Pin It

Farm League 

Side Dishes: Upscale fare returns at the Essex

After less than a year of operating as Butler’s Tavern, the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa has once again divided its pair of dining rooms into two restaurants. For a more casual experience, guests can head to the Tavern at the Essex for grilled bratwurst with pierogi and duck cassoulet. An establishment with a new concept, Butler’s Farm, opened last week in the elegant dining room once known as Butler’s Restaurant.

Executive chef Shawn Calley says he considers the farm-to-table eatery’s debut a soft opening. “We’re not going to say we’re opening officially until the springtime,” he says. Before that happens, the dining room will be renovated to bring greater harmony to the food and décor, says Calley.

Its menu may not be official, but Butler’s Farm already offers plenty of creative fare. The chalkboard roster of five starters and five entrées changes daily, but recent dishes have included ostrich tartare with truffle oil and Cobb Hill Cheese’s alpine Ascutney Mountain; grilled local pork with strawberry zinfandel sauce; and lobster vol-au-vent in blood-orange velouté. Calley says that, as the autumn chill sets in, he’s becoming more and more enchanted with braising: Expect frequent appearances of his venison osso buco with creamy white polenta and baby carrots from the resort’s garden.

Calley also runs the kitchen at the tavern, which he describes as the resort’s longtime signature eatery, but he says he has even higher hopes for the popularity of this one. “My goal is to make sure that Butler’s Farm turns into our main restaurant,” Calley says.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

foodie poll

What are you MOST interested in learning more about?

  • Food-related events, festivals and other gatherings
  • Bars and restaurants — where should I eat out?
  • Farms and agriculture — what's up with the people producing our food?
  • Issues: What are the social, environmental and economic impacts of my food choices?
  • How to cook better meals at home

View Results

Latest in Food News

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation