- Jeb Wallace-Brodeur | Rev. Diane Sullivan
What does it mean to eat in Vermont today? To many diners, it means demanding local, seasonal, responsibly raised food. Others crave meals with a story. Chefs and owners seem happy to oblige, serving farm-fresh fare that honors their own personal heritage and that of these rolling Green Mountains. Thanks to them — and the farmers they work with — our food scene gets more and more interesting every year. The 7 Nights dining guide offers a big helping of what they bring to the table.
These days, “heirloom” refers to much more than pricy , funny-looking tomatoes. Across the state, researchers are finding, reclaiming and cultivating seeds that were planted for centuries by Vermont’s Native American communities, while farmers are defaulting to non-GMO, open-pollinated varieties of squash, corn, cabbage and beans. These time-tested cultivars are given special attention at upscale restaurants such as Duo in Brattleboro and Stowe’s Edson Hill.
In Reading and West Glover, respectively, Newhall Farm and Sweet Rowen Farmstead are two of several farms working to bring back Vermont’s own Randall Lineback cattle from the brink of extinction — and producing excellent cheeses and meats from these cold-hardy cows. In Pittsfield, chef Kevin Lasko has a habit of buying whole linebacks and using the meat — all of it — for tasting menus at his tiny, hidden-away Backroom restaurant.
Global cuisine, too, has taken root in the Green Mountain State — literally. At Saap in Randolph, Nisachon “Rung” Morgan began tending Thai herbs and container citrus when she star ted having trouble sourcing ingredients for her native Isan cooking.
Add to this the wild proliferation of breweries, cideries and distilleries popping up statewide, and you’ve got a very tasty environment, indeed — and one that tends to be social ly responsible and environmentally friendly. The logic? It’s a small state, and everyone’s in this together.
So pull up a chair and dig in.