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Bite Club: Vermont's Food & Drink Blog

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January 2014

January 14, 2014

Farah's Place Has Closed — For Now

Food-farahsAfter two-and-a-half years in business, following a short run in Johnson, Burlington's only Persian restaurant has closed its doors. According to owner Farah Oberlender, the eatery was just too much for her to run on her own, and good help was scarce. "It's too much," she told Seven Days. "I just can't take it anymore."

Though 147 North Winooski Avenue will no longer be a destination for hummus, kebabs and herb-speckled falafel, Oberlender suggests that the business will be back in some form soon. "For sure we’re coming back for summer, but not as a restaurant," hints the chef.

Customers who have purchased gift cards should email Oberlender at [email protected].

Alice Eats: Harvest Café

IMG_7118McClure Lobby, Fletcher Allen Health Care, 111 Colchester Avenue, Burlington, 847-3978

This week is Seven Days' annual Health & Fitness issue, our chance to pay homage to some of the food that we don't usually have an opportunity to write about. In my case, that's hospital food.

Alice Eats is all about sharing great deals, and Fletcher Allen Health Care's Harvest Café has more than a few cool reasons for me to endorse it: While the food isn't uniformly healthful, it is prepared with an eye toward good health.

The cafeteria is open from 5 a.m. until 3 a.m. every day, meaning it competes only with downtown's Kountry Kart for all-hours supremacy. The wide range of foods is prepared with as many local ingredients as possible, including produce grown at the hospital garden in season. And most importantly for the purposes of this column, the food is cheap. Really cheap. $3 for a pizza cheap.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: Harvest Café" »

January 10, 2014

Grazing Atop Killington


For skiers, slopeside food options have long been the culinary equivalent of a barren tundra: curly fries, hot dogs and nachos. Then again, as Killington Resort president and general manager Mike Solimano quips, "People say they want health food, but they keep buying cheeseburgers and fries."

ChowderLast night, 150 or so people who took the K-1 Gondola at sunset up to the resort's new peak lodge — a years-long project that opened just before Christmas — listened intently to Solimano as they also munched on the chowder, sliders, shrimp cocktail and mac-and-cheese boats that make up the new frontier of Killington lunch fare.

The challenges of building a six-sided lodge at 4000-plus feet aside, Killington's food and beverage staff worked to include as much local food as possible in the new menu.

Instead of cheese fries, the skiers lounging on leather couches or gazing out the lodge's floor-to-ceiling windows can tuck instead into bowls of creamy seafood chowder topped with smoked bacon (pictured); zesty chipotle-apple turkey chili; specials such as roasted swordfish and sautéed scallops; and, yup, cheesburgers, albeit made with locally raised meat and topped with Vermont cheddar. Or, they can belly up to the bar for a pint of Shed Mountain Ale or a hot cocktail of ginger brandy, orange slices and cinnamon.

Continue reading "Grazing Atop Killington" »

January 9, 2014

Fallout From Embezzlement at Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese: Sadness

Vermont has been beleaguered by embezzlement claims in recent years, including at the Readsboro Central School, the Hardwick Electric Department and the University of Vermont.

This week's news that the former administrator of the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese would plead guilty to stealing $185,000 from the program over a six-year period has aggrieved at least two of those who were involved with the program, which dissolved last year.

"It's an extraordinary breach of trust," says Jeff Roberts, a VIAC cofounder who was its principal consultant. "I'm deeply saddened that we created a world-class organization, and for it to end, or for this to be the coda, is just unbelievable."

Continue reading "Fallout From Embezzlement at Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese: Sadness" »

January 7, 2014

Alice Eats: Jericho Café & Tavern

IMG_709230 Route 15, Jericho, 899-2223

Talented young chef Jonathan Gilman started cooking in the kitchen at 30 Route 15 in Jericho in September 2012. Since then the space, which started as the Village Cup, has seen two name and concept changes.

I didn't make it to review Fields Restaurant, though I did enjoy trying dishes at Gilman's experimental test kitchen before the opening.

Now, with yet another new name, and the owners of Rosie's Restaurant in Middlebury at the helm, Gilman finds himself running the kitchen of the Jericho Café & Tavern.

Unfortunately, with each transformation, the returns seem to be diminishing. Gone are the days of Douglas-fir-braised pork shanks and farm-egg flan with brûléed honeycomb and herbed lavender “glass” that were the chef's signatures when he started. There's nothing wrong with more approachable homestyle fare, but at a recent lunch, some dishes worked far better than others.

Continue reading "Alice Eats: Jericho Café & Tavern" »

January 3, 2014

Grazing: Blood Orange-Cranberry-Lemongrass Mocktail

Alas, the time for copious holiday drinking has passed. Cleansing teas, fresh juices and water have taken the place of bracing Manhattans and boozy egg nog — at least for the first few resolution-rich days of the new year. 

Yet staying healthy doesn't have to be boring. Mocktails, or alcohol-free cocktails, are refreshing, easy to make and user-friendly for drinkers, pregnant women and 12-steppers alike. 

This week I repurposed some leftover holiday cranberries to make a cranberry-lemongrass simple syrup, then blended it with fresh-squeezed blood orange juice and sparkling water for a juicy, tart-sweet, non-alcoholic tippler. Yeah, it has some sugar — but I needed to come down from the holidays easy. Recipe below.

Continue reading "Grazing: Blood Orange-Cranberry-Lemongrass Mocktail" »

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