Bite Club | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pizzeria Verità to Buy Trattoria Delia and Sotto Enoteca

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Griffeon Chuba with a hot pie at Pizzeria Verità - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Griffeon Chuba with a hot pie at Pizzeria Verità
The owners of Pizzeria Verità, a popular Italian restaurant on St. Paul Street in Burlington, have been looking to expand their business for some time. They checked out possibilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Portland, Maine, among other places, co-owner Leslie McCrorey Wells told Seven Days.

Then they looked at a bit closer to home — next door — and made a deal.

Wells and her business partner, John Rao, are buying Trattoria Delia and Sotto Enoteca from Tom and Lori Delia. The Delias opened "Tratt" 24 years ago. The Italian restaurant a few steps north of Verità is known for its antipasto platter, housemade pastas and filet mignon, among other specialties. Sotto is the associated wine bar next door that serves mainly small plates, craft cocktails and, of course, wine.

The new owners expect to take over the neighboring establishments in the second week of April, according to Wells.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Farmers Market Kitchen: Scalloped Potato Pie

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 3:17 PM

Scalloped potato pie - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Scalloped potato pie
I like to think of early spring as dairy and potato season. It's a little soon for fresh greens, except from the most zealous farms with over-wintering greenhouses, and by now I'm pretty sick of of winter squash, carrots, rutabagas and the like.

But potatoes, butter and cheese? I never really tire of those. And you can always find them at the farmers market in colorful arrays.

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Hunkering Down at Montpelier's North Branch Café

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:12 PM

North Branch Café in Montpelier - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • North Branch Café in Montpelier
There's something incredibly comforting about the taste of cinnamon. It's like opening presents, eating pumpkin pie and sniffing potpourri, all rolled into one. That's why, even though I love all kinds of elegant loose-leaf teas, whenever I visit the North Branch Café in Montpelier I get a pot of decaffeinated cinnamon spice tea. Whether I'm working on deadline or writing poetry, it's always a good choice.

A handful of places in the capital city allow visitors to bust out laptops and get down to business, and each one has its own vibe. Capitol Grounds is fast paced and busy, and internet access is doled out in 90-minute chunks, which, theoretically, prevents visitors from overstaying. La Brioche has inexpensive tea and pastries and lots of tables. Both are on my regular rotation.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Duck Sauce: Chinese Fusion Gets Personal at Silver Palace

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Vegetable potstickers at Silver Palace - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Vegetable potstickers at Silver Palace

Silver Palace, South Burlington: At a Glance

Owners' names: Ken "Gong" Wong, Ting Ng, Ed Lee
Owners' native city: New York/New Jersey; parents from Hong Kong
Prices: Soup, $4-$6; appetizers, $2.50-$9.95; entrées, $11.95-$19.95 (dinner); fried rice: $11.95 (dinner)
Lunch specials:  Entrées plus white or fried rice, $8.95-$13.95
Drinks: Tiki cocktails, Vermont craft beers, Chinese imported beers; wine, sake, plum wines, jasmine or green tea, sodas
Quirky dishes: Crispy Grand Marnier pork; Coconut shrimp; Gwin Jin; Seafood basket; Homestyle whole fish
Fortune cookie: Physical activity will dramatically improve your outlook today.

Silver Palace co-owners Ed Lee, Ken "Gong" Wong and Ting Ng grew up the children of Hong Kong  immigrants in and around New York City. In 1986, the trio (and other partners who've since moved on) opened Silver Palace in South Burlington, and the restaurant tells a very different culinary tale than most of Vermont's Asian restaurants. The menu doesn't focus on standard Chinese-American fare like you'll find everywhere else.  And, in an accommodating nod to modern dining, almost any dish can be made gluten-free.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Snarf Down a Sandwich at Eastern & Main Market-Deli

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 2:45 PM

The Fairbanks roast beef sandwich at Eastern & Main Market-Deli - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • The Fairbanks roast beef sandwich at Eastern & Main Market-Deli
Let's face it, we live in a world where $15 sandwiches are increasingly the norm. Of course, I'm well aware that quality ingredients don't come cheap — and that customers now demand fresher, more local foods, which cost more than frozen or heavily preserved ones from China or wherever. Still, I'm always super stoked to find a solid stacker for less than $10.

