The Lemon Peel Café & Crêperie in Shelburne will soon be no more. But owner Mike Orfan isn’t going anywhere. In fact, he just finished his final moving trip from New Jersey, where he cooked at famed Rat’s Restaurant until he took over the Lemon Peel last fall from Rob and Hilary Scharf.
By April, the breakfast-and-lunch spot, which the Scharfs opened in 2011, will be renamed Rustic Roots. Orfan says the name “reflects not just the type of food I want to do and the interior of the restaurant as it is now,” but also a new emphasis on his personal specialties: “charcuterie, curing and canning.”
Orfan has begun slowly introducing dishes that will become standards at Rustic Roots. Last weekend, a homemade lox scramble was a popular brunch special. House Canadian bacon and maple-coffee sausages, made with Vermont Coffee Company dark roast and local syrup, have also been hits, he says. Orfan hopes soon to get a smoker so he can make his own pastrami for sandwiches served on house focaccia.
The crêpes that originally defined the Lemon Peel are still available, but Orfan says his current emphasis is on home-made baked goods such as sticky buns, coffee cake and quiche.
Also new are occasional evening meals. Monthly prix-fixe dinners began with a Valentine’s Day meal that quickly sold out. A March dinner has yet to be scheduled, but Orfan has already written a late-winter-themed menu featuring three courses. Dishes include greens and root shavings in a caraway vinaigrette; coq au vin; roasted squash risotto with Shelburne Farms cheddar, pecans and maple; and French desserts such as crème brûlée and chocolate mousse. Orfan says to check the Lemon Peel’s Facebook page for updates.