Best lunch 

Misery Loves Co. (Winooski) & Piecasso (Stowe)

Inside Chittenden County

Misery Loves Co.

Al's French Frys

Outside Chittenden County

Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge

3 Squares Café

People have been calling Winooski “Burlington’s Brooklyn” for years. But now, with its flourishing restaurant row right in the heart of the hipster-heavy roundabout — let’s call it the “Snarknado” — the Onion City truly seems to deserve the nickname. Just as New York City’s outer borough has gained a reputation for the Big Apple’s most delicious, creative food, Winooski has become an off-the-beaten-path culinary destination.

Misery Loves Co. helped cement that identity when it evolved from a food truck and occasional pop-up business to a full-on restaurant late last year. Lunches feature exceptional sandwiches and fluffy donuts. Dinner offers small plates that adapt daily to include the freshest food available. Be sure to save room for a meat-and-three dinner, with fried chicken, steak or lamb and a choice of three sides.

SEVEN DAYS: From salt cod with olive-anchovy relish to eggplant-two-ways with basil pesto and house ricotta, you’ve got some pretty eclectic sandwiches on your lunch menu. Have you ever come up with one too quirky for customers?

NATHANIEL WADE, CHEF/CO-OWNER: I don’t think we’ve gone there yet. Of course, I don’t think we really cook like that. We definitely don’t have that college-town kind of food. We try to come up with things that are amazing and not scary.

—Alice Levitt

click to enlarge food-piecasso-jeb.jpg

In 2009, Travel + Leisure featured Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge on a list of 11 restaurants serving “America’s Best Pizza.” “The young pie masters here can toss a round of dough as expertly as they carve runs on Mount Mansfield,” the magazine enthused. This summer, the Stowe Area Association named owner Eduardo Rovetto Businessperson of the Year. Still, one accolade has remained elusive for the recently renovated Stowe pizza place: the Daysie. And it’s been a bit of a sore spot for Rovetto.

That’s because his cousin, Carlo Rovetto, owns Positive Pie (Plainfield, Montpelier, Hardwick), which has been drowning in Daysies for years. The cousins even use the same pizza dough, a recipe passed down from their family’s mom-and-pop Italian bakeries in New Jersey and New York.

SEVEN DAYS: If you and your cousin both use the same recipe, what’s different about your pizza?

EDUARDO ROVETTO: My oven is different than his oven. The water is different, as well. The properties of the water — whether it’s town water or well water — definitely change the properties of how the pizza cooks.

SD: So, why do you deserve to win over Carlo?

ER: The fact that he’s won six times in a row. It’s just time. I can’t have him throw that in my face again.

—Megan James

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