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Annual Burlington Visit- Seeking 5 Excellent Dinners

We come up from boston every fall at least. i feel so happy when we reach Vt. Hardly any recent CH posts on Burlington; the recession keeping things quiet on the food scene? A fav spot of ours, Green Room, is closed i see. We will return to consistently v. good Delia; last yr we had 2 dinners there. Bluebird looks promising. Not A Single Pebble fan(too expensive imo) but we had an excellent Thai meal at Drunken Noodle 2 yrs ago.

Farmhouse menu looks like a burger lunch maybe. What about Duende and El Gato?Does Duende still have the chef mentioned in the 7 Days a Week review?Any fav dishes? El Gato has very polarized reviews on 7 Days. How's Church and Main these days? At Kitchen Table and Hen in the Woods I have had mixed reactions over the years. Didn't care for the Frog place or the casual spot a few doors down. Liked The Black Sheep a few yr ago but not Starry Night the last time, 2 yrs ago. We adore Penny Cluse for its Mex. slanted specials,and Mirabelle's for croissants.Never have tried Sneakers. Plse share your thoughts! And thanks very much for your help.

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Penny Cluse Cafe
169 Cherry St, Burlington, VT 05401

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  1. Bluebird Tavern is excellent, as is Farmhouse for lunch- try the Homestead Ale and a Turkey Burger!
    Leunigs is a go to spot- always great for dinner.
    Hen of the Woods is one of my favorite places in the whole state- as is Single Pebble!! You should give them another round. Have not been to El Gato but have heard it is good. Sneakers is good for brunch- also Skinny pancake down by the water has yummy brunch.
    Not sure about Duende.

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    Hen of the Wood
    92 Stowe St Ste 1, Waterbury, VT 05676

    Bluebird Tavern
    Burlington, VT, Burlington, VT

    1. I think you might not be searching well for recent burlington posts, seems to me there's been alot.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Morganna

        gee morganna, i just did a 'burlington' search again and very few relevant 2011 threads come up. i did this time see sai pan? and salt in one of the threads.Maybe i have to search by restnt name to find some actual detailed reviews.....

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          I don't think there's as many restaurant specific reviews from this year, but there's a been a fair amount of recommendations in other threads of folks asking for recommendations, as well as comments from this year in older threads.

          I note here that you didn't say anything about only wanting updated reviews of restaurants from this year. There's been a reasonable number of recommendations made in the last year for various places in Burlington.

          1. re: Morganna

            gee, morganna, my first sentence says we are annual visitors; why would i want pre-2011 reviews? and i listed a whole bunch of places- that shows I do a lot of research before i come. But if you know of places i should try, i would love to hear about them from you!thnx much.

      2. I live in Burlington and tend toward the casual. I respond to overall ambience as well as food quality, and I don't eat meat so I go to spots with good veggie options.

        Given that, I enjoy Duino Duende's wide-ranging menu and funkiness... yummy tostones and churros. I've only been to El Gato for lunch; it's better than the other Mexican places in town (for what that's worth), with fresh ingredients and interesting options. I also quite like A Skinny Pancake, and it's a nice space on a chilly/rainy day. The Farmhouse can promise a bit more than it delivers but it does have some very good dishes, a wonderful room, and truly sublime beer (Hillstead Farms).

        Have you tried the Daily Planet? It's been around forever but the formula still worksL a quiet and pretty main room, a buzzy bar/pub area, good price points.

        Re Morganna's point, there's been ongoing discussion on threads started a while ago, so, more activity than meets the eye.

        Hope you have a great time & that you give us a report-back!

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        Daily Planet
        15 Center St, Burlington, VT 05401

        Skinny Pancake
        60 Lake St Ste 1A, Burlington, VT 05401

        1. Oh yeah-- Asiana House has lovely sushi and is another cozy space.

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          Asiana House
          191 Pearl St, Burlington, VT 05401

          1. When we get a chance to eat in Burlington-

            Duende was good with the old cook, but we have no experience with the new. Be prepared to see all that B-town has to offer- a friend reported a couple of nude diners one evening.

            Farmhouse is excellent for what they offer- simple local food and world class beer. We have had dinner there several times. The lamb burger was excellent. If you go, check the parlor downstairs while waiting for a table.

            Sneakers is well known for breakfast but fills quickly after about 8am on weekends w/ college students. I used to lunch there frequently, and it isn't memorable enough to report on. The breakfast is good though.

            Bluebird is my choice for anything other than Italian (which would take you to Trattoria Delia). The menu is varied and challenging- a recent visit offered fallow deer sausage or a 12oz hen of the wood mushroom. Pricey though.

            1. Here are a few:

              Belted Cow Bistro (Essex Jct.) : on Tuesday they add BBQ (excellent) to their regular menu and pasta / flatbreads added on Thurday night (practically across the street from the now closed Drunken Noodle).

              Tiny Thai (2 locations, one in Winooski (the better of the two) and Essex Jct. (by the outlets). BYOB and great lunch specials for $8.

              Amuse; Newly opened concept at The Essex. No firsthand experience to report but the food in the tavern (also remodeled and recently reopened) is improved.

              Inn at Shelburne Farms: worth a visit just for the setting alone. Have not been this year, but has been spectacular at times

              L'Amante: also worth a vist, well executed menu, a bit more reserved than most Burlington restaurants

              Pulcinella's : on Dorset Street, traditional Italian with some interesting twists on the menu

              Hope this helps......................

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              Tiny Thai Restaurant
              24 Main St, Winooski, VT 05404

              Pulcinella's
              100 Dorset St Ste 2, South Burlington, VT 05403

              10 Replies
              1. re: TonyO

                TonyO is right about The Inn at Shelburne Farms; it's one of the most beautiful spots in the state. It is seasonal though (the inn is a Gilded Age mansion built without heating) so may be closed already. I've heard there was turnover in the kitchen this year, don't know how that translates in terms of quality.

                1. re: TonyO

                  Love Tiny Thai in the little strip mall just outside of Burlington. :)

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

                  1. re: mcel215

                    mc et al, have you also tried Drunken Noodle? we really liked it last yr(but not impressed by Belted Cow across the street) and wonder how it compares to Tiny Thai? thnx again.

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

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      Drunken Noodle is gone now. I always preferred (and still do) Tiny Thai over Drunken Noodle.
                      I'd give Starry Night another chance. I had an excellent meal there recently. One of the best meals I'd had in a long time (I had salmon).

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                      Starry Night Cafe
                      5467 Route 7, Ferrisburgh, VT 05456

                      Tiny Thai Restaurant
                      24 Main St, Winooski, VT 05404

                      1. re: bm_vt

                        bm, i see so many web complaints (it was our experience as well) about SLOW service there at St Night. how bout you? and tiny thai favs? th much.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          I don't remember service being an issue. Then again I was enjoying the company I was with so if it was slow I just didn't notice (or care!).

                      2. re: opinionatedchef

                        Go to the Belted Cow, order the Smoked Pork Tartine (you can thank me later !)

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          hey op, I am not from Burlington, but have friends there and visit.

                          Last time I was there, went to Tiny Thai and fell in love. It's my friend's favorite Thai in the area.

                          I have also loved Penny Cluse, Skinny Pancake and for a special meal at Trattoria Delia (sp?).

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                          Trattoria Delia
                          152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT 05401

                          Penny Cluse Cafe
                          169 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT

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

                          Skinny Pancake
                          60 Lake St Ste 1A, Burlington, VT 05401

                          1. re: mcel215

                            Foodie-great destinations include Shelburne Farms (the obvious) and Clover House (in Colchester) the trust-me insider's haunt.