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Nutty About Vermont Chocolate

Side Dishes: Steph Rieke Sweetens the Deal

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Just in time for Valentine's Day, Montpelierites have a new place to come for cacao: the Montpelier Chocolate Factory on River Street.

In November, "Nutty Steph" Rieke, 27, owner of Nutty Steph's Vermont Granola, merged her company with Allan Sirotkin's Green River Chocolates of Brattleboro - one of the suppliers for her cereal company. The renamed biz, which is now located in Rieke's capital city granola factory, held its grand opening last Saturday, and will be open for extended hours until V-day. Visitors should check out a chocolate-dipped banana-and-apricot concoction Reike is billing as "a sensual chocolate treat."

On March 5, Restaurant Phoebe is partnering with the new chocolate company to hold a seven-course chocolate tasting dinner. While the menu isn't set, the chef is thinking about savory dishes such as cocoa-dusted Maine diver scallops and chocolate and hazelnut-glazed elk steaks with sweet potato and cranberry risotto. The $80 prix fixe includes drinks.

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