Best special-occasion restaurant | Kitchen Table Bistro (Richmond) & Hen of the Wood at the Grist MIll (Waterbury) | Food

Best special-occasion restaurant

Kitchen Table Bistro (Richmond) & Hen of the Wood at the Grist MIll (Waterbury)

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Inside Chittenden County

Winner:
Kitchen Table Bistro

Runner-Up:
Trattoria Delia


Outside Chittenden County

Winner:
Hen of the Wood at the Grist MIll

Runner-Up:
Starry Night Café

FRESH FIND

Diners shouldn’t count on ordering an old favorite when heading to The Kitchen Table Bistro. Since the restaurant opened in 2003, chefs Steve and Lara Atkins (pictured) have been dedicated to serving whatever is freshest and most delicious that day. Selections of heirloom carrots, greens or tomatoes appear on diners’ plates in their ideal states. The meat is farm fresh, too, and may include the occasional pig that’s been finished on leftovers from the restaurant. To highlight the flavors of gorgeous ingredients, dishes at the Kitchen Table are unfussy. One recent menu included a crispy chicken leg from Misty Knoll Farm, grill-roasted corn, yellow beans and pearl onions from Half Pint Farm and shepherd’s pie made with LaPlatte River Angus Farm beef. That simplicity may be what earned the favor of the James Beard Awards Foundation committee: For two years running, the Atkinses have been joint semifinalists for the prestigious award Best Chef: Northeast.

-Alice Levitt

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