Fans of deep-fried pork shanks will have to wait for the next Champlain Valley Fair to satisfy their craving. The only place to regularly find the delicacy, Val’s Wild Tomato in Winooski, has closed its doors. The sandwich shop, specializing in quirky mayos and local ingredients, opened two and a half years ago next to Beverage Warehouse. Owner Valerie Masiello left a phone message apologizing to customers for the short notice. “We suffered a huge loss in my family this year, and I need to focus on helping to put things back together,” she later told Seven Days. “I’ll be leaving Vermont, and I’m not sure exactly what’s next. I already miss my regulars at the deli. I had a wonderful clientele who kept me smiling.”
Winooski residents won’t have to wait long for a replacement. Nick Lin, of Williston Korean/Chinese spot Naru Asian Cuisine, is already at work on the take-out restaurant he will open in the former Val’s space. So long, “pig wings”; hello, bibimbap?
In Lamoille County, Johnson State College students will have to find a new parents’ weekend destination. Winding Brook Bistro — known for its French-inflected menu featuring dishes such as Lac Brome duck breast with dried-cherry demiglâce — has closed, leaving a hole in the college town’s dining scene. Chef-owner Chase Vanderveer could not be reached by press time.