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Restaurant News

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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Friday, March 23, 2018

Windjammer Closed Until Sunday Due to Norovirus Outbreak

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 6:47 PM

The Windjammer - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • The Windjammer
The Windjammer Restaurant and Upper Deck Pub in South Burlington are closed until Sunday at noon as the Vermont Department of Health investigates a norovirus outbreak at the restaurants.

The department has been investigating the outbreak since Tuesday, when it first received reports of people with gastrointestinal illness, said Bradley Tompkins, the department’s food-borne epidemiologist. In all, there have been nine confirmed cases of norovirus and more than 50 reported illnesses, he revealed. In each case, the person who became ill had eaten at the Windjammer or affiliated Upper Deck, Tompkins said.

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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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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Like Meat, But Not: Sampling the Impossible Burger

Posted By on Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 2:09 PM

Mule Bar's Impossible Burger - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Mule Bar's Impossible Burger
A few weeks ago, a friend posted in my Facebook messages that Mule Bar had begun selling the Impossible Burger — "the vegan burger that bleeds," she wrote. Would I be interested in checking it out?

Yes, and I did. The burger is quite the feat of food science — five years in the making, according to the website of its parent company Impossible Foods. The ingredients indicate that the burgers are an amalgamation of plant-based proteins, fats and flavorings formulated to replicate meat.

"We recreated the precise flavors, textures, aromas and nutrition of ground beef — using only plants," company literature reads. "By understanding meat at the molecular level, we made a juicy, delicious burger that's better for the planet."

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Dining on a Dime: Berda's Restaurant

Posted By on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 8:13 AM

Mac-and-cheese balls at Berda's Restaurant - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Mac-and-cheese balls at Berda's Restaurant
I like to pooh-pooh comfort food. "It's overdone," I'll often say. Or, "If I have to find a way to write about another plate of poutine or mac and cheese, I'm going to vomit all over my keyboard." Yes, poor me, I know.

Food-writer fatigue notwithstanding, comfort food is comforting for a reason. And since I'm a good, flag-waving American, I do keep a special place in my heart for well-done burgers and mac.

Case in point: Co-owners and cooks Shaun Trepanier and Cory Charles opened Berda's Restaurant in a storefront at the Essex Shoppes & Cinema in late December. The spot is an outgrowth of Berda's Roadside Eatery, where Charles slung local-beef burgers, dogs and duck-fat fries from a food truck in Essex Junction for the past three summers.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Burlington's Honey Road Restaurant and Chef Get James Beard Nod

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 8:20 AM

A whole trout at Honey Road - OLIVER PARINI/FILE
  • Oliver Parini/File
  • A whole trout at Honey Road
Honey Road restaurant in Burlington is a semifinalist for a  James Beard Award  for best new restaurant,  the James Beard Foundation announced February 15. Its chef-owner Cara Chigazola-Tobin is also in the running for best chef in the Northeast.

Chigaloza-Tobin, a former chef de cuisine at Oleana in Cambridge, Mass., owns Honey Road with Allison Gibson, formerly of Hen of the Wood and the Inn at Shelburne Farms.  Honey Road opened on the corner of Church and Main streets last summer. It specializes in Mediterranean food and features a menu that encourages diners to share plates.

Honey Road is one of 28 restaurants — including two in New England — that are semifinalists for best new restaurant.  Chigazola-Tobin belongs to a group of 20 chefs  in the Northeast who could win best chef in the region.

"It’s a pretty crazy feeling," Chigazola-Tobin wrote in an email to Seven Days.  "I’m stoked to even get this far. "

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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 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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Friday, November 3, 2017

Hong's Chinese Dumplings Temporarily Closed

Posted By on Fri, Nov 3, 2017 at 7:59 PM

Hong Yu in October - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Hong Yu in October

Update November 11: Hong's is open again after closing temporarily on November 2. The dumpling shop on Pearl Street is open Wednesday through Sunday.

Hong's Chinese Dumplings, which opened October 21 on Pearl Street in Burlington, is temporarily closed.

The restaurant needs to address several issues associated with its opening, including a faulty payment system, owner Hong Yu said, with her husband serving as a translator. The restaurant plans to install a new system.

Hong's closed Thursday and expects to reopen on November 8 or  9, according to Yu. "We made the decision that we weren't ready to open, but we will be open very shortly," she said, through her husband.
Sign at Hong's Chinese Dumplings on Pearl Street - COURTESY BOB BOLYARD
  • Sign at Hong's Chinese Dumplings on Pearl Street

Before opening her dumpling shop in a downtown storefront, Yu operated a cart on Church Street for 17 years.

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