In Brookfield, Ariel’s Serves Seasonal Fare With Global Inflections | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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In Brookfield, Ariel’s Serves Seasonal Fare With Global Inflections

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BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

From Brookfield's famous floating bridge, Sunset Lake reflects gently distorted maple trees, the docks that dot its perimeter and an old red barn with a missing windowpane. Here chef Lee Duberman and sommelier Richard Fink operate Ariel's Restaurant out of the sprawling farmhouse they share with their sons, Simon and Noah.

BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

Given the rural setting, one might expect Ariel's to serve standard New England cuisine. Happily, that's not the case. Duberman draws influences from all over the world — including the family's winter home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — to create dishes exploding with flavor.

One meal began with petite Prince Edward Island mussels in red curry broth — so good there was no shame in slurping the liquid straight from the bowl — and a plate of jicama tacos with crispy fried shrimp and tangy cilantro-lime slaw. The next course brought delicate ricotta gnocchi with roasted mushrooms and crisps of Asiago cheese, followed by plump local quail with pomegranate-honey glaze and chickpeas. The dinner table at Ariel's travels from Thailand to Mexico, Italy to the Middle East, becoming a playground for experiencing the Earth's most exciting tastes.

Fink's wine pairings and creative cocktails stand up to his wife's far-reaching food philosophy. Consider the aptly named Globe Trotter, which combines tequila, amaro and Priorat Natur vermouth, smoothing out the herbal bitterness with a purée of passion fruit. The Apple Blossom, delicately fruity without being cloying, mixes vodka and Calvados with a housemade lemongrass-ginger cordial. An equally nice selection of after-dinner drinks complements desserts such as lavender-honey panna cotta and tres leches cake served with sorbet and garnished with violets.

BRENT HARREWYN
  • Brent Harrewyn

To accommodate their own globe-trotting, the Duberman-Finks close the restaurant from mid-October to late April. The limited season, inspired food and drink, and those gorgeous lake views combine to make every visit to Ariel's feel like a special occasion. 

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2017.

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