- Lee Duberman
Ariel's Restaurant in Brookfield is for sale, its owners announced Monday morning on Facebook. Lee Duberman and Richard Fink have run the restaurant for 21 years out of their 19th-century home on Sunset Lake.
The married couple plans to sell the business and move to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where they have spent the past three winters. "What we want to do is wrap things up, stay healthy and go to Mexico," Fink, 63, told Seven Days. "We've already had people coming by here and telling us how much we mean to the community. It's unbelievably joyous, and very painful."
Among the incentives for selling Ariel's, Fink said, are finances, a desire to move on before "burnout," and diminished enthusiasm for living in the U.S. under the Trump administration.
Duberman, who is the chef, cooks out of a small kitchen in the house, often popping out of that space to greet customers. Her meals use ingredients foraged by Fink and raised on neighboring farms. Her sourdough starter predates her restaurant.
Before opening Ariel's, Duberman and Fink owned a restaurant on State Street in Montpelier, About Thyme Café & Catering. They also ran a barbecue restaurant in that city called Finkerman's Riverside Bar-B-Q.
"I love what I do, and I don't want to put out a bit of food that I haven't created and approved and tasted," said Duberman, 61. "I can't do it any other way." But over her 30 years of cooking in central Vermont, including teaching at the New England Culinary Institute, the work has taken a physical toll, she said.
In Mexico, Duberman and Fink plan to run a small bed-and-breakfast in a home they are renting, do some "cultural tourism" and host pop-up dinners.
"It's really, really hard thinking of leaving and saying goodbye," Duberman said. "But there's a natural ending time." Ariel's will be open through September 24.