In May, Jericho’s popular bakery and breakfast and lunch spot The Village Cup debuted a dinner menu. If all goes well, owner Steve Burke will open another restaurant — Caroline’s — this Friday evening.
Caroline’s will showcase “modern haute cuisine with a Vermont flair,” says chef Joseph Ianelli. It’s a style with which he’s intimately familiar. Before leaving Vermont to attend the Culinary Institute of America, Ianelli, a Richmond native, served as the opening sous-chef at Toscano Café Bistro in his hometown. After culinary school, he ran kitchens in Miami before heading to Salish Lodge & Spa outside Seattle. At the ultraluxe resort, Ianelli says, he cooked for the likes of a Saudi Arabian prince.
Expect a high-end menu at Caroline’s, too, though Ianelli promises his seasonal fare will be free of pretension. The restaurant’s first diners can choose from a range of soups, salads and appetizers, including roasted-corn chowder with herbed popcorn and smoked paprika oil; house-cured duck prosciutto; and quail stuffed with chorizo cornbread and served with sweet-potato gratin and bacon-brandy cream sauce.
The concept of Caroline’s came to Burke at a family reunion last summer. A relative gave the 63-year-old restaurant owner a photo of his mother, Caroline, taken when she was 21. The photo is now the restaurant’s logo and serves as inspiration for the look of the renovated circa-1835 home. “What we’ve done is try to make this a place that speaks to bygone elegance and makes you feel yourself going back in time,” says Burke. To achieve that sensation, Burke and his team have refinished the barn’s original floors and re-created the antique woodwork throughout the house.
During the lengthy construction, Burke created a kitchen large enough to serve both Caroline’s and the Village Cup’s nighttime bistro and wine bar. Ianelli and his team will prepare the food for both dining rooms. At the Cup, Ianelli says, Caroline’s frequent customers will find “a second home” for less formal nights. At the bistro, all entrées are less than $10, including local sliders, panini and chocolate fondue. It’s also open for Sunday brunch.
Though Caroline’s serves dinner only and is closed on Mondays, the Village Cup is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Burke and Ianelli admit that’s a lot of work, but the chef is certain his baby will prevail. “I’m trying to position myself with Hen of the Wood and the Kitchen Table as our major competition,” Ianelli says. “I’m fully confident that it will make it.”