Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Americans Join in Shelburne Grape Harvest

Posted By on Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Duk Luitel harvesting grapes - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • Duk Luitel harvesting grapes
"I love summer jobs," Duk Luitel told me as she paused from clipping clusters of grapes on the vines surrounding Shelburne Vineyard. It feels good to be working outdoors, she explained. After all, the 41-year-old Winooski resident was a farmer in her native Bhutan.

Luitel is among a group of about 30 people, most of them from the Bhutanese community, who have been picking grapes at the vineyard since the harvest season started earlier this month. A smaller number of Congolese are also pitching in at the vineyard on Route 7.

For the past three years, co-owner Kenneth Albert has depended on his personal connection with a Bhutanese individual to recruit grape pickers from that community. "They are more reliable," he said. "Local residents [are] doing it as more of a recreation."

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Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Food Ethics?

Posted By on Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 7:00 AM

  • Dreamstime
In this week's food feature, I talked to a pair of University of Vermont professors about their new book on food ethics. Here are some questions I wrote to address some of the topics Tyler Doggett, Mark Budolfson and their coauthor, Anne Barnhill of the University of Pennsylvania, discuss in the book.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Dining on a Dime: Happy Valley Orchard's Cider Donuts

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Breakfast at Happy Valley Orchard - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Breakfast at Happy Valley Orchard
Happy Valley Orchard’s trees are already heavy with fruit. Settled on Quarry Road just off-route from Middlebury to Ripton, the orchard is a local pit stop for folks seeking bushels of apples for the pantry, sugar pumpkins for a pie or a few bottles of cider to sip under the nearby Northern Spy trees.

Branches are flush with traditional picks like McIntosh, Red Delicious and Empire, along with heirlooms and lesser-known varieties such as Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, Winesap and Vermont Gold. A blend of varietals is pressed into Happy Valley’s fresh and unfiltered apple ciders — the sweet, dark juice tastes different on every visit.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Drink Up: Stone Leaf Teahouse

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Ginger tea and raw honey at Stone Leaf Teahouse - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Ginger tea and raw honey at Stone Leaf Teahouse
Though the basil is still bolting in my garden bed, it’s official: This Thursday is the first day of fall. Taupe-colored butternut and Crookneck squashes are arriving at the grocery store, along with fresh-picked apples and pressed ciders. Leaves are turning along Route 7. Pint-sippers are starting to switch from pale ales to pumpkin brews and stouts. Mornings come with a crisp reminder: I should have closed more windows in the house.

It’s the time of year for a hot cup of tea. We’ve heard before that Vermont is quietly becoming a coffee superpower, from big hitter Keurig Green Mountain to small-scale artisan roasters like Brio Coffeeworks. I love a good cup of dark roast, but as we head toward chillier days, my Irish heritage creeps in and I find myself craving Barry’s Gold Blend and honey. Of course, most of my Irish relatives are devout Bostonians with a preference for Dunkin Donuts. The voices of my County Cork friends ring clearest on the matter.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Vermont Food Truck Finder 2016

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 3:40 PM

  • Courtesy of Rolling Stone Mobile Kitchen
  • Rolling Stone Mobile Kitchen

Rolling Stone Mobile Kitchen

Throughout July and August, the team behind Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen served farm-fresh flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches and salads on the mean streets of Barre from a converted utility trailer. This Saturday, September 24, chef Todd Cassell will roll over to Fresh Tracks Farm Vineyard & Winery in Berlin, where he'll sling end-of-summer fare at the farm's annual Harvestival Grape Stomp. With or without fruit-stained feet, pair a caprese flatbread with crisp, food-friendly Backcountry Blanc — or a red-wine-and-garlic sausage with a glass of Freerider Red.

