It's Not All Tempeh and Tofu at Montpelier's Kismet — but It Is All Delicious | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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It's Not All Tempeh and Tofu at Montpelier’s Kismet — but It Is All Delicious 

Published May 1, 2010 at 4:00 a.m.

click to enlarge Kismet in Montpelier - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Kismet in Montpelier

Spelt flour. Steamed greens. Roasted beets. Yup, Montpelier's Kismet is that kind of place. But this charming restaurant way off State & Main manages to be wholesome without being austere. Here you can get steamed veggies over grains and a spicy Bloody Mary.

Kismet welcomes diners of all persuasions. Owner Crystal Maderia comfortably caters to vegetarians and vegans — with abundant tempeh, seasoned tofu and legumes — but avoids making animal-product consumers feel a lick of guilt. Local ham and bacon, raw-milk cheddar and hollandaise made with free-range eggs give the food a fresh-from-the-farm feel.

click to enlarge Kismet in Montpelier - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Kismet in Montpelier

Though local farmers grew the ingredients, and many of them are organic, the most expensive item on the menu is $12. Portion sizes are ample, too. The ham-and-cheese stuffed "Eggs Benedict Crêpe" — a creamy, crispy, savory delight — comes with a mound of colorful roasted roots. It would take a strong-willed eater to wolf down an entire plate of decadent "Kismet French Toast" saturated with maple custard and topped with candied walnuts and a puff of whipped cream.

At Kismet, "homemade" doesn't translate as "plain." Maderia's culinary skills are evident in such dishes as eggs baked in wild-mushroom-and-herb cream. Chicken is slow poached before being swaddled in a buckwheat wrap and dosed with a lemony, pesto-laced sauce. Caffeine avoiders can sip on house-roasted dandelion-root lattes made with maple-sweetened cow, hemp or soy milk. They're much better than they sound.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2010.
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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose, butcher a pig, make ramen from scratch, and cook a scallop perfectly.


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