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New Tomatoes

Side Dishes: New chef helps revamp Burlington's Three Tomatoes Trattoria

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Three Tomatoes Trattoria has become a Church Street landmark since it opened more than 20 years ago as Sweet Tomatoes. But, according to co-owner Robert Meyers, 2013 will bring big changes to the old Burlington favorite.

“At this point, it’s still a work in progress,” Meyers says. “But really, it’s going to be great for Burlington.” Meyers and fellow owner Jim Reiman have partnered with New York chef and restaurateur Ryan Schmidtberger and hired new chef Dennis Vieira “to move into the next 20 years,” as Meyers puts it.

Vermonters may recognize Vieira as former chef at the Red Clover Inn & Restaurant in Killington, where he gained a reputation for pairing wine with his locally focused, European-influenced menu. For now, the upscale inn has replaced Vieira with chef David Coolidge, former New England Culinary Institute chef-instructor and current executive chef at summer-only Tyler Place Family Resort in Highgate Springs. Red Clover is actively searching for a new full-time chef.

Meyers says that in January, Three Tomatoes will begin renovations that will produce a new lounge area, better oven views in the dining room and improved outdoor seating. Though he prefers to wait until the new year to share more specifics, Meyers divulges that the menu “will certainly have a new spin.” (The changes will not affect the other Three Tomatoes locations in Williston, Rutland and Lebanon, N.H.)

Perhaps recent Burlington specials — including housemade pork sausage with baked white beans and greens, and braised seafood pasta with shrimp, octopus and calamari — hint at the rustic, handmade approach to come.

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