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Dinner in Burlington

I will be in Burlington for one night at the end of Setptember and haven't been able to identify a really great place for dinner. What I see mostly are brew pubs and pizza places and one or two bistros that only serve wine. I am looking for a place that has a good vibe and full bar and great food - doesn't have to be a culinary pinnacle restaurant as I have those available to me whenever I want. I want to know that there is someone in the kitchen who knows what they are doing and cares. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. What's the scoop on Bluebird Tavern and the Green Room?

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Bluebird Tavern
Burlington, VT, Burlington, VT

Green Room
86 Saint Paul St Ste 2, Burlington, VT 05401

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  1. The Green Room is closed. I don't drink alcohol so I can't make any recommendations for a full bar, and I'm old and a homebody, so I can't help with good vibe. I know there's stuff around Burlington, though.

    (btw, you might want to change your subject, if you can, so it says Vermont in it, there are Burlingtons in other states in New England :)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Morganna

      Thanks for that tip - I never there ere more than one Burlington! Thanks

      1. re: Morganna

        We just ate at the Green Room last week (8/10) so if it is closed, it was recent!
        The food was excellent and the vibe is what OP is looking for - advanced beyond brewpub stage. Standouts from our table of four included the caprese salad and the smoked duck.

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        Green Room
        86 Saint Paul St Ste 2, Burlington, VT 05401

        1. re: msr3017

          Thank you. Sounds more like what we are looking for. I will call them to make sure they are still open.

          1. re: msr3017

            The Green Room is =closed=. It just closed. My claiming it was closed when it wasn't would be completely irresponsible of me. I know it to be true. I'm only posting the link and text in support of my comment because I don't want the OP (or anyone else reading this thread) to make plans to go there when it is gone.

            This was posted in 7Days on 8/16/2011:
            http://www.7dvt.com/2011don-pedros-ba...

            Burlington’s the Green Room took its final bow last Saturday night. The owners have no immediate plans to reopen elsewhere, according to a server, but Seven Days has heard that a potentially game-changing eatery will take over the St. Paul Street space. Stay tuned!

            So yeah, it closed after you ate there, on the 13th.

            1. re: Morganna

              According to the Free Press Bluebird Tavern will be moving to The Green Room space.

              http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/ar...

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              Bluebird Tavern
              Burlington, VT, Burlington, VT

              Green Room
              86 Saint Paul St Ste 2, Burlington, VT 05401

              1. re: bm_vt

                It's looking like they'll have a slightly different take for the different space, according to the follow up on that I read on Friday. I still haven't been but I keep hearing good things about them. I think they're going to keep their original space, as well, iirc, and revise what they're doing there.

        2. Bluebird Tavern is great. I'd definitely recommend. They serve beer from VT's Hill Farmstead Brewery, which is world class. They also have a full bar and house specialty cocktails. Leunigs is a well-loved bistro that has a full bar. I personally am not a big Leunigs fan, but many people love it, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Two places I have never eaten that have full bars are Church & Main and 156 Bistro...I have heard mixed food reviews for both. You definitely will have more options for good meals if you are open to places that don't have a full bar: L'amante, Farmhouse Tap & Grill, Blue Cat Cafe.

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          Bluebird Tavern
          Burlington, VT, Burlington, VT

          L'amante
          126 College St, Burlington, VT 05401

          2 Replies
          1. re: JessicaCM

            Thakns for all of your suggestions and ideas. Based on the fact that a couple of the recommendations are closed on Sundays and proxinity to our hotel I think 156 Bistro will be the place we will be headed.

            1. re: JessicaCM

              I would also strongly not recommend Leunig's - every time I've asked for a special of any kind "oh we're out of that." Indifferent food, too.

            2. Please report back on where you ate and how it was. I'm headed to Burlington for the first time in October and am looking for dinner suggestions, too. Thanks!

              4 Replies
              1. re: TownSpa

                I will do that!! Right now it's looking like 156 Bistro however I am intrigued by San Sia Japanese so will definitely let you know where we end up.

                1. re: TownSpa

                  Are your dinner requirements similar to the OPs? In Burlington if you're looking for fine dining, I highly recommend Trattoria Delia or L'Amante. For more casual, I've heard good things about El Gato but haven't been yet (this is fairly new) as well as Das Beirhaus (I also haven't tried them, and I hear differing stories on their German food, but their focus is beer, I think).

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                  Trattoria Delia
                  152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401

                  1. re: Morganna

                    I'm not necessarily look for "fine dining" as much as I am looking for a place where there is talent and creativity in the kitchen. I also don't really want a low-key, somber atmosphere. I prefer a place with a full bar and a good vibe - as long as the food is the focus.

                    1. re: DolceFarNiente

                      The Farmhouse would be a MUCH better option that 156 Bistro...........

                2. I know a number of chefs, servers etc in town. They rave about the Bluebird above almost anything else. The cooking is definitely creative without getting gimmicky.

                  I've heard truly awful things about San Sai; I would not risk it. If you're into Japanese try Asiana House-- good fresh sushi, attractive (small, cozy) room, full bar.

