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“Even Better... Top Five of My Life”

Peter Havens Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 111 Restaurants in Brattleboro
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $32 - $50
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Peter Havens provides an elegant but relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy chef/owner Zach Corbin's accomplished cuisine. The menu has French and Italian influences (always house-made pasta and gnocchi!) But always has Zach's own culinary flare. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the intimate setting and often enjoy dining at our bar, where we serve innovative and exciting specialty cocktails. Our wine list is eclectic and ever-changing, with an emphasis on natural wines from France, Italy, and the US. Reservations are recommended.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

I've been eating at Peter Havens for years, and am in agreement with the vast majority of comments on here, that it is simply one of the best restaurants anywhere. Still, I think a lot of people are aware that the restaurant recently changed hands, and for many I'm sure they're wondering if this means a change in what one might expect. The answer to that question is, "yes."

The previous owners were two of the finest operators I've ever had the chance to experience, and I wondered if Zach, the new owner, could fill those gigantic shoes. My wife and I had the pleasure of dinner at Peter Havens this past Saturday, and I simply had my socks knocked off. Chef Zach has taken the incredible foundation built over nearly two decades and raise the bar considerably. It's not just that Peter Havens remains the best restaurant in town, or in the region, it has simply become a world class operation.

The service was spectacular; the environment remains so welcoming; and the food was of a level I don't think Southern Vermont has experienced before. Peter Havens has risen to a level that begs questions of when the New York Times will be visiting. I'm not kidding.

We enjoyed:

Bread and wonderful infused olive oil.

Mussels: They changed my wife's life. She's never been a big one for seafood, and she ate every last bit on the plate.

Seared Pork Belly: Cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside and melting on the inside, served with an Asian barbecue and white bean cassolette. Freaking perfect.

Breast of Chicken with Herb Veloute: Honestly, it's hard to impress me with chicken, while at the same time I consider it to be the halmark of a great chef. Zach did not miss a beat with this one. The chicken was prepared perfectly and the vegetables we beautiful and still retaining fresh snap, while being cooked exactly as I like them. Still, what makes the dish is the sauce. You just don't see chefs work with veloute anymore, and I think that's because it's a complicated sauce. While seeming so simple it is a high wire act that can easily pass over into the world of being pasty where it should be... well velvety. This one was perfection.

Braised Veal Shank: Well... this is where I move into a a whole different world of respect for Zach. Look, braised dishes are usually an easy layup for a chef... And as such, many just mail it in, but Zack's attention to detail is obvious in this preparation. Again though, it's the sauce... Honestly, I don't know when, or where Zach sold his soul, but it's not possible to make a sauce this good without having done a deal with the devil. The mouth feel was something that just rocked my world. I should be clear, I'm a professional chef, with AAA Four Diamond and NYT Four Star restaurants under my belt, and this sauce nearly made me hang up my apron and throw away my clogs. Simply put... this is one of the top five dishes I've had in my entire life.

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Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (218)
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160 - 164 of 218 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2013

Still one of the best restaurants around. Was somewhat cautious to go with Tom not working the room anymore but the food is still phenomenal and the atmosphere lively and exciting. The new Management really did the heavy lifting to ensure the transition was smooth and no drop off in quality or efficiency was lost. Only complaint was the loss of the delicious bleu cheese that used to be served with the salad course! If that was brought back it would be perfect!

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Thank micknavy45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We have been dining at Peter Havens for many years, especially during our annual visit to family in Brattleboro at Christmas. The food was always exceptional and the ambiance perfect. Tom, the previous owner, also made the experience special. in February we had an opportunity to eat at Peter Havens for the first time, under new owner and chef. We were not disappointed! Appetizers were delicious (the pate was uniquely presented and as good as we were used to), entrees wonderful, and Tiramisu perfect!
It was good to see the restaurant full even on a very cold Sunday night. Despite all the people, the restaurant was comfortable and not at all noisy. Food service was friendly and efficient! Although we did miss Tom's jokes!
We are looking forward to continuing our long tradition with Peter Havens!

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Thank pasrts4046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

crowded and noisy, food OK, nothing great, I went there for my birthday and our table was tightly squeezed to next table, it just wasn't as special as I wanted it to be.

1  Thank bridgeplayer76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

My friend and I enjoy eating at the bar if there is one at a restaurant. We enjoy meeting other people. We had a delicious dinner...loved the mussels and duck but we also met some great people. You must get there early to get a seat at the bar. I have been to Peter Havens twice and it just gets better.

Thank susan c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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