700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, 253-5705
When I first dined at the Trapp Family Lodge a decade ago, there was more than a measure of kitsch. As soon as I got out of the car, I saw a pair of elderly woman spinning around on a hill, arms outstretched, à la Julie Andrews. The hills were alive, and so was the twee Austrian Tea Room.
In recent years, however, the resort has had a major makeover. Sought-after artisan beer has replaced tea cozies. In the place of the Austrian Tea Room, there's the bright and modern DeliBakery. When I tried it this weekend, I found that it was the perfect balance of old and new.
You enter the counter area past a bakery case stocked with practically every rich Euro-style dessert imaginable, as well as tea trays stacked with dark, crackly looking croissants. The menu is one page, front and back, but includes plenty of choices. Choose a side salad, order at the counter and sit down. In about 20 minutes lunch will be brought to your table.
I had a bratwurst, which came with a sliced length of house-baked baguette, perfect for assembling a hearty sandwich. Even better: a slick of three-peppercorn Dijon mustard on each side of the bread. Not as spicy as many Germanic mustards, this sauce was creamy and sharp with just a hint of heat.
I considered sauerkraut to go with my brat, but when I saw cucumber salad, liberally speckled with dill, in the deli case, I couldn't resist. It could have used a bit more acid, but the cool, yogurt-dressed cukes were a great antidote to a hot day.
So were the roasted beets, which we also chose from the case instead of ordering one of the regular side salads listed on the chalkboard. The sweet beets were grown at the resort and melted in my mouth.
The same can be said of the quiche Lorraine. I'm used to a heavier quiche, with a rich custard of eggs and cheese inside and a crusty top. This version was light as air, more like a soufflé or mousse, with salty slices of ham at the bottom of the flaky, buttery crust like sunked treasure.
I hit the bakery case in the 10-minute interval between the end of one Black Forest cake and delivery of the next one, yet the choice was still difficult. Apple tart, decorated with paper-thin slices of fruit? What about one of the mousse cups? Should I have even considered this at lunch?
Ultimately, patriotism and gluttony won out. We ordered a slice of Boston cream cake (right). Rich, dark chocolate cake with pastry cream in the middle and soft ganache on top. Can't go wrong. Well, mostly. It was slightly oversweet for me.
I preferred the hazelnut mousse tart, which my boyfriend referred to as a "Fantasie on Nutella."
A round, sturdy pastry crust was painted with a layer of dark chocolate. Next, it was filled with hazelnut mousse, creamy and packed with flavor — and teeny chunks of hazelnut. If there were such a thing as Toblerone mousse, this would be it. Finally, it was topped with thin curls and swirls of milk chocolate, these in turn dusted with powdered sugar.
So, see you this weekend, DeliBakery?
Alice Eats is a weekly blog feature devoted to reviewing restaurants where diners can get a meal for two for less than $35. Got a restaurant you'd love to see featured? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.