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Farmers Market Kitchen: Wild Grape Jam

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 3:07 PM

  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Wild grapes
Wild grapes are kind of a pain to work with — each individual fruit is more than half seed and skin, so you need to collect a lot in order to do anything with them. Picking the fruit from the stems is tedious and requires many hands, or many hours. Still, I love their decisively sour character, their subtle musk and saturated, grape flavor. And gathering them is often a small adventure, requiring climbing trees or braving vine-choked thickets, basket in hand, just as the autumn leaves begin to turn.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Dining on a Dime: $3 Tacos at La Puerta Negra

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Tuesdays are for salsa, and by that I mean both the Latin dance and the tomato and tomatillo-based sauces Americans think of when they hear the term. 

Each week around 5:30 p.m., I climb a narrow set of stairs from Montpelier's Main Street to the entrance of La Puerta Negra, order some food at the bar, and head up another flight of stairs to sit in the lounge and lace up my dance shoes while I wait for my food to arrive. 

Happily, the salsa lessons — taught by Sarah Snow and Jon Bacon of Dsantos VT — happen to coincide with $3 taco day. This means, depending on my hunger level, I could get one, two, three or even four tacos for just $12 — our "Dining on a Dime" limit. 

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Taste of Burlington's Budding Gelateria: Shy Guy

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 7:20 AM

Paul Sansone and Tim Elliot of Shy Guy Gelato - NICK BUCCI PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Nick Bucci Photography
  • Paul Sansone and Tim Elliot of Shy Guy Gelato
On a recent Friday, I stopped at Shy Guy Gelato’s newly opened scoop shop at 457 St. Paul Street, five minutes before closing. In June I had  previewed the gelateria’s early-July opening, psyched at the prospect of a boutique gelato business churning daily-made scoops on my route home from work.

What’s more, the Shy Guys behind the biz are Tim Elliot, cofounder of Burlington’s popular lunch spot, Zabby and Elf’s Stone Soup, and Paul Sansone, an Italian American Vermonter who gained his culinary training in Abruzzo, Italy. The prospects looked good.

I had gelato on my mind since 9 a.m. the previous day, but a cooking event on Friday had me heading to St. Paul Street precipitously close to 9 p.m. — closing time. But I was determined to make it.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Inside the von Trapp Bierhall, Soft-Opening September 15

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 5:42 PM

Inside the von Trapps' Brand New Bierhall
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Inside the von Trapps' Brand New Bierhall

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Ten years ago, the Trapp Family Lodge was a stodgy resort for tourists seeking an Alpine escape. In 2010, the family started brewing lager on the premises; by 2014, that operation had expanded its capacity from 2,000 to 50,000 barrels per year. And two years ago, executive vice president Sam von Trapp told Seven Days that workers had broken ground on a new Austrian-style bierhall, which would welcome mountain revelers for steins and sausages, hopefully by summer, 2015.

As with most construction projects, things didn't go according to plan. But after nearly two years of building and preparation, the bierhall opens tomorrow with an all-star team.

Jack Pickett — whose Phoenix Table and Bar, Frida’s Taqueria and Blue Moon Café fed locals for years — is leading the kitchen. Former Gracie’s Restaurant owner Paul “Archie” Archdeacon will run the front of the house. “It’s been really neat bringing two really popular Stowe restaurateurs together,” Sam von Trapp said,  speaking by phone on Tuesday. 

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Dining on a Dime: Wing Night at the Colatina Exit

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Thursday is wing night at the Colatina Exit in Bradford. - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Thursday is wing night at the Colatina Exit in Bradford.

Bradford, my sleepy hometown of 2,500 on the Connecticut River, is home to more than a handful of bars and restaurants. But everyone I know — and I feel like I know most everyone — goes to the Colatina Exit, which has been a Main Street mainstay for 45 years. Downstairs, it's a cozy, candle-lit Italian restaurant. Meaty red lasagna and hand-tossed pizzas are staples, but the menu rotates with the seasons, as the kitchen sources many ingredients from nearby farms on both sides of the river.

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