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Monday, March 26, 2018

With New Pastry Chef, Honey Road Gets a Little Sweeter

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 6:40 PM

Chocolate-date cake at Honey Road restaurant - COURTESY OF HONEY ROAD
  • Courtesy of Honey Road
  • Chocolate-date cake at Honey Road restaurant
Diners at Honey Road restaurant in Burlington have likely noticed additions to the dessert menu in recent weeks. They're the creations of new pastry chef Amanda Wildermuth, 29.  She had been working in that role at Monarch & the Milkweed since it opened in August 2016.

“They [Honey Road] were looking to expand, and I jumped at the opportunity to be the pastry chef,” Wildermuth said. “I think Honey Road is an amazing restaurant, and Cara and Allison have a really great thing going here.” She was referring to co-owners Cara Chigazola-Tobin and Allison Gibson.

Since assuming her position about a month ago, Wildermuth has expanded the offerings by riffing on modern desserts and giving them a Middle Eastern twist and flavor. She's also making  traditional desserts, and the pita and crackers that are served with dips that typically start a meal at Honey Road.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Willow's Bagel Bakery To Open in Downtown Burlington

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 2:21 PM

Tyler Bean at Willow's - LAUREN MAZZOTTA
  • Lauren Mazzotta
  • Tyler Bean at Willow's
A mini food court is taking shape in downtown Burlington, where a pizza place, a bar and a bagel shop  will soon share a building at 71 South Union Street.

The pizzeria, Folino's, opened in January on the west side of the brick building. The two other businesses — Stonecutter Spirits and Willow's — will join Folino's later this spring.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Pizzeria Verità

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 8:37 PM

Margherita pizza and margarita drink at Pizzeria Verità - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Margherita pizza and margarita drink at Pizzeria Verità
If you can't get to Florida for spring break, catch a mini wave of the Sunshine State in Burlington at Pizzeria Verità. The downtown eatery is offering a little in-house Margaritaville — two Margherita pizzas for the price of one ($13) on Mondays in the winter.

Officially, this deal comes to a close March 19 with the season's end (according to the calendar). But Pizzeria Verità co-owner John Rao says that if diners show interest in Margherita Mondays, the restaurant will likely keep the special running.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Four Corners of the Earth

Posted By on Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 5:23 PM

Ladislav Pancisin - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Ladislav Pancisin
Ladislav Pancisin said he's made about 395,000 sandwiches at Four Corners of the Earth, his restaurant on Pine Street in Burlington.

"I was going to make one sandwich for every Vermonter and then be done with it," he said the other day. "But then the population keeps growing."

The population of Vermont has risen by about 14,000 people since Pancisin opened his small, subterranean sandwich shop in 2000. He'd be roasting salmon, chopping cabbage and mixing spice blends — all sandwich ingredients — until eternity if he kept pace with the people.  I recommend getting to Four Corners in the here and now, and adding a sandwich or two to Pancisin's tally.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Dining on a Dime: American Flatbread

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 9:30 AM

Lunch pizzas at American Flatbread in Burlington - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Lunch pizzas at American Flatbread in Burlington
We've been regulars at American Flatbread Burlington Hearth since it opened almost 14 years ago on St. Paul Street. The restaurant arrived in Burlington with an enviable pedigree: offspring of the mother ship at a farm in Waitsfield, where we ate before Flatbread hit the city.

Many things draw us to American Flatbread:  the pizza, of course; a table by the wood-fired oven where a meal can pass in silence as we gaze at the flames; the beer and the salad dressing; the warm brownie sundae.

The hitch in our ritual appeared several years ago, when my daughter ditched our mutual devotion to favorites — Revolution flatbread with pepperoni, or olive and onion flatbread — in favor of Power to the People (chicken, Buffalo sauce, red onions, carrots, blue cheese, etc).  We worked around this wrinkle in various ways but only recently discovered the solution: lunch.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Bartenders Petition to Change Rules on House-Infused Spirits

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 6:12 PM

Glug cocktail at Leunig's Bistro & Cafe - COURTESY OF SARAH BARRY
  • Courtesy of Sarah Barry
  • Glug cocktail at Leunig's Bistro & Cafe
A petition circulated by local bartenders that seeks to amend a state liquor regulation has gained more than 400 signatures in 24 hours.

The petition is an effort to change a Vermont Department of Liquor Control regulation that prohibits adulterating or tampering with alcohol after its manufacture. In practical terms, this means a bartender cannot infuse spirits with ingredients, flavors, herbs or spices — a common practice that is part of mixing a craft cocktail.

"Cocktails are cuisine,"  said Stewart Dunoskovic, a bartender at
Leunig's Bistro & Cafe who signed the petition.  "A bartender is similar to a chef in what they do. And anything that restricts what we can do with those products, restricts what you get to drink at the end of the day."

