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Side Dishes: Kismet reopens in Montpelier


Published December 22, 2010 at 11:16 a.m.

Deep-fried pickled pigs’ ears may not sound vegan, but at Kismet in Montpelier, they can be — sort of. When the once-tiny café moved from Barre Street to State Street on November 26, it didn’t just gain a bigger space. Kismet now serves dinner, says owner Crystal Maderia, and its full menu can be prepared in regular, vegan or gluten-free versions.

With the larger storage space at the downtown location — previously occupied by Restaurant Phoebe — Maderia has been serving three meals a day for the past month, including vastly expanded options at breakfast and lunch. Turnout at suppertime has been so good that, last Saturday, “We sold out of pretty much everything,” says Maderia.

Still, the restaurateur considers this her soft opening. The refurbished Kismet will celebrate its official grand opening on New Year’s Day with the premiere of a new brunch menu.

Expect to see savory strata, a variety of omelettes and homemade sausage. Diners are already sampling the aforementioned meat at the evening meal, where Maderia offers “Breakfast for Dinner” options. Other evening meal choices include chicken-fried rabbit, smoked lamb and perhaps Vermont’s only offering of Salvadoran pupusas. And, yes, with the help of a range of marinated tofus and tempehs, vegan diners can enjoy any of the above.

Dinner service has given Maderia the opportunity to expand Kismet’s alcoholic offerings as well. She’ll showcase those with New Year’s Eve cocktail specials made from sustainably or locally made liquors with all-natural garnishes. A range of local, organic and biodynamic wines will be available for the New Year’s toast and every night thereafter.