Apple cinnamon piroshki and Anjou-Amaretto polenta cake
I usually say that I don't have a sweet tooth, but last Saturday, sitting on the ledge of the fountain at Burlington City Hall Park, I ate an apple-cinnamon piroshki from the Nomadic Oven stand. With the farmers market buzzing around me, I even closed my eyes, savoring the unfurling pastry curl by curl.
The insides of the Russian-style sticky bun were bloated with apples. Its hard-baked edges were laced with coffee cream. When I got to the core, I ate it in one slow bite — a ceremonious process akin to uncovering an artichoke heart.
I returned to the Nomadic Oven to chat with its baker-owner, Meghan Brickner. When I left her, it was with another piroshki and a slice of Amaretto-polenta cake dressed with Anjou pears.
At the Starving Artist Café, located inside the Davis Studio on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, hungry brunchers can dine on Whistler's Mother's Oatmeal, laced with brown sugar and pumpkin seeds, or dig into Matisse in Morocco — poached eggs with harissa-stewed tomatoes and homemade pita.
The studio, founded and owned by Teresa Davis, offers kids' art camps, as well as teen and adult classes in a variety of media, including millinery, fused glass, watercolor and photography. Originally, the on-site kitchen was used only to feed the artists and perhaps their parents. In early September, the café opened to the public, presenting a selection of snack plates, soup, salad and a build-your-own breakfast sandwich. Brunch, with dishes named after the masters, began on September 25.
On August 16, 1777, a rebel force of a couple thousand militiamen prepared for the Battle of Bennington. The American Revolutionary War was about two years old. General John Stark led the brigade, reinforced by a crew of Vermonters including Col. Seth Warner and Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys. Long story short: the Brits lost.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Mark Davis
on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 4:54 PM
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.