on the left.

        Just to be clear, I -really- love the home fries at this place. Best I've had in Vermont, but I'm one of those who prefers crispy fries, hashbrowns, and homefries. So these are nicely crisped on the outside. They serve Red Hen bread, and their muffins are homemade and wonderful. The bacon they serve is local, thick cut and really tasty. Their breakfast offerings are pretty much solid country breakfast, nicely done. The prices are VERY reasonable. :) I'm just trying to make sure I haven't over sold it too much. I've never had an omelet at Juniper's Fare. I usually just get scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, and toast. :) But I've been pleased with every single thing I've ever gotten there, including the service. :) I hope your experience works out! Please let me know what you think. :)

    2. Upscale:

      Hen of the Wood, Waterbury
      Michael's on the Hill, Waterbury
      Kitchen Table Bistro, Richmond (15 minutes from Waterbury)
      Sonoma Station, Richmond

      Once you have made a decision, call ASAP as that will be a busy weekend.

      1. Hen of the Wood is very special. A really outstanding experience.