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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dolce VT Food Truck Owners Open New Restaurant, Poco, in Burlington

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 4:17 PM

Pork belly on pita (left) and Thai grilled chicken - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Pork belly on pita (left) and Thai grilled chicken
Fans of Dolce VT's truffle fries and fried chicken sandwich no longer have to eat outside the Maltex Building  on Pine Street in Burlington, where the popular food truck has often been parked in warmer months. The business has a new name, Poco, and a permanent location: 55 Main Street in Burlington.

Chef/co-owner Stefano  Cicirello opened his restaurant on April 11 in the space that most recently housed Doughnut Dilemma. He owns Poco with his sister, Susie Ely.

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Hissho Sushi Arrives at City Market's Two Stores

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 2:28 PM

Ryan Kang (left) and Phong Shin of Hissho Sushi - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Ryan Kang (left) and Phong Shin of Hissho Sushi
A new sushi concession will open at City Market, Onion River Co-op on Saturday, when Hissho Sushi launches its business at both locations of the Burlington food co-op.

Hissho Sushi, based in Charlotte, N.C., operates 1,400 locations nationwide,
according to Ryan Kang, the regional manager. The City Market locations are
the company's first sites in Vermont, he said.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Vietnamese Street Food Coming to Downtown Burlington

Posted By on Sun, Apr 7, 2019 at 5:54 PM


Pho - COURTESY OF PHO SON
  • Courtesy of Pho Son
  • Pho
A Vietnamese restaurant will open in downtown Burlington next month, when Pho Son takes over the space at 213 College Street. The location was vacated last January by Bueno Y Sano.

Owners Son Le and Jennie Yee, a husband-and-wife team who live in South Burlington, will run the 40-seat restaurant together. Pho Son will specialize in authentic Vietnamese street food, said Le,  the chef.  Dishes will include pho, the traditional Vietnamese soup known for its rich and aromatic broth, banh mi, vermicelli with char-grilled meat, and stir fries with rice and seasonal vegetables.

“All the best recipes are from the family,” said Le, whose previous restaurant experience was in Montréal.

“For Vietnamese people, food is our life,” he wrote in an email to Seven Days. “We are forever eating, cooking and talking about food. Food is communication — food is culture.”

Beverages will include bubble tea, beer and wine. A full-service restaurant, Pho Son will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Honey Road's Chigazola Tobin Is a James Beard Semifinalist

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 at 3:23 PM

Cara Chigazola Tobin - COURTESY OF HONEY ROAD
  • Courtesy of Honey Road
  • Cara Chigazola Tobin
Cara Chigazola Tobin, chef-owner of Honey Road restaurant in Burlington, is a James Beard Award semifinalist for best chef in the Northeast. It's the second year in a row that Chigazola Tobin has received that nomination. 

Nominations for the award, which is given in a number of categories and is considered the most prominent culinary, beverage and restaurant honor, were announced Wednesday by the James Beard Foundation

“It’s super exciting,” Chigazola Tobin told Seven Days on Wednesday afternoon in the bar of her restaurant. “Opening a restaurant was such a dream, and it was hard — and there were times when I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ ‘’

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wet Kitty! El Gato Cleans Up From Sprinkler Deluge

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 4:53 PM

Tree Bertram cleans up at El Gato Cantina in Burlington - COURTESY OF EL GATO CANTINA
  • Courtesy of El Gato Cantina
  • Tree Bertram cleans up at El Gato Cantina in Burlington
It's raining cats and ... cactus?

Last week, Burlington's El Gato Cantina took an unexpected bath when a sprinkler upstairs from the restaurant  broke, sending water pouring through the lower floors at 169 Church Street.  "It was literally raining inside the restaurant," El Gato owner Theresa "Tree" Bertram  told Seven Days, recalling the surprise Tuesday afternoon shower.

Since the deluge occurred during the afternoon lull between lunch and dinner, few customers or employees were on the premises.  "We’re lucky it’s the slow season, and that this didn’t happen during a Friday night rush," Bertram said.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Burlington's ArtsRiot to Expand in the New Year

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 6:07 PM

ArtsRiot entrance - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • ArtsRiot entrance
ArtsRiot, a creative and culinary force on Pine Street in Burlington, will expand in 2019.  The restaurant and music/event space has leased the neighboring  building at 404 Pine Street, according to chef/co-owner George Lambertson. That space most recently housed the South End Arts and Business Association office and gallery.

In the spring, ArtsRiot will throw an opening bash to welcome the public to its new 2,300-square-foot digs and reveal what the space will hold, Lambertson said. "We're excited to bring Burlington more programming," he added cryptically.

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

#Instareal: Stonesoupalley Shows It Like It Is

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 1:14 PM

Stonesoupalley on Instagram - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Stonesoupalley on Instagram
Let us now praise stonesoupalley, the anti-Instagram IG feed.  The site,  like many of us, is fed by Tim Elliott, chef/co-owner of  Zabby & Elf's Stone Soup in downtown Burlington.

