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“Inconsistent but expensive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Claire's

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Claire's
41 Main Street, Hardwick, VT
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Ranked #1 of 8 restaurants in Hardwick
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Description: reviewed in NYTimes
Washington DC
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Inconsistent but expensive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

The food varied here. Some dishes were terrific while others just average. The service was also varied with our waitress rather "snippy". Our daughter ordered a cheese plate but asked for a substitute for blue cheese which the server said was fine. When it arrived with the blue cheese she made no attempt to change it. The entrees are not cheap here but the ingredients seem very fresh etc. There is a large and reasonably priced wine and beer selection. I would go here again but my wife and adult daughter would not......thus take a chance and see how it goees.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

75% Recommend
    24
    12
    7
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Worth the Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

I've been to Claire's a couple of times now while visiting northern Vermont and have thoroughly enjoyed it both times. A lot of restaurants in the city make a fetish of fresh, local dining, but few of those can claim such an immediate relationship with the farms with which they work as Claire's:

One night I asked the server if I should get one thing or the burger, which I hadn't tried, and the response was, "Well, the meat for the burger comes from my boyfriend's farm, so..."

I thought the burger (like virtually everything else Ive had there) was delicious, and I can't wait to go back.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Glover, Vermont
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Expensive/mediocre food but good cocktail special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

I've been to Claire's a few times and have never been quite satisfied. I went for a friends birthday and ordered the grill cheese special with fried vegetables. The grilled cheese was good but the vegetables were not. Apparently you could have a $2 switchback as part of the deal but it was not properly explained and I ordered the wrong beer and paid full price. The server also forgot my order, it didn't take long to get it after that but it was a little frustrating. After the meal I sat with my friends at the bar and got the cocktail special that the bartender recommended which was delicious. The overall experience kind of evened out, but it definitely could have been better.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermont
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Local is good-but overall just average”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

We first visited this place a month or 2 after it first opened, and were seriously under-impressed; poor--sometimes rude-- service, tough gristly steak, a rather disgusting vegetable tagine. hard wooden banquet seats and very high prices. At that point I'd have given it a 1. But years have passed, and when we were invited to be guests of a friend, we were interested to see if things had improved. And they have.
The food things: A steak was a good piece of meat, properly cooked to order, pork chops were tasty and tender, although broccoli was limp and overcooked, fried calamari on a bed of arugula and cherry tomatoes was just right. Mixed french fries were average but plentiful. Service was pleasant and efficient. One dessert, the pot de creme with maple whipped cream ($6) was excellent. The creme brulee ($9) had an odd texture, as if it had been frozen(?), but tasted okay. One burger came with a "Grilled " roll that was just so burnt in places as to be unappetizing.
The not-so-good: The room has high tin ceilings and a lot of hard wood, which makes it very loud and echo-ey, hard to have a private conversation without being at top voice. Those hard banquets are still there and although I requested the one with a cushion, we were out of luck there. I imagine this makes it easier to turn those tables over, but at the prices they are charging, that really should not be necessary. I find it hard to believe that they need to serve water and wine in jelly glasses. I'm guessing that this is supposed to be a "rustic" touch, but really it's just odd and unpleasant, and, again, at these prices, should not be necessary.
This is the only "nice" restaurant within a 40 mile radius, and everyone is eager to support local business and the farmers who supply them, so this review will not damage their profits. It is just intended to let the unsuspecting know that although the prices here are top tier, the experience will not be.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Amazing food, and its all local”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

So happy I heard about this restaurant in a book I read, "The town that food saved" I was so intrigued about this restaurant and its area. When I visited the food was amazing along with the ambiance and service, so glad I went out of my way to seek it out. I highly recommend it:)

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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