Where in Burlington can you find house-smoked duck and trout, martinis with hand-stuffed, blue cheese olives, and gel candles? At the Green Room on St. Paul Street.
My first recent visit was with my husband before a Jazz Fest show. We shared two, $8 small plates. The first was a bacon-wrapped scallop, which was cooked to a perfect, pearly translucence and served atop a spinach salad with jalapeño vinaigrette. The garnish of kiwi and cooling cucumber slices was a surprise. Both worked well to offset the spicy dressing.
The second small dish was a crispy quesadilla of smoked trout with black beans, provolone and pico de gallo, guacamole and chipotle sour cream. If you appreciate smoked fish and a little bit of heat, you'd love this.
While we were supping on apps, I started sipping a VTini -- a martini made with Organic Sunshine Vodka and garnished with olives stuffed with Boucher Bleu Cheese. I don't drink a lot of vodka and am not an authority on booze, but I think this stuff is really good.
We moved on to a $15 shared plate, the foie gras medallion "over a prosciutto and smoked gouda puff pastry, with marinated eggplant and radicchio drizzled in white truffle demi-glaze." Kind of heavy for summer (as are a few other items on the menu), but delicious. I would have opted for the lighter smoked duck and foie over greens with blue cheese and figs, but my sweetie aptly pointed out that we were planning to try a different duck dish, and that we'd already decided on smoked trout, and thus didn't need smoked duck.
In my experience, Chef Pratt always cooks foie to a state of oozing, fatty perfection, and this time was no exception. (If you object to foie gras consumption, please read Stuffed Animals, an article by the wickedly funny and brilliantly snarky Jeffrey Steingarten).
We also shared a duck entrée, about which exact details elude me. Stupid vodka! Looking at the menu won't help, cause it was a special. I do remember the delicious flourless chocolate cake though!
Last Friday, a vegetarian friend and I stopped by for a light meal. We sat outside and the service was a bit spotty -- the server almost walked away without taking my friend's order, and it took quite a long time to get refills on our water. Not sure if this is just a peril of dining al fresco on a busy-ish night, or not.
The mixed greens salad with cherries, blue cheese and pine nuts was lovely and refreshing. Then I moved on to a lightly-seared tuna over avocado and peanut noodles. It was a great summer dinner.
In my opinion, the Green Room offers some of the best executed, most exciting food (and drink) going on downtown.