Blurt: Seven Days Staff Blog

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395 posts categorized "Food and Drink"

September 11, 2012

Alice Eats: The Mill Market & Deli

IMG_45981580 Dorset Street, South Burlington, 862-4602

It's apple season. While those with an interest in being outdoors go apple picking, I found a more passive way to enjoy the season's quarry. Right in South Burlington, the Mill Market & Deli has plenty of dishes that showcase the same local fruit the cider mill uses in its Chittenden's Sweet Apple Cider.

In early September, the Mill straddles the seasons. On my recent visit, locals were still hitting the creemee window, though the chocolate and (fresh berry) black raspberry machine was broken, leaving just vanilla and maple.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: The Mill Market & Deli" »

September 10, 2012

Grazing at King Arthur Flour's Airy New Digs

Ace_outsideIf you're the kind of person who loses all sense of time and self control whenever you visit King Arthur Flour, you might want to carefully plan your next visit. As in, set both a monetary and caloric budget and tell a friend where you're going, lest you get lost.

A few weeks ago, the baking giant unveiled the fruits of its yearlong, $10-million expansion. Though the building sprawls along the same hillside it's occupied for years, it feels like an entirely different place. And the complex looks like a wood-and-steel mothership. Which it is, of course, for thousands of bakers all over the world.

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September 06, 2012

Quiz: Ben & Jerry's Flavor or Porn Flick?

800px-Cherry_garcia

Revered Vermont institution Ben & Jerry's found itself in the news today, and not for its yummy, creamy treats: The company filed a lawsuit against the producer of the "Ben & Cherry's" series of pornographic films. Each title in the X-rated series is, you guessed it, a parody of a B&J's ice cream flavor. The New York Daily News has the scoop, along with some potentially not-safe-for-work photos (although the scandalous bits are blacked out) (not talking about the photo of Ben and Jerry themselves though).

The socially conscious Vermont company is suing a California smut peddler that blatantly ripped off its logo for X-rated DVDs.

...

An unprintable title drawn from the flavor Banana Split features two bare-chested women on the cover.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court demands the porn be taken off the market and seeks unspecified damages.

Unprintable? What prudes you are, New York Daily News.

Anyway, one wonders if Ben & Jerry's has a leg to stand on, given that some of their real-life flavor names are, well, kinda scandalous. (Yes, that includes Clusterfluff, which could probably be the title to a very fascinating porno but was later changed to What a Cluster.) Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all, and those Häagen-Dazs people can only wish that there was anything sexy about their treats.

And now, a game: We've listed ten names below. It's up to you to decide if each one is a Ben & Jerry's flavor or a porno flick. The answers are listed after the jump. Ready? Go!

  1. Americone Cream
  2. Schweddy Balls
  3. Chubby Hubby
  4. New York Super Fat and Chunky
  5. Late Night Snack
  6. Berried Treasure
  7. Hairy Garcia
  8. Peanut Butter D-Cups
  9. Karamel Sutra
  10. Boston Cream Thigh

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September 04, 2012

Alice Eats: India Palace

IMG_457969 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, 254-6143

Growing up outside New York City, my favorite flavors came from India. My earliest memory is of tandoori chicken.

When I moved to Vermont in 1998, I was nonplussed as to why something that seemed so effortless as preparing delicious, flavorful Indian food seemed so difficult within the borders of the Green Mountains.

My only hope was India Palace, a family-run restaurant in Brattleboro where I habitually stopped on my trips from Burlington to Connecticut. The food was flavorful, the meat was of good quality and the prices were astonishingly low.

IMG_4584I excitedly returned on Sunday for my first meal there in more than a decade. I found that India Palace wasn't bad, but it was no longer great, either. The food to price ratio, however, was still unbelievable.

I ordered the $21.95 tandoori dinner for one, which proved to be more of a tandoori dinner for three or four.

Immediately after ordering, I was presented with a cup of mulligatawny soup (above right). It smelled delicious, its cumin aroma sensuously filling the air. The lentil soup also had a spirited punch of acid, and as I swallowed it, black pepper lightly burned my throat.

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August 31, 2012

Grazing: The Waning Summer of Rosé

RoseIt’s less than 12 hours until August turns a corner. For me, it signals a sad close to a season that begins in early June and wends its way through three glorious, salmon-colored months: the season of sipping rosé, almost to the exclusion of other colors.

When I went to pick up another bottle of the pink stuff this week, the usually teeming display of rosé had disappeared; the remaining bottles had been relegated to a mid-shelf rosé ghetto. With heavy heart, I grabbed a bottle of pale Blaufrankisch and resolved not to let the moment die. So that you might consider joining the crusade, here are some wines you can (and should) keep drinking until the rain starts lashing your window — or until they become stranded behind an autumn display of Syrah or Cabernet Franc.

What makes rosé so ridiculously perfect, besides being the anathema to sticky, hot days, is that it pairs like a glove with almost any kind of food. It's cheap, too, or at least can be found for a song. Sparkling rosé can help you wash down anything from fries to oysters to acorns and seeds (why not indoctrinate squirrels, too?). 'Still' rosé loves on BBQ pork, salads, tarts, burgers, or even any iteration of tomatoes you’ve dreamt up in the last few, red-stained weeks. The wisps of acid in a dry rosé deftly meet those in food, punch for punch; their inevitable fruitiness makes for satisfying patio pounding.