Enter St. Johnsbury's Eastern & Main Market-Deli, which opened across from the firehouse on Main Street several years back. Walk in most mornings and the cashiers will greet you as if they've known you for years — even if it's your first time in. Place your order and the deli workers make your sandwich in about three minutes flat, unless there's a big line ahead of you. It's the kind of quick and friendly service that makes you know you'll be back.

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The Future Honey Road Restaurant Continues Pop-Up Series

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Eastern Mediterranean bites at Honey Road's March 6 pop-up - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Eastern Mediterranean bites at Honey Road's March 6 pop-up
On Monday, March 6, Burlington's Monarch & the Milkweed transformed from a boutique “fine diner” to a softly lit watering hole complete with candlelight gleaming on blush-colored wine glasses. The scene was lush enough for a night out, yet aptly cozy for Monday evening.

Locals chattered and laughed, elbow-to-elbow at the bar top or tucked into modest corner tables; instrumental guitar and lilting vocals kept tune in the background. Monarch’s tiny dining room was amiably packed with folks relaxing into the second installment of a multi-part pop-up series from Burlington’s forthcoming Honey Road restaurant — an Eastern Mediterranean spot to be helmed by co-owners Cara Chigazola-Tobin and Allison Gibson.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Drop-In's Head Brewer Vilija Bizinkauskas Talks Food Pairings and Beer for Mom

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Head Brewer Vilija Bizinkauskas at Drop-In Brewery - BROOKE WILCOX
  • Brooke Wilcox
  • Head Brewer Vilija Bizinkauskas at Drop-In Brewery
I recently sat down with Drop-In Brewery’s head brewer, Vilija Bizinkauskas, to talk beer nostalgia, Vermont beer culture and the unseen challenges of the brewing lifestyle. Post-talk — and post-pints — I carried an armful of treasure home with me: a growler of Berlinner Weisse (the tart, off-sour pilsner way too flavorful for its 2.9 percent ABV) and a few freshly minted cans of milk stout called Fetchez La Vache.

Though it was noon on a Tuesday, I promptly called a few friends to help share my bounty come happy hour. Luckily, Bizinkauskas has ample knowledge of snacks to pair with Drop-In brews.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pints and Bites at Hired Hand Brewing Co.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 12:01 PM

Left to right: Barn Red Ale and Tractor Pilsner from Hired Hand Brewing Co. - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Left to right: Barn Red Ale and Tractor Pilsner from Hired Hand Brewing Co.
The list of ways in which Vermont spoils me is getting lengthy, and at the top of these indulgences is the $6 pint of local draft beer. Then Vermonters take it one step further: How about a six-buck pint of hyperlocal draft beer?

On a recent weekday evening, I walked into Hired Hand Brewing Co. at 35 Green Street in Vergennes. It's chef-owner Ian Huizenga’s recent expansion to the downstairs speakeasy Bar Antidote. I'd heard that Hired Hand had a mean menu of baked-cheese sandwiches, and what else does a three-degree day call for?

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Breakfast Club: Popover Stop at Rustic Roots

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 5:45 PM

Rustic breakfast at Rustic Roots in Shelburne - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Rustic breakfast at Rustic Roots in Shelburne
A popover is a special thing. It's that puffed-up, hollow globe related to the pancake but also to the muffin; all custardy insides and a craggy crust that tastes of browned butter. I’ll make a pilgrimage for a good popover, especially the slightly salty kind: malty on the outside and steaming with herb butter when the top is pried apart.

At 195 Falls Road in Shelburne, Rustic Roots turns out popovers that rank among the best. Bonus: I get that warm muffin-pancake sided with soft-poached eggs, home fries, housemade coffee-maple sausage, and thick slabs of Canadian bacon.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dining on a Dime: The Little Red Kitchen's Quick Fix in Burlington

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 5:36 PM

The dining room at the Little Red Kitchen - SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • Suzanne Podhaizer
  • The dining room at the Little Red Kitchen
When I stopped by the Little Red Kitchen — located at the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Intervale Road — on a Friday morning between breakfast and lunchtime, I landed in a lengthy conversation with owner Cheryl Strenio. Our talk ran the gamut of business, family and her much-sought-after Parmesan dip.

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