Restaurant News

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tasting Menus Planned for Pop-Up Restaurant Elm in Montpelier

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 10:31 AM

Rye crisp with perch at Elm - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Rye crisp with perch at Elm
During the final year that I owned my Montpelier restaurant, Salt, I dispensed with regular menus. Instead, each night I prepared a tasting menu — a parade of small bites, designed to showcase the best of whatever was in season. While tasting menus allow chefs to be playful in the kitchen, which is a professional boon, I chose the format for several other reasons, too. For one thing, after I switched, I wasted so much less food.

Think about it: Customers expect restaurants never to run out of the dishes they want, but the only way to have enough scallops for everyone who might order them is to have more scallops than people are going to eat. And when you have one of those nights when nobody orders scallops? You make scallop chowder the next day. And all of the extra scallop chowder left at the end of that night? Trash. Compost. Bye-bye.

So, yeah, tasting menus. You only cook what you’re planning to serve. And you only order what you’re going to cook. What a concept! Tasting menus have been my favorite way to dine since long before I understood the behind-the-scenes reasons for their awesomeness. So, I was excited to receive an invitation to a tasting dinner at a pop-up restaurant called Elm, located in Philamena’s at 41 Elm Street in Montpelier.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Richmond's Parkside Kitchen to Close

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Lara Atkins with apple fritters at Parkside Kitchen - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Lara Atkins with apple fritters at Parkside Kitchen
The Kitchen Table Bistro owners Steve and Lara Atkins and Neal Johnston announced today that they will be shutting down  their second Richmond eatery, Parkside Kitchen.

In an email to customers this morning they wrote, "We have decided after 18 wonderful and delicious months that we are going to close Parkside Kitchen … As it turns out, the stresses of running two restaurants are far more than we anticipated."

Parkside will serve its final meals this Sunday, April 10. The owners say this decision will allow them to refocus on Kitchen Table and "move forward as a reunited team." 

And, after eight months on the market, KTB is no longer for sale. The Atkinses and Johnston have decided to retain ownership.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Gaku Ramen Coming to Burlington

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 2:57 PM

A new ramen joint is set to open in May. - IOANA GRECU | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Ioana Grecu | Dreamstime.com
  • A new ramen joint is set to open in May.
Burlington will soon have its own ramen joint. Gaku Ramen is on track to open mid-May in the former Mr. Crepe location on the Church Street Marketplace (144 Church St.).

Opening the restaurant is Las Vegas-based Trust3 Hospitality, known for managing such restaurants as Hell’s Kitchen and Jbird Cocktails in New York, and multi-location  Dinner in the Sky, at which guests dine at a table suspended 180 feet in the air.

Gaku Ramen will offer seven types of ramen bowls, including a vegetarian option, for $8 to $10.  The menu will also have about 10 appetizers including pork buns and cucumber salad. Booze-wise, the restaurant will serve beer, wine and sake.

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Friday, October 9, 2015

San Sai Is Closing

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 2:26 PM

Special sushi sampler at San Sai Japanese Restaurant - ALICE LEVITT
  • Alice Levitt
  • Special sushi sampler at San Sai Japanese Restaurant
The parade of 2015 closures marches on. Today that Bergman-esque dance with death makes San Sai Japanese Restaurant its latest victim. Kazutoshi (Mike) Maeda and Chris Russo opened San Sai, a sequel to their beloved Tsuki in New York City, in Burlington in the spring of 2011. It will serve its final meals next Sunday, October 18.

Russo explained to Seven Days that the restaurant's five-year lease is up in November. Rather than sign another one, committing to another half decade, Maeda decided to look elsewhere. "The winter is long. You make your money in the summer and lose it in the winter," Russo said. San Sai staffers couldn't stand another November, the restaurant's leanest month of the year. 

According to Russo, Maeda is on the lookout for a new location, still downtown. Russo is not yet sure if he'll join his mentor in the business. For now, he will continue to run his more casual sushi business, Bento, on College Street. 

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lake Champlain Chocolates to Close South End Kitchen

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 10:43 AM

Breakfast at South End Kitchen - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Breakfast at South End Kitchen
Time to get in those final brunches, lunches and classes. This morning, Lake Champlain Chocolates announced that it will close its nearly 2-year-old Burlington restaurant, South End Kitchen, on December 20.

In a press release, LCC owner and founder Jim Lampman said, “The South End Kitchen has been a place to savor fresh, seasonal fare, a place to connect over a shared love of food and a place for our customers to have a deeper experience with chocolate. Unfortunately, operating this complex, dynamic and risky venture took focus off of our core business making chocolate lovers across the nation absolutely crazy for our caramels, chocolate bars, truffles and more."

Contacted this morning, Meghan Fitzpatrick of LCC media relations and PR explained that the company will keep the  8,500-square-foot building in the family. Offices that are currently in the LCC building next door will move into the SEK space, allowing the LCC production and retail spaces to "reoptimize" as they extend into the former office area. Fitzpatrick said that when that process begins, in 18 to 24 months, customers can expect a new and improved experience at the factory store. "We get 200,000 people coming in for tours every year, so we're trying to make it work a little better," she explained.

