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Tapping New Talent

Side Dishes: A familiar face joins Three Penny Taproom


Published December 22, 2010 at 10:10 a.m.

Matthew Bilodeau, Crystal Maderia, and Joey Nagy - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR

After Matthew Bilodeau cooks his last meal at Montpelier’s Black Door Bar and Bistro on New Year’s Eve, fans of his fare won’t have to go far for a taste. While new Black Door owners Michael and Laura Kloeti (best known for their resto Michael’s on the Hill in Waterbury) are testing their wings with soft openings starting January 11, Bilodeau will be preparing for his own entrance down the street at Three Penny Taproom.

“I’m very excited,” says Bilodeau of his planned first day, January 17. Though the chef enjoyed preparing his venison dumplings and signature burger at the Black Door, he says the format of Three Penny suits him better. There, he will change the entire menu daily to make use of products at their freshest. “It’s really along the lines of cooking from the heart,” he says.

Already a regular at his new employer’s, Bilodeau says he hopes to emulate in his menus the care and research that goes into Three Penny’s beer selections. The emphasis will be on local ingredients, and Bilodeau anticipates offering “a lot of preserved items, including meats — especially charcuterie.”

Three Penny lacks its own kitchen, but Bilodeau says he’s not worried. For prep, he’ll have access to the kitchen at the Mad Taco in Waitsfield, which shares Three Penny’s owners. According to co-owner Scott Kerner, Bilodeau and Mad Taco chef Joey Nagy will collaborate on a number of projects, including Three Penny’s Friday taco nights.

Another of Kerner’s plans: adding lunch to Three Penny’s menu once current chef Jake DiSilva leaves and Bilodeau starts. Look for meat pies and sandwiches to go with the afternoon suds.