The change called for by the petition would "update a regulation to the practice, to what's going on," Dunoskovic said. "We're not doing anything in the shadows.  We're not doing anything new. These are common practices: Customers love it; bartenders love it."

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Drink Up: A Smoky Cocktail at Burlington's Drink

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Isaac Steinzor at Drink - SA:LLY POLLAK
  • Isaac Steinzor at Drink
The other night when I walked into Drink, a bar on St. Paul Street in Burlington, I was greeted by the bartender and a wallop of aromatics:  Isaac Steinzor, the bartender, was toasting almonds and crushing cloves for his tiki syrup. 

"What do you recommend for a drink?" I asked him.

"Booze forward?" replied Steinzor, answering my question with a query of his own.  "Yeah," I told him.

"Light?" he wondered.  "Nah," I said.  "Herbal?" he asked. "I don't think so," I answered.

"More citric?"  he pressed for more info. "Uh," I grunted.

"Smoky?" he tried. "Sure."  I said.

Finally, it seemed, Steinzor's sleuthing had yielded enough to work with.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Panera Bread Closing on Church Street

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 5:17 PM

Panera Bread - SALLY POLLAK
  • Panera Bread
Panera Bread, which opened on Burlington's Church Street in September 2011,  will close Monday, manager Alex Haller  confirmed.  A sign on the front door announces the closure.

"We were told last night," Haller said Friday afternoon, adding that the 20 or so employees of the downtown restaurant were offered jobs at the two other Paneras in the area.

Haller has worked at Panera since it opened on the Church Street Marketplace, and said he is sad the restaurant will close. "I love it down here," he  said. "But my job is secure."

The space will be taken over by Outdoor Gear Exchange, according to a news release from the locally owned camping, recreation and clothing store.

“We are grateful to the community support we’ve had for the more than 23 years we’ve been in business in Burlington,” said Marc Sherman, co-owner of  OGE, in the Friday morning release. 

Outdoor Gear Exchange opened on Main Street in 1995 and made two more downtown moves before settling into its current quarters in 2011. Its expansion to the neighboring space — which will add 4,400 square feet to the store — is expected to be complete in the spring, according to Sherman.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bruegger's Bagels Closes on Church Street

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Bruegger's Bagels on Church Street in Burlington - SALLY POLLAK
  • Bruegger's Bagels on Church Street in Burlington
Bruegger’s Bagels closed its Church Street Marketplace restaurant on Sunday after more than a quarter-century in business. The bagel restaurant opened in the Howard Opera House about 27 years ago, said Steven Schonberg, co-owner of the building.

“They’re a very familiar, longtime tenant that I’m sure lots of people will miss,” Schonberg said. “However, as you can see, Church Street continues to prosper. We fully expect to be able to lease it to another high-quality tenant that will bring its own unique benefit to Church Street.”

Bruegger’s was founded 35 years ago by Vermonters Nordahl Brue and Michael  Dressell.  Its ownership changed over the years, including Bruegger’s acquisition earlier this year by JAB Holding Company, a private company whose properties include Keurig Green Mountain, Panera  and Caribou Coffee, according to the company website.

The first Bruegger’s  Bagels opened in Troy, N.Y., in 1983.  The founders “wanted to learn how to operate a restaurant from a distance,” said Ron Redmond, executive director of the Church Street Marketplace.  Bruegger's grew to be a national chain that includes a location in Shelburne, which remains open.

Its closing in downtown Burlington is “typical of the cycle that happens on Church Street where you have stores coming and going,” Redmond said. “If you think of all the stores that were on Church Street 30 years ago, the scene is much different.”

Schonberg said he hopes to have a new tenant occupy the Bruegger's space soon, but has no specific business in mind.

"We work hard at trying to get tenants that will add a dimension that may not be here otherwise," he said. "That will certainly be our goal."

Seventy-five percent of the businesses on the Marketplace are locally owned, up from 65 percent a year ago, according to Redmond.

Bruegger's closing was reported Monday in the Burlington Free Press.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wanted: Thanksgiving Turkeys and Other Donations

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 2:03 PM

Waiting in line for turkeys at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf - ANNA MCMAHON/FOOD SHELF
  • Waiting in line for turkeys at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf
A  week before Thanksgiving, the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf still needs about 2,000 turkeys to reach its goal of 3,500 turkeys to give people in need for Thanksgiving dinners, according to Rob Meehan, executive director of the nonprofit on North Winooski Avenue in Burlington.

Meehan said he expects the food shelf will receive a substantial number of donations in the days before Thanksgiving, as it has in years past.  He anticipates the goal will be reached.

"That's awesome," he said. "And we are trying to use this time to raise as much money as we possibly can. I don't think people understand the scope of our work and the impact it has. It costs a lot of money to feed hungry people."

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