Beginning on October 19, SEK hours will be scaled back, with lunch and dinner served Wednesday through Saturday, along with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Classes will also continue until the December closure. Fitzpatrick says that LCC will work closely with SEK employees to find them employment within the company or elsewhere.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Spice Traders' Kitchen Replaces Dharshan Namaste

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 1:28 PM

Banh mi - COURTESY SPICE TRADERS' KITCHEN
  • Courtesy Spice Traders' Kitchen
  • Banh mi
Even Winooski locals might not have noticed yet that the Dharshan Namaste Asian Deli at 212 Main Street closed last Thursday. Owners Thanh Pham and Bishnu Gurung still run the North Avenue Burlington locations of both the restaurant and their market, but, according to Alyssa Vigneault, maintaining businesses in two cities was too much to manage.

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Bove's Restaurant Closing After Seven Decades in Burlington

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 4:54 PM

Bove's - MATTHEW ROY
  • Matthew Roy
  • Bove's
Bove's restaurant, one of downtown Burlington's most cherished eateries, is closing its doors after nearly 74 years of dishing out classic Italian fare.

The Bove family said in an announcement Friday that they plan to focus on their wholesale and catering operations, and will move the business to a warehouse and distribution center in Milton. The family will close the Pearl Street restaurant on December 23 and turn the space into a catering headquarters.

"Today, Bove's fans here and around the country are far more interested in bringing our pasta sauces, lasagna and meatballs into their own homes to prepare, versus visiting the restaurant," the family said in a prepared statement. "So we know the time is right for us to take our next big step. Bringing more Bove's to more people around the country best positions us to serve a wider audience of fans for the next 75 years."

The restaurant was founded by Luis and Victoria Bove in 1941 and once hosted President John F. Kennedy. Bernie Sanders has been a regular for decades.

But the Boves' business has evolved to focus on retail sales — jars of Bove's sauce can be found in stores across the country.

Dick Bove, Louis and Victoria's son, has officially retired, the family announced. Dick's sons, Mark and Rick, are the third generation of the family to run the business.

Correction, December 7, 2015: A previous version of this story contained an error regarding the age of the restaurant.

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Another Closure for Bluebird Restaurant Group

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 4:35 PM

This week I wrote in "Table for None" that, despite the closure of Bluebird Tavern, the rest of the Bluebird family was doing just fine. Turns out that was an overstatement.

When we spoke to Bluebird PR rep Nicole Ravlin of People Making Good on Thursday, she didn't mention that the Bluebird Coffee Stop at the Innovation Center would serve its final meals the very next day. Here's the sign we found when a reader tipped us off to the closure today.
ALICE LEVITT
  • Alice Levitt
Contacted today, Ravlin said via email that another location of Scout & Co. will soon replace the newly closed Coffee Stop. The third location of the fast-growing coffee and ice cream spot should open later this month, she said.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Burlington's Bluebird Tavern Has Closed for Good

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Sue Bette at Bluebird Tavern - FILE
  • File
  • Sue Bette at Bluebird Tavern
Owner Sue Bette informed her staff today of what they already expected might be coming. Saturday night dinner was the final service for Bluebird Tavern. "It's not a complete surprise," says Nicole Ravlin of People Making Good PR. "It's certainly unfortunate for all the people who have enjoyed Bluebird Tavern for so long."

In a statement, Bette disclosed, "I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished over the past six years and very grateful for both the support we have enjoyed from our community as well as the amazing work of all of our team members and alumni."

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Farmhouse Group to Close Burlington Deli

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 4:58 PM

The Bad Idea - ALICE LEVITT
  • Alice Levitt
  • The Bad Idea
Updated 09/19/14 with more information from Jed Davis, Farmhouse Group's managing partner.

Maybe the Bad Idea — a sandwich composed of a homemade maple doughnut, house sausage, egg and cheese — was more prophetic than addictive. Farmhouse Group owner Jed Davis announced today via email and social media that Guild Fine Meats, the home of the Bad Idea, Piggly Wiggly Poutine and a slew of sandwiches prepared from homemade deli meats, will serve its final meals next Thursday, September 25.

Via email, Davis said, "We are very proud of this restaurant – the ambition behind the concept, and the daily execution in particular. Our staff was exceptional. We hold our heads high knowing that we created and delivered a unique concept to the market, and that we excelled with quality product and service. Unfortunately, not all businesses work out."

With a steady stream of customers, to the casual observer, the business seemed to be working out just fine. But in a phone conversation after this story was originally posted, Davis explained that profit margins were to blame.

"It can be a tough gig, the farm-to-table restaurant movement. You’re operating in a world with much, much higher costs than other people," he said. "That model works brilliantly in some cases and unfortunately, it just didn't work here."

While the Farmhouse Tap & Grill Burger is a successful vehicle for the local meats produced at the company's commissary, Davis said a deli sandwich proved to be a less cost-effective fit. "The guest wanted [the sandwiches] to be two bucks less and the business needed ti to be two bucks more. That value conversation just break down," he explained.

The Guild Fine Meats products sold at 111 St. Paul Street also make their ways into the dishes at Davis' four other Farmhouse Group restaurants, including Guild Tavern, Pascolo Ristorante and El Cortijo Taqueria Y Cantina. Bacon, sausages and deli meats from the label are already available at City Market and Healthy Living.

But what will become of the space? Will the prolific Farmhouse Group try its luck with another concept? "That's undetermined right now," Davis told Seven Days. "We're going to feel that out."

Davis and his team are also working to find potential homes at their other restaurants for some of GFM's most popular sandwiches and baked goods. 

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