My wife & I have been going to Southern Vermont for several years, and had always wanted to (but inexplicably hadn't) try the Reluctant Panther Restaurant and Inn. This past weekend we celebrated my wife's birthday there, and the Panther did not disappoint.
As far as restaurants in Southern Vermont go, this is an upscale affair (which means that anywhere else it would still be considered a "smart casual" dining experience). For starters, the dining room is very well appointed, the crowd slightly subdued and the waitstaff very professional. There is a very cool, small, wood paneled bar adjacent to the man dining room as well as a very quaint outdoor seating area off to the side.
Both my brother (a well traveled businessman) and my wife (born and raised in Paris) are wine aficionados, and both were very impressed with the extensive wine list provided at the Panther. Our appetizers ranged from mixed greens, seafoods and various meaty dishes all of which were very well prepped and served promptly. The size of the meals at the Panther are just right.
Three of the folks at our table ordered the Trout entree's and all were very satisfied. I opted for the Chicken Breast served on a bed of risotto, with asparagus. My meal was excellent, and the chicken was very tender and juicy.
This brings us to the desserts..... There is one in particular what I'd like to mention. The coffee and doughnuts. This is not of the Dunkin' Donuts variety (no offense to D&D), but rather one of the best desserts I have ever tasted. The dessert was so good, that I'd have to consider it as a possible candidate for an imaginary "last meal".
This is a really good restaurant. Great food, VT atmosphere, with just enough of a formal setting to provide a great dining experience.
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