When Cris Peck sold his casual restaurant Waterbury Wings, he knew he wanted to pursue something a bit more upscale. At the end of January, he opened The Shelburne Kitchen, located in the former spot of Amandine on the Village Green. “This place is just so beautiful. How do you not walk in here and have the dream wheels turn?” Peck asks.
Although the interior hasn’t changed, Shelburne Kitchen has a different bent from the French-inflected Amandine. “I would classify our food as comfort food,” says Peck. “And we’re concentrating more on prepared foods and catering than we are on retail sales.” Although the shop stocks some wine — all of it organic or biodynamic — Peck prefers to refer customers in search of vino down the road. “Our wines are really here for convenience … If [customers] want to talk wine and choose a really nice bottle, I send them to Kevin [Clayton, owner of Village Wine and Coffee],” he says.
With Chef Jennifer Tifft whipping up house-smoked salmon, specialty sandwiches and a wide selection of prepared foods that change daily, Peck has time to focus on the business end of things. “She’s here from six in the morning to seven at night just cooking. She doesn’t want to stop,” he enthuses. “It’s her hobby and passion.”
Which dishes have customers coming back? “The Brussels sprouts with gorgonzola and bacon is our biggest seller,” Peck says. There’s also a following for the Orange Ginger Chicken and the Tuscan Penne and Sausage. “We like to cook in the Mediterranean style with fresh ingredients, produce and fish,” Peck says.