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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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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Japanese Restaurant Coming to Burlington

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 4:43 PM

Chirashizushi - COURTESY OF BENTO
  • Chirashizushi
As anyone who can read the writing on the wall knows, a Japanese restaurant is coming to town.

The writing, actually, is on a glass door at 152 Cherry Street in Burlington. A sign posted on the inside of the door announces the arrival of Sushi Maeda, "coming soon."

The restaurant will bring together chef-owner Mike Maeda with two chef-apprentices, Patrick Dougherty and Nick Eddy, according to Eddy. The three work together at Bento on College Street, a small Japanese restaurant that Maeda owns. He also was a partner at San Sai Japanese Restaurant near Waterfront Park, which closed two years ago.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Citizen Cider to Expand in Burlington

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 5:07 PM

Apple cider tanker truck at Citizen Cider on Pine Street - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Apple cider tanker truck at Citizen Cider on Pine Street
Citizen Cider will begin work in two weeks on an expansion to its business that will bring a portion of  its hard-cider production to a second site in Burlington, cofounder Justin Heilenbach told Seven Days.

The cidery with a production facility and taproom on Pine Street will move its apple-pressing operation from Middlebury to 180 Flynn Avenue,  Heilenbach said.  Currently,  apples are pressed in Middlebury and transported to Burlington in a tanker truck filled with apple cider.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Folino's Pizza to Open in a Former Burlington Funeral Home

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 4:51 PM

Scallop and bacon pizza at Folino's - FILE: SUZANNE PODHAIZER
  • File: Suzanne Podhaizer
  • Scallop and bacon pizza at Folino's
Make way for Folino’s.

The popular Shelburne  pizzeria is expanding to Burlington. Folino's owner John Koerner leased a 5,000-square-foot space inside the former Corbin & Palmer Funeral Home building on South Union Street, he told Seven Days.

It’s still very much a work in progress. On Thursday Koerner and two other men were gutting the place, which is now empty. Koerner plans to use the rear portion of the building, which faces the City Market/Onion River Co-op parking lot, as his entrance, which will give him an opportunity for outdoor seating and plenty of parking. He also has an extra 1,800 square feet of space that he wants to make available to a brewery, much like his arrangement with Fiddlehead Brewing at Folino's Shelburne location.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Mountain View Snack Bar of Barre

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 4:13 PM

Double bacon cheeseburger, Mountain View Snackbar of Barre - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Double bacon cheeseburger, Mountain View Snackbar of Barre
Summer may be just beginning, but Barre has already gained two new snack bars.

On May 2, the Snack Shack — that's the place with the big pink creemee cone at 515 North Main Street — returned after several seasons' closure. It's now open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. And on April 28, owners Ted and Alicia Colletti launched snack bar service at L&M Diner at 240 North Main Street, open Tuesday through Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m.

Snack bar service at the diner?

Yes. The Collettis own the Mountain View Snack Bars in Morrisville, Stowe and Hardwick. Usually, their Barre diner closes at 3 p.m. Now, the diner "closes" at 2 p.m., at which point staff from the Mountain View Snack Bar of Barre take the reins.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Pizzeria Verità to Buy Trattoria Delia and Sotto Enoteca

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Griffeon Chuba with a hot pie at Pizzeria Verità - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Griffeon Chuba with a hot pie at Pizzeria Verità
The owners of Pizzeria Verità, a popular Italian restaurant on St. Paul Street in Burlington, have been looking to expand their business for some time. They checked out possibilities in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Portland, Maine, among other places, co-owner Leslie McCrorey Wells told Seven Days.

Then they looked at a bit closer to home — next door — and made a deal.

Wells and her business partner, John Rao, are buying Trattoria Delia and Sotto Enoteca from Tom and Lori Delia. The Delias opened "Tratt" 24 years ago. The Italian restaurant a few steps north of Verità is known for its antipasto platter, housemade pastas and filet mignon, among other specialties. Sotto is the associated wine bar next door that serves mainly small plates, craft cocktails and, of course, wine.

The new owners expect to take over the neighboring establishments in the second week of April, according to Wells.

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