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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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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Burlington's Magnolia Bistro Shuts Down

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 1:04 PM

Magnolia Bistro is closing - FILE: KATIE JICKLING
  • File: Katie Jickling
  • Magnolia Bistro is closing
Magnolia Bistro announced Thursday morning on its Facebook page that it is “closing its doors in Burlington.” The restaurant at 1 Lawson Lane, which served breakfast and lunch, added that it is “actively seeking investors to lift us to a new city somewhere between South Burlington and Key West.”

The restaurant’s closing comes months after Magnolia owner Shannon Reilly posted profanity-laced comments on Facebook  about people with addiction issues and the city’s efforts to address the health issue.

"The junkies should detox or die," he wrote. "Sorry. So fuckin pathetic employing people spaced out on bupe. Fuckin useless. Let them die."

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Abracadabra Coffee: Now Open Weekends on the Reg

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Sourdough doughnut and coffee at Abracadabra Coffee - COURTESY OF ABRACADABRA COFFEE
  • Courtesy of Abracadabra Coffee
  • Sourdough doughnut and coffee at Abracadabra Coffee
In Woodstock, beloved local beanery Abacadabra Coffee opened for regular weekend hours earlier this month. Visitors can now swing by from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for espresso drinks and cold brew made with house-roasted, single-source coffees.

Hungry? Stay for a snack: On Saturdays, Olivia’s Bagels (that’s former Wild Roots chef Peter Varkonyi’s roving breakfast outfit) is there slinging puffy sourdough rounds, and doughnuts. On Sundays, Lebanon, N.H.-based Tacos Tacos pulls up with homespun Mexican eats.

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Clementine Catering Now at Cork Wine Bar & Market in Waterbury

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 2:04 PM

Clementine Catering's basil pesto Caprese sandwich - COURTESY OF CORK WINE BAR & MARKET
  • Courtesy of Cork Wine Bar & Market
  • Clementine Catering's basil pesto Caprese sandwich
Cork Wine Bar & Market’s Waterbury location has a new cook in the kitchen. As of last week, Elizabeth Deringer and Clementine Catering is serving locally grounded, seasonal fare such as pesto Caprese panini and rosemary-crusted pork tenderloin with sweet potatoes, in addition to the natural-wine-focused bar’s usual cheese and charcuterie plates.

Cork and Deringer are celebrating the change with a grand opening party this Thursday, June 14, from 5 to 9 p.m.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

An Heirloom Tomato Salad With Mystery Tomatoes

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 3:59 PM


Heirloom Tomato Salad at Rí Rá - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Heirloom Tomato Salad at Rí Rá
The salad on the menu at Rí Rá Irish Pub in downtown Burlington is called Heirloom Tomato Salad. The first ingredient listed in the description is “Half Pint Farms [sic] heirloom tomatoes.”

But Half Pint Farm hasn’t harvested tomatoes since the fall of 2017, and the first harvest of this season will be in about six weeks, said Mara Welton, who owns and operates the farm at Burlington's Intervale with her husband, Spencer Welton.

Mara Welton handles farm deliveries herself, transporting produce to about 30 restaurants in Chittenden County. In the 13 years  that Half Pint has been growing tomatoes, Welton said she has never delivered them to Rí Rá.

“I’m infuriated. This is something that's been happening regularly," Welton said, meaning beyond this instance and this restaurant. “It happens on different levels and it erodes our brand, and I think it erodes every farm’s brand that is being used this way.”

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Grazers to Open in St. Albans at 14th Star Brewing Co.

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 7:00 AM


Burger at Grazers - COURTESY OF GRAZERS
  • Courtesy Of Grazers
  • Burger at Grazers
Last winter, the food vendor at 14th Star Brewing Co. in St. Albans, Smokin’ Butts Bar-B-Q, packed up and moved south. Now, some six months later, a new business is set to take over the brewery’s on-site kitchen.

Grazers, a burger and pub-fare restaurant based in Williston, will open a branch at the Franklin County brewery on June 5, said co-owner Sam Handy. Grazers will serve a familiar — albeit scaled-back — version of its menu, offering eight burgers, a handful of appetizers, salads and sandwiches,  he said.

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