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A Sneak Peek at South Royalton's Fox & Harrow

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Fox & Harrow dining room - COURTESY OF FOX & HARROW
  • Courtesy of Fox & Harrow
  • Fox & Harrow dining room

In recent history, the stately brick building at 5615 Route 14 in South Royalton has housed a revamp of the historic Fox Stand Tavern and Wild Roots, which closed abruptly last year. This May, the building will again house a restaurant: chef-restaurateur Eric Hartling's the Fox & Harrow.

Hartling spent the past four years running the café and catering kitchens at King Arthur Flour in Norwich. Before that, he was chef-owner at White River Junction's Tip Top Café (now called Thyme) and Tuckerbox Café.

As at Hartling's previous establishments, food at the Fox & Harrow will be approachable but polished enough for occasion dinners, the chef said: "There are a lot of casual places to go around here, and the food is good, but people seem to be looking for a place to go and have a nice date."

Still working on his opening menu, the chef said he plans to offer spins on classic New England dishes while making room for global influences. "New England includes people from all over the world," Hartling said. "When I was working in Boston, I was side by side with people from Cambodia, Guatemala, Ireland and Portugal ... Never mind the French Canadian influence you get up north."

While the Fox & Harrow will make ample use of local ingredients, Hartling said his menu won't change daily, as do those at many farm-to-table dinner spots. Bar offerings will include specialty cocktails and spirit-free mocktails, along with a few draft beers and a modest but versatile wine list.

Hartling acknowledges that his new restaurant has a "challenging location," but he believes he can overcome the out-of-town handicap by providing excellent hospitality in a comfortable setting. "I hope to be able to establish a restaurant that stays in this location for years to come," he said.

When it opens in mid-May, the Fox & Harrow will serve dinner Wednesday through Saturday.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Global Spin"