Overall restaurants were fine, not great. That puts the reviews in perspective that I read elsewhere. e.g. "above average" in Sugarbush area may be merely average in New York. Also the restaurants I went to have entrees < $20 for the most part, vs. say the Pitcher Inn which I did not go to but probably was much, much better.
- Chez Henri: Best in the area, but not mindblowingly better. Kitchy ambience works somehow.. it feels like it shouldn't but it does. Mountaintop location great if skiing. We went for lunch (didn't return to skiing). Burger was very good (but not special). French Onion soup very good (I don't have big FO soup game to qualify whether as special etc.). Girlfriend's salad seemed fine enough (area restaurants all had good salads). Service bad. Two waitors.. 1 is great, 1 is a bona fide disaster. We had the disaster. Mixed up order, took too long to bring stuff, forgot to bring stuff.. all over the place without being anywhere at the same time. Good menu/variety.
- John Egan's Big World & Pub: Not really a pub so much as a restaurant with great beer selection/bar. Suprisingly was the 2nd best menu out of spots we went to. They brought out same olive oil/garlic dish with the bread as the Spotted Cow -- I wonder if same owners? Food was good. Again not great, but we weren't expecting much. It was nice to get a good menu.
- Spotted Cow: Was expecting much much more than what it was. Limited selection of comfort food made well, but not special at all. Some folks talk about how this is the best restaurant ever etc... definitely not the case. Spaghetti meatballs, or shrimp scampi type food... very limited vegetarian options.. girlfriend was pretty unhappy.. Would go back with expectations very much in check (well executed comfort food at reasonable prices, but not special place). Would go to Egans Pub before this though.. I think quality there was almost as good, with better ambience and better hours. Sounds like Spotted Cow is more like a breakfast/lunch spot. A good place to know about but don't consider this to be a special at all... so I disagree with a lot of other reviews on this place.
Places didn't go but wish I did:
Michaels-good-to-go. Stopped by, but no on-site seating. Really unique menu for the area and reviews/menu suggest well executed. Take-out menu I grabbed copy of didn't mention any Jambalaya. vegetarian options include bean subsitute and 2 seitan dishes. my vegetarian gf didn't find them appealing so we didn't do take out.
1824: menu looked nice and given how spotted cow/chez henri fared, I left thinking this might fill in the gap of fine dining in the area. location is not in the center of things and I think that furthers the idea it might be a few levels better than spotted cow etc.