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Side Dishes: New chef at 156 Bistro, Restaurant Phoebe closes


Published July 21, 2010 at 4:05 a.m.

Two weeks ago, Seven Days reported that David Fonte, who was originally tapped to be the executive chef at Church & Main, had moved on to another project.

Turns out his new gig is right down the street at 156 Bistro. “We’re looking forward to making this one of the premier spots in Burlington,” says the chef, who is in the process of updating the menu.

For now, Fonte is reluctant to provide more details about the bistro’s refurbished food and vibe — the concept, he says, is still evolving.

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Since September 2006, Restaurant Phoebe, located on State Street in Montpelier, has served Italian- and French-inspired American cuisine — think roasted duck breast with sweet-potato gnocchi in cherry-port sauce and fried artichoke salad with arugula and anchovies.

But, despite good reviews from customers, the restaurant ran into trouble when the economy tanked. On February 4, 2009, Chef Aaron Millon asked his patrons for help turning the spot into a community-supported restaurant. The appeal, he told us at the time, got a “heartwarming response.”

But it wasn’t enough. In the first week of this month, Millon closed Restaurant Phoebe. A note on its website reads: “After great deliberation and exhausting any and all scenarios that would have allowed us to stay in our wonderful current location, the numbers just stopped adding up.”

Calls to Millon weren’t returned by press time, but his note does hint at the restaurateur’s future plans — in the Queen City. “As we are in the stages of choosing the most suitable Burlington location,” writes Millon, “one that will accommodate our supper-club concept, details cannot yet be announced.”