- Courtesy Of Railroad & Main
- New Railroad & Main signage
If you don't like the house you live in, knock it down and build another. That advice made sense to Essex Grill chef-owners Todd and Courtney Roman, who never felt quite at home serving food at their Five Corners space at 35 Main Street in Essex Junction. The building — a dingy converted house with sagging ceilings — didn't match the vibe of the "elevated casual" fare emerging from the kitchen, they said. So, in January 2018, they closed the restaurant, demolished the building and built anew. Earlier this month, the Romans reopened in an airy space with a new name: Railroad & Main.
The new space includes an expanded kitchen of the Romans' own design and a large, wide-open dining room with 12-foot ceilings. "We're really proud of the new building," Courtney Roman told Seven Days earlier this week. "Every paint color, every light fixture is something we've picked out. It's a completely different feeling than, Oh yeah, we're that old place on the right."
The food got an upgrade, too, Roman said, but Essex Grill regulars will recognize many perennial favorites on the menu. Starters include Reuben egg rolls stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing. Burgers come topped with Parmesan aioli and arugula or with cheddar, bacon and barbecue sauce, while entrées include pan-seared cod with puréed parsnips and a hanger steak with mashed potatoes.
Beverages include 16 draft beers and pours from the bar's extensive collection of Scotch and bourbon whiskeys. All are sippable at the restaurant's brand-new 26-foot bar or near the fireplace in the lounge area. "We've always been proud of our food," Roman said. "We now have a building to match it."
Railroad & Main is now open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, and Saturday and Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.