Grazing: Warm Sweet Corn & Pesto Salad at the Black Krim Tavern | Bite Club
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Grazing: Warm Sweet Corn & Pesto Salad at the Black Krim Tavern

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 4:50 PM

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Deep in central Vermont is an old farming town, and in that town is an alley-like street, and along that street is a dim, sparkly space, and inside that space is a copper bar and along that bar, recently, was a bowl of garlicky white-wine-butter broth, and in that broth were warm kernels of sweet corn, wedges of heirloom tomatoes, a smear of tangy pesto and wilting baby lettuces... and then, in a few bites, the broth and the corn and the pesto were inside me, and it was happiness.

Sometimes when I'm heading south, I take exit 4, wend down into Randolph and take a seat inside the Black Krim Tavern. Situated on Merchants Row, it's sort of hard to find, but it's magnetic: dim, sexy, friendly and reasonably priced, with small plates of simple but creative fare, turned out by talented hands.

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Owners Sarah Natvig (front of the house) and chef Emily Wilkins have a reverence for the farmers around them. Natvig is married to one: Chip Allen, who runs Pebble Brook Farm (and took the photo at right), which provides some of Black Krim's produce. Other booty, like the delicate sweet corn, comes from a constellation of local farms. Wilkins uses it all — plus other nonlocal ingredients — to turn out tiny explosions of deliciousness: fish cakes with lemon aioli; poached shrimp over rice noodles with a coconut-lime sauce; braised chicken crépes with napa cabbage and cremini mushrooms; you get the idea. The menu rotates constantly, too, as it should. I had an amazing lentil salad there a few months ago that is no longer on the menu. I trust it will come around again. In the meantime, I have a lot left to try.

I consider any chef who thinks to muddle corn and lettuce in a white wine broth a kindred spirit. Ditto for a bartender (Natvig) who offers samples of her hand-selected wines until you find one you like. She pours craft beer and sake martinis, too. I only wish Black Krim were closer. 

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About The Author

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch

Bio:
Food writer Corin Hirsch joined the Seven Days staff in 2011. She is the author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England, published by History Press in 2014.

More by Corin Hirsch

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