Saturday, August 27, 2016

Breakfast Club: Maple Walnut Biscotti at Village Wine and Coffee

Posted By on Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Iced coffee and maple walnut biscotti at Village Wine and Coffee in Shelburne - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Iced coffee and maple walnut biscotti at Village Wine and Coffee in Shelburne
Biscotti are seemingly simple staples of coffee breaks. The durable, crusty cookies are used to soak up a cup of dark roast or cold brew sweetened with cream. With a bit of liquid, they become pliable and palatable. I’ve never liked them.

Let me rephrase that: I’ve never liked the ones found in many cafés, where biscotti sit for weeks in a glass jar becoming ever harder, ever drier and ever more “biscotti-like.” Biscotti get a bad rep next to tender-crumb scones and croissants, butter-permeated from the inside out. While toast springs from the oven warm and fresh and ready for jam, biscotti sit dejectedly in jars. But this is not how it was meant to be.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Dining on a Dime: A 'Gourmet' Asian Lunch

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 1:10 PM

Asian Gourmet's no-frills sushi combo: spicy tuna, yellowtail-and-scallion, California roll - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Asian Gourmet's no-frills sushi combo: spicy tuna, yellowtail-and-scallion, California roll

When was the last time you lunched on a cheap-o Bento box? Or an $8 midday sushi special? 

For me, such meals recall a time in the mid-aughts, when I was a broke college kid (or recent post-grad) just getting to know food from beyond New England. Usually alone, and living in Colorado Springs or Chicago, I'd bike to some hole-in-the-wall sushi joint and order the lunch special. For $8 to $12, I'd get five to seven pieces of nigiri and a California roll, or maybe three basic maki. Once in a while, I'd mix it up with tempura or dumplings.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Vermont Food Truck Finder 2016

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 12:00 PM


Blues, Brews & Food Truck Crews

It's not all swirling stemware and haute cuisine at this weekend's Stowe Wine & Food Classic. On Friday, head to Stowe Mountain Lodge for smoked meats from the Blue Donkey's rolling eatery, or slices of bubbling, wood-oven flatbreads from Goog's Pizza. Maybe grab a Cornerstone Burger from that restaurant's brand-new Rolling Stone Mobile Kitchen, or sample new brews from Stowe's Idletyme Brewing Co. If all that sounds like music to your ears, Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band will be there, too. Tickets, $20 at

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Where Am I Eating?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Hash brown, sausage, salad - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Hash brown, sausage, salad
Update, Tuesday, August 23: Whew, that was quick! Jordan Redell guessed the correct answer — Monarch & the Milkweed, newly open in downtown Burlington — just eight minutes after the contest went live. Good work, Jordan! 

Remember this game? We post a picture of a recent meal, and the first person to correctly identify the location wins a restaurant gift card. Sweet deal! 
A little ketchup - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • A little ketchup

So, where am I eating?  

Wherever it was, let me just say that the food was really, really delicious. 
Also, when I asked for a "little ketchup," they took my request literally. 

Post the name of the restaurant in the comment section below. If you're the first to correctly identify it, you win!

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Dining on a Dime: $8 Cheeseburger at Worthy Burger

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 3:15 PM

$8 cheddar cheeseburger at Worthy Burger - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • $8 cheddar cheeseburger at Worthy Burger
Some days in the summer I mainly eat tomatoes, bread and doorstop-worthy wedges of cheese to avoid the heat of the kitchen. When I’m not cooking for work, my August meals are often a hodgepodge assembly of things that don’t need fire to be palatable.

To be sure, one of the finest things about summer is a heavy, ripe tomato sliced and slicked in olive oil — the heel reserved for coarse salt and eaten in three bites over the sink. Yet there comes a time when I’m hit with a meat craving that halts me mid-stride. Red meat, specifically. A thick, stacked, pub-style cheeseburger. Eaten outside with a beer so cold it hurts my teeth, which is only the proper temperature for beer when it's 90 degrees outside with 85 percent humidity.

That’s how I ended up on the shaded patio at Worthy Burger last weekend.

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Breakfast Club: Tomato Season, With Bread and Egg

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 7:01 AM

Bread, tomato, egg - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Bread, tomato, egg
Ready for a sublime and simple tomato-season breakfast?

Head to Brotbakery in Fairfax, which is open  Friday afternoons, now through Thanksgiving. Grab a loaf of Hieke Meyer's masterful sourdough (also available at Burlington's City Market/Onion River Co-op on Wednesdays, and at Hudak Farmstore  in Swanton on Fridays).  Lop off a slice of bread; fry it in hot olive oil along with a crispy egg, sunny side up.

Cut a fresh-fresh, juicy tomato into hearty slivers; layer these over the bread and sprinkle with salt. Toss the egg on top; Scatter fresh basil if you've got it. 

Doesn't get much better than that, folks.

Breakfast Club is a series that explores what we eat in the morning. Do you have a favorite? Drop us a line at

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lunch at La Garagista Farm With Wine Writer Alice Feiring

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 7:55 AM

Table set for lunch at La Garagista Farm and Winery - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Table set for lunch at La Garagista Farm and Winery
Caleb Barber greets me at my car window as I pull up to La Garagista's home vineyard in Barnard for lunch. It’s still early. By noon, the table will be decked in checkered tablecloth and strewn with vine leaves, Queen Anne’s lace and herbs from the garden. Long-necked bottles of field blend rosé and La Crescent whites will be tucked in an old washbasin with ice for chilling. Barber will slice thick tiles of homemade pancetta, and the guys from Shacksbury Cider and Fable Farm will arrive with bottles of cider in tow for tasting.

But for now, in the sleepy morning hour, Barber leads me to his porch overlooking the mountains for a glass of water and a piece of grape cake in the kitchen.

Alice Feiring, the lauded wine writer, emerges from Barber's guest room with a notepad and camera. To call Feiring a “lauded wine writer” is an understatement, and I’m momentarily tongue-tied (which I attribute to careful chewing of the grape cake).  An open advocate of natural wine, Feiring is a significant voice in the wine world as a writer for publications such as Time magazine, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Forbes Traveler, the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has three of her own books and just finished a fourth, which she calls “a most unusual wine guide” that she’s “very glad to be rid of — it was grueling to write.”

There’s a James Beard Foundation Award in her history as well, but the laurel I like best comes from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which has dubbed Feiring “the high priestess of natural wines.”

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Currant Whiskey Smash

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Currant whiskey smash - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Currant whiskey smash
Many drinkers stick to clear, clean liquors like gin or vodka when the weather is hot. But with ample ice and a shot of tart fruit, whiskey can make a cocktail as light and refreshing as any greyhound or gin fizz around. 

A few months ago, Stonecutter Sprits released its Heritage Cask Whiskey According to co-owner Sas Stewart, it's "distilled like bourbon, aged like Irish whiskey and finished like Scotch." Whatever the process, it's a smooth, woody  spirit with a vanilla nose and notes of dark fruit and clove, with an off-dry, spicy finish.

Since the bottle retails for about $60, I like to savor it as a sipping whiskey. But it also makes a fine cocktail.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Monarch & the Milkweed Opens in Burlington

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Andrew LeStourgeon completes an opera cake at Hen of the Wood - FILE PHOTO: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File Photo: Matthew Thorsen
  • Andrew LeStourgeon completes an opera cake at Hen of the Wood
After months of recipe testing, tweaking and perfecting, Burlington’s Monarch & the Milkweed soft-opened Monday, August 15  in the St. Paul Street space formerly occupied by Guild Fine Meats. The “fine diner” will serve breakfast every day this week, and will add lunch and dinner in the next couple weeks.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Dining on a Dime: $20 Viking Feast for Two at Colchester's Mead Hall

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Three kinds of herring with three kinds of cheese - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Three kinds of herring with three kinds of cheese
It wasn't hard for me to convince my friend and dance teacher, Jon Bacon Jr., to have lunch with me. "I'm going to a mead hall," I explained. "You'll have to eat herring." Sold. 

Neither Beowulf nor Grendel were in sight as we pulled up at Colchester's Mead Hall, located inside of the Groennfell and Havoc meaderies, fairly close to Costco. 

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