Grazing: New Eats in the Northeast Kingdom
Earlier this summer, Megan James and I drove up to the Northeast Kingdom to report on Newport, a city that has long struggled economically but is currently experiencing something of a rennaissance as it waits for $600 million in development projects. As we wandered around town for 36 hours, we were impressed by much of what we ate, including a grilled cheese sandwich spiked with kimchi and charred lamb chops. Equally impressive was the locavore culture — a string of community gardens supplies some of the restaurants with fresh produce, and tomatoes and herbs were growing on the back patio of Lago Trattoria.
Two more places hadn't opened yet: An outpost of Glover's Parker Pie Co., called Parker Pie Wings, was waiting out some water issues inside a converted hangar at Newport's airport. Downtown, a former department store was in the midst of a dramatic facelift to become the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center. We comforted ourselves with creemees from the ice-cream window at the Pick & Shovel until we could return.
Which I did this week — both the pizzeria and tasting center are now open. In an effort to get a taste of the latest dimension of Newport's food scene, I jammed visits to both into a frenetic, 90-minute window.