On the Instagram page he started last month, Elliott presents a clear-eyed view  of the restaurant world with a side-eyed glance of what stonesoupalley is not:  food porn.

"It's beautiful and the food is amazing," Elliott said of the constant blast of food images on social media.   "But I'm numb to it."

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hen of the Wood Restaurateurs Buy Prohibition Pig

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 3:22 PM

COURTESY OF PROHIBITION PIG
  • Courtesy of Prohibition Pig
Prohibition Pig is closed Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. When it reopens on Thursday, the restaurant will do so under new ownership: Eric Warnstedt and Will McNeil, co-owners of Hen of the Wood and Doc Ponds, purchased the Waterbury brewpub on Tuesday, Warnstedt said.

The business partners purchased Prohibition Pig — a restaurant/bar and affiliated brewery and tasting room — from Chad Rich, finalizing the deal at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday.  With the new acquisition, Warnstedt and McNeil own four restaurants — two in Waterbury, where Warnstedt founded the original Hen in 2005; a second Hen on Cherry Street in Burlington, and Doc Ponds in Stowe.

“I’ve been buddies with Chad since before all this,” Warnstedt said. “It was an easy transition to think maybe we’d be partners one day. And then it came to the idea of him maybe wanting to make some changes, and I was the logical option without shopping it.”

Warnstedt, who grew up in Florida and North Carolina, said the prospect of running a restaurant that serves Southern-style food appeals to him. Prohibition Pig features smoked meat plates, barbecue sandwiches, burgers and other pub fare.

Eric Warnstedt, right, with William McNeil - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Eric Warnstedt, right, with William McNeil
“I’m really excited,” Warnstedt, 43, said. “I’m born in the South, and this is everything in the world I’ve wanted to play in. Here we can play in our local world  but with this whole southern spin, which is right up my alley.”

There are no plans to make changes at the Waterbury brewpub, which employs about 50 people, Warnstedt said. The acquisition brings to 160 the number of people employed by the restaurateurs.

“It’s really just getting to know everyone,” Warnstedt said. “The Pig has been doing great for six years; let’s set up for another six years. It’s really about building up the foundation so we’re setting ourselves up there to be successful in the long term.”

Prohibition Pig occupies the space at 23 South Main Street in Waterbury that was the original home of the Alchemist, a brewpub founded in 2003 by John and Jen Kimmich. The  couple later moved out of the downtown space to launch a cannery in Waterbury, where they brewed Heady Topper. In July 2016, the Kimmiches opened a brewery and visitor center in Stowe.

“I feel like we’re really carrying the torch of what’s been happening there, from the Alchemist to Prohibition Pig to our version of Prohibition Pig," Warnstedt said.

Since Tropical Storm Irene damaged homes and businesses in Waterbury in August 2011, the town's rebuilding  efforts have come to include a revitalized downtown. Waterbury has become a food and beverage hub of the region.

“For me, I live here,” Warnstedt said. “I’m not going anywhere. I feel like I want to double-down in Waterbury. We can do a lot more to the town through the Pig. It’s bigger [than Hen-Waterbury]. There’s more going on. It’s the center of the town, physically and spiritually.”

The Burlington Free Press reported the news of Prohibition Pig’s sale earlier on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Farmhouse Group to Add Three Restaurants Next Year

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 7:15 PM

Nachos at El Cortijo - DON EGGERT/FILE
  • Don Eggert/File
  • Nachos at El Cortijo
The Farmhouse Group, owner of four restaurants in the Burlington area, is planning to open three new restaurants in 2019, according to owner Jed Davis.

Two of the restaurants, called Bliss Bee, will represent a new concept for the Farmhouse Group. The third restaurant will be another El Cortijo; the new one, a taqueria and margarita bar similar to its downtown Burlington namesake, will be in Winooski.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

To Tip or Not to Tip, to Post or Not to Post? Monarch & the Milkweed Stirs Controversy

Posted By on Sun, Nov 25, 2018 at 5:14 PM

Crabapple tart - COURTESY OF MONARCH & THE MILKWEED
  • Courtesy of Monarch & the Milkweed
  • Crabapple tart
Updated, November 27, 2018: The post about the tip was removed from Monarch & the Milkweed's social media sites on Monday.

On Small Business Saturday, a small business owner in Burlington publicly defied the long-standing adage," the customer is always right," and posted on social media the restaurant receipt of a customer who left no tip.  On a bill for $48.94, in the line reserved for a tip, the patron wrote  0.00.

But it wasn’t the lack of tip that compelled Andrew LeStourgeon, owner of Monarch & the Milkweed, to post a photo of the receipt on Instagram and Facebook. It was the comment the customer left for the server that prompted his action, he  said.

In capital letters, the customer printed: “YOU LOOKED @ MY ID AND DID NOT SAY HAPPY B-DAY.”

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