- Frank Pace
Come 2017, locals who miss Burlington's South End Kitchen will find a new dining spot in its former home at 716 Pine Street. In late winter or early spring, an experienced team of locals will open the Great Northern. Its owners include Matt Wilson, who is also a partner in Zero Gravity Craft Brewery; and chef Frank Pace and his wife, Marnie Long, who will serve as primary operators. The establishment shares some financial backers with Burlington's American Flatbread and Monarch & the Milkweed.
"Our plan is to hit all three services," says Wilson. That means they'll be cooking all day long. In the morning, guests will be able to grab a cup of coffee or an espresso, plus "easy breakfast stuff" to stay or go. The folks at Brio Coffeeworks are consulting on beans, equipment and best brewing practices.
At lunch and dinner, says Wilson, the Great Northern will operate as a café with table service. Weekends will bring brunch and all the drinks that go with it. Cocktail specialist Jeff Baumann will help concoct the list.
"The food, at its core, will be local and seasonal," Wilson says. Why the name? Although people talk about southern cuisine and California cuisine, northern cuisine doesn't have as clear an identity, he notes. In addition to showcasing dishes based on "great local influences," the menu will incorporate flavors from other wintry climes, such as Scandinavia. Fermented and preserved foods are part of the deal.
Although Pace is known as a trained butcher and an expert maker of charcuterie, meat won't be the menu's main focus. "We plan to offer plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well," Wilson says. "We are in Burlington, Vt."