When The Barn Door Restaurant at 1824 House inn opened on Thursday in Waitsfield, ultra-local fare took a turn for the creative. Owners Connie and Dean Mendell recruited Luke Stone, the chef from their Rochester restaurant The Village Porch Bar & Bistro, to concoct a selection of greatest hits from around the world.
The menu, which relies heavily on produce from Mad River Valley farms, is divided into small, medium and large plates. Stone prides himself on making items such as bacon and pasta from scratch. Like his mentors, Maura O’Sullivan and Charles Reeves of Penny Cluse Café, he creates his own sausages and pickles. Try ’em all on a plate that comes with ’kraut-topped bratwurst, pickled cukes and fries. His popular pad Thai from The Village Porch is available, too.
Each week, The Barn Door features products from one local farm in a roster of specials. This week, cucumbers from Hartshorn’s Santa Davida Farm star in dishes including lamb gyros and cucumber granita with an anise-and-cinnamon cookie. Next week, diners can expect oxtail ravioli, corned beef and, according to Stone, “a spiced-up burger” courtesy of Gaylord Farm. The following week, a whole pig will arrive from Shuttleworth Farm.
Monday is barbecue night, when families gather for a prix-fixe dinner of green salad, a choice of smoked ribeye, chicken or pulled pork, corn, potato salad, and coleslaw.
Those who ascend to The Barn Door’s “Hayloft” will find a more casual scene, with comfy leather couches and a bite-sized menu. There you can try fries with chervil aioli, country pâté and a selection of Vermont cheeses. Just be sure to comb the straw out of your hair afterward.