Wednesday, October 9, 2013

vermont! food, foliage, etc.

we just got home from a lovely, romantic trip to vermont.
my in-laws watched the boys and we spent four days exploring covered bridges, basking in the beautiful foliage, and, as always, eating as much as possible.
the weather was perfect!  chilly enough for snuggling, sunny enough for gorgeous pictures.
we even found the perfect little toy log truck to bring home to our boys :)

we started our journey in white river junction, vt, at Elixir Restaurant.
it was fantastic!
m got that night's special, braised shortribs with the most velvety yukon potato puree i've ever tasted.
it was perfection.
for real.

i got a few appetizers because i couldn't decide.
chicken liver mousse with crispy, fried capers, lobster and leek salad on brioche, and truffled pomme frites with roasted shallot aioli.
the mousse was silky and rich, the salad had huge chunks of fresh lobster, and the fries were crisp and hot.

we gave it a huge a+. not much at all that we would change, great prices, and fantastic cocktails with a waitstaff that was knowledgeable and helpful!

the next morning, we brunched at the Hancock Inn and Bakery, for their Sunday brunch.
wide range of brunch-y foods and reasonable prices. score: a-.
then, we were off to explore!
we stumbled upon Texas Falls and had to stop ;)

from the sunroof ;)

after, we headed to Otter Creek Brewery in middlebury, vt, and had a pub lunch and beer tasting!
well...m mostly tasted, as i don't really care for beer, and i ate ;)
we had a big cheese and charcuterie board, loaded with delicious locally made cheese and meats, and the brewery's special cheddar and ale soup.
m chose a six beer tasting, and enjoyed every sip!
we gave it an a, delicious!

we explored some little towns in the area, grabbed coffee, and headed up to lake champlain for a relaxing view of the gorgeous lake.

then, we headed up to burlington, vt, for dinner and another brewery tasting.
we walked all around this cozy, university town and even found a bench swing for two on the boardwalk!

we had dinner at Farmhouse Tap and Grill and sampled beer at the Vermont Pub and Brewery, vermont's oldest craft brewery!
the brewery was great....very interesting and unique to the area. a+.

dinner was fantastic too...we were cheese and sausage-d out so we chose the nightly appetizer special of maple and cayenne rubbed chicken wings...super spicy and delicious!
m had the vermont heritage grazers pork burger with cabot cheddar, a sunny side up farm egg, coleslaw, and house-made hot sauce.
i had the special burger for that night, local vermont beef with roasted eggplant ratatouille, basil remoulade, and house-made aioli.
we split them down the middle, shared our fries, and enjoyed the chilly patio!
*yes, i already took a bit out before i remembered to take a picture but you'll forgive me*
we gave it a big a+, amazing food and great prices!

the next morning, it was up early (-ish. come on. we were on vacation! sans children!) and headed to montpelier, vt, for breakfast. we decided on the Coffee Corner Diner, solely on the sheer volume of customers!  always a good sign when you have locals spilling out. and we were not disappointed!
m had a massive omelet with shaved angus steak, cabot cheddar, and roasted red peppers, with a side of rye bread from a local bakery.

(on the way, we found a gorgeous waterfall.  ya know.  just happened upon it.)

sorry, continuing...

i had fresh baked french toast with blueberries and local maple syrup.

we gave it an a++.  couldn't beat the food or the price.  excellent.

after, we swung by the Red Hen Bakery in middlesex, vt, to grab a picnic lunch.
we got a smoked roast beef sandwich, with ginger carrot slaw and peanut satay sauce, and a turkey club, with roasted corn and chili-cumin sauce, a bag of chips, sweet tea, and a huge slice of homemade apple pie, still warm!
we gave it an a+.  a teensy bit pricey, but worth it!

we ate our picnic while exploring 11 covered bridges all over the northern part of vermont!


this was what i was really looking forward to.

we ended up back in montpelier for dinner and dessert.

dinner was at the Three Penny Taproom and m got grilled vermont skirt steak with poblano pepper butter and chimichurri and i got a huge bowl of moules frites and mayo with about a million fresh maine mussels, swimming in white wine and garlic underneath.
we gave it an a+, good prices, great food, amazing house-made cocktails! (i had the montpelier mule!)

we crossed the street to The Skinny Pancake for a dessert crepe, the "lovemaker" :)
warm nutella, strawberries, and fresh whipped cream made this massive crepe perfect to share!
we gave it an a!

on our last morning, we stumbled across the Rochester Cafe and Country Store in rochester, vt.
and man. we were lucky.
i had seen something called a "cozy milk" at the Red Hen Bakery and was immediately smitten.  the wonderful barista at Rochester kindly offered to recreate it for me that morning.
maple syrup and frothed, steamed milk with a dash of maple sugar on top might just be the best thing ever.
well, that and the sunny side up local eggs, locally made maple sausage, and something called a maple glazed cinnamon twist.
a++, just for the fact that she made me a cozy milk!  so so good.

and on our way out, we stopped at their country store and bought the cutest little log truck you ever did see.

a fantastic trip and we can't wait to go back with the boys!!

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