Claire's Restaurant Serves Unexpected Locavore Cuisine in Hardwick | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Claire’s Restaurant Serves Unexpected Locavore Cuisine in Hardwick 

click to enlarge Claire’s Restaurant & Bar - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Claire’s Restaurant & Bar

The citizens of hardscrabble Hardwick are a mix of farm folk and back-to-the-landers. So it's not surprising that the "downtown" hosts both a natural-foods store and a busy, homestyle diner.

But the burg boasts one totally unexpected eatery: Claire's Restaurant & Bar. The chef, Steven Obranovich, has a culinary pedigree that extends from the California Culinary Academy to a pair of Michelin-three-star restaurants in Strasbourg, France. At Claire's, he prepares localvore fare infused with global sensibilities.

Take, for example, a heaping plate of crisp calamari, topped with a scattering of kalamata olives and red Cara Cara orange supremes. Served with a cruet of garlicky aioli, it's a symphony of flavor and texture.

A thick-cut, maple-glazed pork chop, topped with cranberry chutney, is New England through and through. But a clever side dish — a baked apple stuffed with wild rice — makes it special.

Even more special is the pricing. Last spring, no item on the daily-changing menu cost more than $20 — not the rich veal stew with rustic mashed potatoes, nor the London broil sprinkled with world-renowned Bayley Hazen blue cheese.

The pricing fits with the fun, communal vibe. The business is based on the "community-supported" model in which patrons are also investors. Staffers chat with customers, old friends greet one another from across the room, and the window into the kitchen lets diners watch the staff at work.

Even if you're not part of the Hardwick community, you can find plenty of reasons to "support" Claire's.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2009.

Related Locations

More...
Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Seven Days Staff

Seven Days Staff

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation