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Great Meal in Burlington, VT?

We'll have two nights in Burlington early in June. It's a tour, and one of them will be a dinner cruise on Lake Champlain, so that's set. But one night is free, and we'd like to have some really wonderful food; both delicious and interesting is the goal. (We live in Northampton, where the bar is set pretty low.)
Browsing turns up Hen of the Woods and L'Amante, but there seem to be LOTS of restaurants, and Chowhounders are more likely to know and recommend really good places than other websites we could mention (ahem). Our favorite foods are, in no particular order, new American, French, Italian (the Hub), Chinese/Japanese (me). Our idea of a great dining city is Portland, if that gives a clue. Will appreciate any suggestions, help, guidance. The more opinionated, the better!
Just discovered two things: 1. we'll be dining out on a Monday night 2. we're staying at Best Western Windjammer without car, so will probably need somewhere pretty close. Rats! Does A Single Pebble fit the bill?

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  1. I love A Single Pebble, although I haven't been there in a couple of years (I live 1.5 hours away). Staying where you are there really isn't anything that I think is that good or interesting.

    Take a cab down to Church Street, its only a mile or two, and spend a couple hours wandering around browsing before dinner.

    1. As Shann mentioned, to get downtown you're probably going to need a taxi. Downtown is where many of the best restaurants are located. Like A Single Pebble is great and open on Monday night, but it's firmly downtown. It has superior Chinese food to what you'd get at the Chinese place by Higher Ground (which is near where you're staying). Cheese Traders is a good place to shop for some nibblies if you like to have some snacks. That is also near where you're staying.

      Guild Tavern is at 1633 Williston Road which is one mile further down Williston road from your hotel. http://www.guildtavern.com/ They are also open on Mondays. They have some great sounding (I haven't been there yet) steaks, but also burgers and stuff. It's farm to table. If you eat there, do please report back, I haven't heard much from folks about their experiences there!

      I hope this helps. :)

      1. I went to Wooden Spoon Bistro earlier this week and it was really fantastic. Much improved over the first time I went a few years ago. It's a 5 minute walk from The Best Western.


        1. Pulcinella's..........within walking distance (100 Dorset St.)......food and service are both exceptional...and they are open on Monday for dinner at 5:00 p.m.

          1. Thanks to all, I'm making a reference sheet starting now. We'll be going in early June, and I'll report back.
            Anyone else weighing in --- thanks!

            1. I lived in Burlington for many years and visit regularly now--I've tried some of the better restaurants: L'Amante, Pistou, The Farmhouse Tap and Grill, Magnolia Bistro, American Flatbread, A Single Pebble...Of those I thought Pistou was the best, though the menu is tiny and the interior decoration is austere...L'Amante was solid but not exceptional. A Single Pebble is better than average, but food prep is erratic. I like Farmhouse Tap and Grill for good beer, convivial atmosphere, and good burgers and charcuterie. I have yet to try Hen of the Wood but my Burlington friends say it's the best in the city at this point.

              1 Reply
              1. In my visits to A Single Pebble, their food has consistently been plagued by an absolute over use of salt. The Dim Sum brunch is no exception and when coupled with the majority of items being deep fried, I left very disappointed and wondering what the draw is here (other than the fact that there isn't much competition for great Chinese food in this area). This area is very devoid when it comes to certain styles of food, Chinese being one of them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: TonyO

                  The two things I like there are the sweet and pungent walnuts and the dry fried green beans. I've only eaten at their current location once since they moved there, though. It was, mmmm two years ago? I enjoyed it immensely and didn't feel like it was over salted. Used to eat there when they were in Berlin, but we couldn't afford to eat there much back then. Now we could afford it more often and it's an hour away. :) So, maybe it's nostalgia? :)

                2. For Italian, you cannot beat Tratoria Delia on St. Paul St. Lovely setting, excellent food.

                  1. Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. I enjoyed reading them and anticipating, but in the event that's not how it played out.
                    Was visiting with a senior tour group. So many activities first day traveling that we were pooped by the time we got to the Best Western in So. Burlington. Too tired to go anywhere but to their restaurant, which was far from the best, but was THERE. I kept thinking wistfully of A Single Pebble, but it was not to be. Second night we did a harbor cruise with dinner. Again the food was far from the best, but the cruise was delightful.
                    So it will take another trip to sample the cuisine of Burlington! The best laid plans -----

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                      This post makes me so very sad for you. I'm so sorry you had to eat on the cruise and at the Best Western. You'll have to come back for a food trip. :)

                      1. re: Morganna

                        Thank you, Morganna. That's a very nice thought, and may even happen some day! Downtown looked really nice and interesting as we drove through on our way to the pier. And the lake was splendid.

                        1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                          I will say that my experiences at The Upper Deck Pub and Windjammer (both at the Best Western) have been far superior to many of the "darling" restaurants that get all of the praise steeped on them (and in many cases, completely without merit). The food is consistent, the bartenders are exceptional, and you will not receive a plate of food that looks like it was intended to feed an anorexic sparrow..........

                          1. re: TonyO

                            Agreed. I went to the Windjammer for my birthday, and it was my choice, and I thought it was great. The oysters were yummy and twice the size of those I had at Bluebird Tavern. I also always have a good meal at the Upper Deck. They use local ingredients and make great cocktails.