I recently tried some places in Vermont for the first time and wanted to share my experiences.
Simon Pierce in Quechee had the best views and ambiance. The service was impeccable from the time we were sat by the host to the end of the meal. This place is top notch with regards to its front of the house staff. The food was very good, but not outstanding however. The salad was a tad skimpy with the Great Hill blue cheese. A salmon, asparagus and Vermont cheddar quiche was fluffy and a bit heavy on the cheese, yet lacking in the other ingredients. The fish soup “Provencale” was generous with the seafood, but was watery and not authentic with the way it was spiced, (no fennel, anise, herbs de Provence, garlic etc.). Not bad, but not a “Wow, this is great!” experience with regards to the food. The meals were reasonably priced.
The Dutch Pancake House in Stowe serves authentic Dutch pancakes “pannekoeken” and, if I’m not mistaken, the only place in New England that does so. The service was personable and the atmosphere was quaint. The pancakes were very good. We tried one sweet and one savory and both were filling and tasty. The food was a bit expensive, but this is Stowe after all.
The Alchemist brewpub in Waterbury serves excellent beer. Known for their hoppy, innovative brews; this place is a must visit for beer aficionados. Many posts on this board speak highly of the food: “better than average pub food” and so on. I didn’t find this to be the case. Although the service was very good and the beer excellent, the food was just ok. The buffalo chicken wings were not juicy and there wasn’t a lot of meat on them. The blue cheese dressing tasted like it was out of a jar. The sweet potato fries were not fresh or “hand cut” on premises. The house-smoked sausage plate is actually sausage made off premises. Overall, don’t expect a fine culinary experience at the Alchemist, I’d recommend to just go for the great beer, ambiance and conversation.
A Single Pebble in Burlington was our best overall experience with regards to personable, enthusiastic service and excellent, authentic Chinese food. You rarely, if ever, find food this good outside of Boston or NYC in the northeast. This is a MUST GO foodie destination. The atmosphere is pleasant and prices reasonable. Thanks Liza for the excellent service (and the nice pebble).