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The Windjammer Restaurant Adds a Wine Bar in South Burlington

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Published December 20, 2022 at 1:51 p.m.
Updated December 21, 2022 at 10:11 a.m.


The new wine bar at the Windjammer Restaurant - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • The new wine bar at the Windjammer Restaurant

When the Windjammer Restaurant announced in June 2021 that it would no longer offer its beloved salad bar, a period of collective mourning ensued — or collective outcry, depending on which social media comments you read. As of mid-December, the longtime South Burlington restaurant has transformed the boat-shaped space that once held that salad bar into an evening wine bar.

"Doing something different after over 40 years of having something the community loved is a hard pill to swallow," general manager Dan Phelan told Seven Days. The salad bar, he said, "was a great draw, but the pandemic gave us the opportunity to look at the variables from a safety perspective and a cost perspective. It was time to do something new."

The Windjammer team had discussed adding a bar to the downstairs dining room for a number of years, Phelan said, "to create a different dynamic to the busy, vibrant Upper Deck Pub" upstairs. Rather than lose seats by repurposing part of the Windjammer's existing dining room, they decided to renovate the salad bar space, keeping it boat-shaped with a mahogany bar constructed by Underhill company Tom Moore Builder.

The new 12-seat wine bar offers the Windjammer's full Wine Spectator Restaurant Award-winning wine list, along with specialty cocktails, craft beer and premium spirits. In addition to roughly 15 staple wines, several "higher-caliber" wines are served by the glass — and in more approachable three-ounce pours — thanks to a temperature-controlled, pressurized Cruvinet system, Phelan said.

Diners can order from the full Windjammer dinner menu or choose bar-only specials such as charcuterie and cheese plates; cold seafood appetizers with oysters, shrimp, lobster and crab; bone-in rib-eye steaks; wagyu steaks; and tomahawk steak for two.

"We'll offer things you'd see at a higher-end steak house somewhere like Boston," Phelan said. "The goal is to create a mellow finer-dining atmosphere."