Après Anything in Stowe, Dig Into Burgers, Beers and Small Plates at Doc Ponds | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Après Anything in Stowe, Dig Into Burgers, Beers and Small Plates at Doc Ponds 

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

In an 1876 Vermont court case entitled The State of Vermont vs. One Keg of Lager Beer, one Dr. Pond testified in defense of lager. He helped convince the court that the beer was nutritious and — at a mere 4.6 percent alcohol — could be consumed in mass quantities without drunkenness. It was patently untrue, but a charming idea.

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

Named after the good doctor, Stowe's Doc Ponds is also charming — no surprise, given that its sister restaurant, Hen of the Wood, is one of Vermont's best known. Fittingly, the bar offers plenty of brews, from a lightweight Schlitz lager to a 10-percent-alcohol porter sure to bring on a buzz. There's also a well-curated wine list and a short but classy cocktail menu. The citrus gimlet recalls a sweet and sour lemon drop.

Drinks can be sipped at the ample bar or a standard table, but the best spot in the house is at a round table in the fireside lounge, surrounded by comfy chairs and a couch. It's the perfect place to sprawl out and listen to live music.

Location Details Doc Ponds
294 Mountain Rd.
Stowe/Smuggs
Stowe, VT
802-760-6066
Pub Food, Gastropub and Bar

What to eat? As at Hen of the Wood, you can't go wrong. For starters, the fried Bayley Blue Balls, made with Jasper Hill Farm blue cheese, are drizzled with wildflower honey, while the cheddar fritters, dotted with roasted corn and pickled jalapeños, are topped with crema. It's probably safest to order both. Wings with Buffalo and sweet chile-garlic sauces are equally good and come with a pile of pickled carrots and celery. Fat clams swim in a buttery beer broth that begs to be sopped up with the accompanying crisp toast.

click to enlarge BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

For a main meal, the smoked bluefish melt appeases Jewish-deli cravings that are otherwise hard to satisfy in the Green Mountains. But the jerk pork chop, powerfully seasoned without crossing into spicy territory, delivers the punchiest flavor of all.

Whatever you do, order the salted caramel milkshake with bourbon and cold-brew. No need to feel guilty: The Doc says this food has no calories.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2017.

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Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Bio:
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... more

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