The locals in central Vermont having been hanging at the bar in droves since Scott, Matt, and Wes opened their beer mecca several years back. And when the Black Door closed in December of 2010, Chef Matthew Bilodeau took his talents down Main Street to join forces with Three Penny, patiently awaiting the dining room addition and kitchen build out. Now Matthew is in his glory and hitting full stride with his latest winter menu, show casing his abilities to buy locally and create flavorful dishes unsurpassed in Vermont. His understated slight of hand, subtle combination of flavors, and his uncanny ability to cook in minimalist fashion is unmatched.
Starting with the small pickled dish. Celery, kohlrabi, and carrots. No beans or cucumbers. Genius. The winter salad with spinach and Valentine radish, with a slightly sweet dressing was a visually beautiful and stimulating during these dark winter days of gray, brown, and white.
As famous as the burgers at the old Black Door (when Matthew was there) used to be, these could be even better. Starting with the homemade mayo and pickles under the perfectly cooked patty (I always suggest rare, it is locally raised beef remember!) cheese on top (local blue is terrific), and room for your accompaniments over that...... without everything sliding off the burger. The portion size satisfies all, as we all know 4oz. of beef is plenty when you need to leave room for the best beers on the planet (but there's always an option for a double). And the new mussels? I've been eating them for years, but never like this preparation. Huge bowl (well over a dozen) with apples, smoked pork, hard cider, and get this....barley. Wow, who would of thought. Service was as warm and attentive, Jennifer explained the menu to perfection. Get there early in prime times and enjoy the bar, there is usually a wait.