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Entrées and Exits 01/10/07

Restaurant News


Published January 9, 2007 at 8:14 p.m.

Tara Vaughan-Hughes has sold her popular Vergennes restaurant, but you can still Eat Good Food in Addison County. New owner Matthew Birong, originally of Essex, previously worked at Leunig's and the Waiting Room. Chef Birong will rename the place, and he plans to nix the retail section in favor of additional seating, according to Vaughan-Hughes.

She remains chef-owner of EGF in Middlebury, where the gourmet grocery section continues to expand, and has "a really nice selection of beer and wine," Vaughan-Hughes notes. Also new: She says recently completed minor renovations have made the restaurant feel "more cozy" and "more open," all at the same time. How does that work? EGF Middlebury now serves breakfast, starting at 9 every morning.

Why all of the changes? Vaughan-Hughes and husband Pip are in the process of adopting twins. She figures she'll be busy enough with two little ones and just one restaurant. You think?

The Monkey House in Winooski has changed hands. Marc and Jean Dysinger are part owners; they own Sneakers Bistro next door. The principle proprietor is Ryan Smith, who used to work at Nectar's and Club Metronome in B-town, and also did a stint at Sneakers back in the day. Marc Dysinger describes him as "a talented bartender and solid citizen."

The new owners will "build on the previous success" of the bar's founders: Three Needs owner Glenn Walter and real-estate developers Anne Rothwell and Lou Natale. They "had a great vision," Dysinger says.

Where does that leave the signature grilled cheese sandwiches? "If we're going to do food, we'll do it the right way," he says. "We'll try and dress it up a bit."

But the space doesn't currently include a kitchen, and with the rest of the building devoted to residential apartments, there's not much room for growth. For now, says Dysinger, "we're still trying to figure out where all the light switches are."

Visit the music section for Casey Rea's take on all this monkey business.

It takes more than luck to open an eatery. And at Kismet in Montpelier, it's clear from the menu that owners Crystal Maderia and Alanna Dorf are taking conscious cuisine to a new level. The obligatory eggs Benedict comes with a choice of smoked ham or tempeh on herbed toast; the concoction is topped with goat cheese and thyme hollandaise, with roasted roots on the side. A hyper-healthy steamed grain and vegetable bowl features either tofu or free-range chicken, and a choice of dressings. The DIY theme continues with build-your-own sweet or savory crepes. Sweet toppings include house-made maple butter and vegan lemon curd. Some of the savory options are house-cured lox, steamed greens and onion confit. Visit the Barre Street location, Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chowhound, the national online source of gourmet gossip, reports that South Burlington's Parkway Diner will be closing in March. Is it true? Owner George Alvanos has "no comment right now," he says, then adds, "Nothing is settled." Stay tuned.