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August 28, 2012

Alice Eats: The Inn at Shelburne Farms

2012-08-19 01.06.461611 Harbor Road, Shelburne, 985-8498

We all need a taste of luxury now and then. Usually, in those cases, we assume that those meals will be stressful on the wallet. But smart diners know that even at the finest restaurants, meals earlier in the day can cost a fraction of rich dinner prices. To give both me and my billfold a treat, I indulged in brunch at the Inn at Shelburne Farms.

We were led through the grand entrance to a table for two just below a painting of the original homeowner, Lila Vanderbilt Webb. It had taken me weeks to get a reservation, and the joint was indeed jumping. Our server warned us from the beginning that the kitchen was backed up and it would take 15 to 20 minutes for our food to arrive.

2012-08-19 01.21.13That ended up being more like 30 or 45 minutes, but good conversation in opulent surroundings is really the goal at Shelburne Farms. I wasn't in a hurry.

And the food was worth it. The veal and pork terrine was tender and smoky — perfect for a Sunday picnic in Provence. It was bathed in tarragon Hollandaise that had just a whisper of anise flavor. Eggs were poached perfectly and lent an extra layer of creaminess to the plate, which also included microgreens and an herb crostini. It was a delicious plate, but for $13, the portion was more like an appetizer than a hearty breakfast.

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August 24, 2012

Grazing: A Fact-finding Mission to SoLo Farm & Table

Solo_eggplantIn the September 2012 issue of Bon Appetit, Andrew Knowlton anointed his "50 Best New Restaurant Nominees." One Vermont restaurant landed on the list: SoLo Farm & Table in South Londonderry.

Miles and mountain ranges mean that no one in our office had yet visited SoLo, despite heady rumors that have floated north. BA's nomination was a call to action. This week, with the gravest of intentions, I drove down, wandered into the restaurant's warren of rooms, and unfurled my napkin.

It's easy to get caught up in the Burlington restaurant scene and forget that southern Vermont is a magnet for urban chefs and eaters who co-create an eclectic, polished dining culture. So it is with SoLo, opened last summer by chef Wesley Genovart and his wife, Chloe — who both have some formidable NYC restaurant chops, including stints at Per Se and the running of the much-feted East Village restaurant Degustation. (For Chloe — originally from Vermont — SoLo is a sort of homecoming). 

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August 17, 2012

Grazing: Mr. Hendricks, Meet the Cosmo

Gin_cosmoAny serious cocktail lover might order one in a low voice — such is the stigma that can accompany the Cosmopolitan. Somehow this simple blend of Absolut Citron, fresh or Roses lime juice, cranberry and a splash of Cointreau became, in the late 1990s, the cocktail equivalent of a Carly Rae Jepsen song.

But the bartenders that bastardized the Cosmo into sticky, sweet ubiquity are long ago and far away from from the bar at L'Amante in Burlington, where classics rule in both food and drink. With a chef who's a bona fide wine expert and a staff that know their Grillo from their Garganega, this is certainly a place to indulge a love of vino. The cocktail list, by contrast, is short and simple.

Ask bartender Ian DeLorme about wine and he will joyously pour you something new to try. Yet he also keeps classic drinks up his sleeve, including a tart, fresh-juice Cosmopolitan he first blended at his mother's request for a not-too-sweet version. 

This summer, DeLorme has been making a Cosmo using floral Hendricks gin, shaking up a generous pour of the stuff with fresh lime and lemon juices, splashes of Cointreau and cranberry juice, and floating St. Germain on top. The resulting drink has tiny bits of ice and hints of roses, a pool of citrusy herbaceousness that you want to dive into and emerge, buzzed, on the opposite rim.

Ian's Gin Cosmo

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the first five ingredients:
4 ounces Hendricks gin 
Juice from half a fresh-squeezed lemon 
Juice from half a fresh-squeezed lime
1 ounce Cointreau
Splash of cranberry juice
A very light splash of St. Germain

"Shake hard," DeLorme advises, then strain into a martini glass. Float some St. Germain on top, garnish with a wedge of lime, and serve.

 

August 14, 2012

Alice Eats: Pearl Street Diner

IMG_453485 Pearl St., Burlington, 862-3220

DoughBoy's Coffee Shop may have been the ultimate old Burlington diner. With a clientele split mostly between seniors and college students, it was a kind of spiritual cousin to Bove's Restaurant across the street. When it closed last summer, it left some big shoes to fill.

But Pearl Street Diner's owners, Pam Scanlon and Michael Niederer of Radio Deli, aren't trying to recreate DoughBoy's. Their tack is a little smarter. Along with diner classics, they're also serving up more creative fare with local ingredients.

One need only look at the condiments on the counter to get an idea of the aesthetic. Beside the ketchup, salt and cinnamon sugar, there's also Sriracha.

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August 13, 2012

Grazing: Whip It Good

ShrimpThe northward migration of a chef from Austin, Texas, to the Green Mountains is a rare but wonderful thing. When such a person moves between two wildly different places, they can bring a mashup of styles, ideas and dishes that is nothing but good news for the diners around them.

Chef Cody Vasek grew up on a farm in Bellville, Texas, and developed his culinary chops at hotels in Austin and Houston, where his farm-centric early life gave him a natural affiinity for field-to-fork cuisine. Like many a chef hungry for new experiences, Vasek eventually drifted north and worked his way through several of Jean Georges Vongerichten's kitchens (JoJo, Vong, Mercer Kitche, Spice Market and Jean Georges among them) before he pushed even further north, to the 45th parallel to become the executive chef at Stowe Mountain Lodge. (If there is an invisible hotel kithen circuit, Stowe Mountain must be a major yet frenetic node — as far as I can tell, it's a magnet for talented chefs who don't stay long.)

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