                  I do really enjoy the Farmhouse. It's not up to Bluebird standards of excellence in cooking but it's still good quality, fresh ingredients, and fun, with a good vibe. Every time I go I am impressed again with the design of the room. Either there or at the Bluebird you really should try the Hillstead Farms beers. They've created an extra dimension to beer!

                  Leunig's just tries a little hard to be "continental" though the vibe is good and the menu has a nice range of stuff.

                  I also heard pans of Church & Main by the same foodie crew.

                  I don't go to L'Amante b/c I find the room cold. It's also pretty standard northern Italian, nothing rare.

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                  Asiana House
                  191 Pearl St, Burlington, VT 05401

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: rasalhanout

                    Thanks for these tips - I will certainly lal these recs iinto consideration

                    1. re: DolceFarNiente

                      Also, keep in mind that your visit is during peak season due to foliage. I strongly urge you to make a reservation if possible. The odd thing about Burlington, is that the best restaurants are actually in the surrounding areas. That is not to say you can't get a good or even great meal in Burlington but the truly excellent spots are outside of Burlington and especially Church Street (where I have never had a great meal).

                      1. re: TonyO

                        Trattoria d'elia - GREAT Italian
                        A Single Pebble - upscale oriental
                        Church and Main - newer, and awesome
                        For a really excellent meal away from downtown, Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond. About 20 minutes away. Perhaps the best restaurant in the county and my personal favorite.

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                        Kitchen Table Bistro
                        1840 W Main St, Richmond, VT 05477

                        A Single Pebble
                        133 Bank Street, Burlington, VT 05401

                        1. re: nurselizzie

                          Thanks - now I have some real decisions to make. Actually my first choice was Church and Main but they are closed on Sunday's and that's the night I will be there.

                          1. re: nurselizzie

                            Loved Trattoria d'elia, when I was there last April.

                            And I absolutely loved Tiny Thai, a litle gem in a strip mall I believe.

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                            Tiny Thai Restaurant
                            21 Essex Way # , Essex Junction, VT 05452

                    2. Just returned from three days in Burlington, VT. I recommend highly Trattoria Delia. Fantastic food, wine, and service. Tuesday night there. Wednesday night at Blue Bird Tavern. Back to Trattoria Delia for Thursday night because I was so pleased the first time. I was a solo diner and ate at the bar in both places.

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                      Trattoria Delia
                      152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401

                      Blue Bird Restaurant
                      320 Keene Rd, Winchester, NH 03470

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Singletraveler

                        We love Trattoria Delia. We had a reservation for our anniversary, and I was so impressed that the hostess didn't even need to look us up, she knew our name when we said it (she'd never met us before and we'd never been there before) and they brought us prosecco for free as a gift for our anniversary. They put us in a quiet spot, and were wonderfully attentive without being intrusive. I have NEVER had better service in Vermont than there. Their staff could hold their own compared to the best NYC has to offer, IMO. :) That is, unfortunately, not something you can say about most places in Vermont (even some of the nicer places suffer from "Vermont Server Syndrome"). :)

                        I'm so glad you liked it. :)

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                        Trattoria Delia
                        152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401

                      2. I'd seriously consider The Clover House. It's in a suburb (Colchester) and was, for many years, a neighborhood joint. The chef is excellent. The fare runs the gamut from pub-grub usuals to an ever-changing sheet of specials. Wine list is....acceptable. But there's really nothing else in the region for this kind of value.

                        For an experience, then consider the Inn at Shelburne Farms (Shelburne, just south of town). It's a one-of-a-kind Gilded Age estate. If you've got time for a breakfast/brunch event, then GO.

                        I gave Bluebird Tavern two chances and both times found their food to be heavy and sort of over-wrought.

                        Enjoy your visit.

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                        Bluebird Tavern
                        Burlington, VT, Burlington, VT

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: RudigerVT

                          Thank you all - I am now wishing I was going to be staying longer thanone night so I can enjoy all of your suggestions. If I didn't live in an Italian centric area that has a plethora of fine restaurants I might try Delia but we're not really looking for a fine dining experience either so we'll try one of the other ideas and hope to get back to get to these fine places on another visit.

                          1. re: DolceFarNiente

                            Thank you all for the great suggestions and ideas. As it turned out last night was not a very nice evening - rainy cold and quite damp so we ended up at Leunig's Bistro and we had a wonderful dinner. Foie Gras Mousse was light and flavorful and was served with a delicious grilled bread. Caesar's Salad was bit bland but once I asked for additional dressing and doctored it up a bit it was fine. The piece de resistance however, was the Duck Confit - a terrific dish, well prepared and true to the French style and method. The best part of the evening was the bartender (we like to eat at the bar). She was so accommodating and helpful with suggestions and it was quite obvious that she had been trained extremely well. Her service style was impeccable. Next time I am in the area I would definitely go back.

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                            Leunig's Bistro
                            115 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401

                            1. re: DolceFarNiente

                              So glad you enjoyed Leunig's. They tend to get a critical review, but we have always enjoyed it. If you are in the mood for upscale Italian next trip, Trattoria Delia is excellent.

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                              Trattoria Delia
                              152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401