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“Excellent Food and Outstanding Service”
Review of Guild Tavern

Guild Tavern
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $45
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Guild Tavern is a farm-to-table wood fired grill featuring local beef grilled over Vermont hardwood. The menu offers classic steakhouse entrees, wood fired mixed grills, seafood and vegetarian options, and an innovative cocktail program. More casual fare, such as local burgers, entree salads, and sandwiches are available for dining out any night of the week. Join us for your next celebration--our private dining room is great for bringing family & friends together.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Recently went back to the Guild for dinner with friends. The food was excellent. I ordered the mixed grill (steak and salmon). It was cooked to perfection! Excellent service. Love the ambiance, whether it is sitting at the bar or in one of the comfortable booths. Yes, it is expensive for Vermont standards, but well worth the price. Will definitely be going back!

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Thank sweetvt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 - 179 of 249 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2014

My second visit to Guild Tavern. Food was tasty and prepared well with the exception of my friend's burger ordered medium-rare but arrived too rare. I know this is subjective but the waitress had it redone. Food quality good, Servive excellent. Ambience clever and comfortable.

Thank Champlainer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We had our first Guild dinner on Valentine's Day and the only problem with it is that we waited too long to try Guild! The food was definitely among the best, if not the best, in the area. The service was heads-and-shoulders above any we've encountered at ANY restaurant in Vermont ... among the best we've encountered anywhere.

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Thank Penrose J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

After trying to get tables at several places downtown, decided to drive to the place. No regular tables available(7:30pFri) but bar seats(did not really get one as we got high table by the bar) are open.Hostess is fine/helpful & waitstaff are same. Soup - sweet onion is too sweet for my taste; clam chowder is better but too much canadian bacon. Since its a Friday during lent season, seafood was the order of the day and not having nearly enough time for dinner, sandwiches were ordered. Salmon burger(special) with a bit more fishy taste - not bad but seems to have to much additional greens/herbs as well. Fish and chips seems good. Crab cake was okay as well but again with too much herb/greens. Maybe a little loud but I don't really remember so it might not had made a bad impression.

Need to comeback to try the steak(s) to have a complete review.

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Thank pinoy99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

I have watched this restaurant for over a year - since they first opened. I live only about a mile away and the same group owns another very good restaurant in Burlington,The Farmhouse Tap & Grill. The early reviews of the Guild Tavern were very disappointing: the food and service just didn't measure up to expectations, and certain didn't seem to merit the premium price. I though that waiting a year for the restaurant to resolve its menu and service issues, would be long enough - IT WASN'T LONG ENOUGH.

Ambiance: My wife and I went on a last minute whim on a Sunday evening (about 7pm). The decor is nice ("supper club" as someone remarked). The first thing we noticed was that the hostess didn't offer to help us with our coats: she just stood by impatiently while we struggled with the cheap "Macy's basement racks" in the middle of the entrance set up for patrons to use, The lack of an offer to help is glaring - particularly since a week earlier we had been at another Burlington area eatery (L'Amante) where the hostess was eager to help us with coats, hats, etc. (Very bad winter this year in Vermont).

The next thing we noticed was an extremely loud group of 20-25 people in the bar area. Even though the restaurant is fairly large, they have done nothing in the interior design to dampen sound. The restaurant was only about 10% full, but soon into our meal, we both remarked that if we had come with another couple, it was simply too noisy for us to have been able to converse.

One major aspect of a "supper club" atmosphere that the Guild Tavern lacks is decent music. During dinner, we could hear no music at all. In any case, on this occasion, the group at the bar would have made music impossible to hear. As we left, by the front door (reigned over by the cold, unprofessional hostess) I heard some radio station blaring out. Certainly not any kind of supper music. (jazz would be the standard, wouldn't it?)

Drink: We started with Old Fashions as cocktails. The Guild advertises its bar's creativity and quality and the drinks were quite good. We also ordered a bottle of Clef de Sol Cabernet Franc. The wine was excellent!

Food: We ordered onion rings and shrimp & grits appetizers and the squash and quinoa cakes and steaks frites as main courses. The appetizers were good - particularly the shrimp and grits. The squash and quinoa main course was also good (a generous side of fresh spinach).

The steak frites were a major disappointment. I had read an earlier critique on TripAdvisor which complained that a steak ordered "medium well" turned out to be overdone. So, though I normally prefer steaks cooked medium well, I ordered "medium". It was still over done, charred on the outside and almost no pink on the interior.

But let me get to the heart of my complaint about the food. "Steak frites" is a very old Belgian dish, adopted by most French bistros. The heart is the "frites". The Belgians make the best "french" fries in the world. The soggy red potato strips served by the Guild Tavern with their steak frites, don't deserve the name "frites". Making up your own version of steak frites is like saying I'm going to make a cabernet sauvignon wine from some concord grapes. Doesn't taste the same, doesn't look the same, and it isn't cabernet sauvignon wine. The Guild Tavern doesn't serve steak frites. They serve a fairly nice piece of beef, over cooked, with some soggy (red!) potato strips. The tarragon butter was OK, but under the meat and not on top.

Service: The hostess was cold and uninviting, even though the restaurant was nearly empty. The waitress was polite and even friendly, but the service was perfunctory. She didn't know the wine and asked me if I wanted to keep the cork (after presenting it for my inspection). (Maybe they plan to keep the bottles to make lamps from???). The service was rapid (again - the restaurant was only about 10% occupancy). I would put it slightly below the level of a chain restaurant (Denny's, Red Lobster, etc.) - certainly not something you would go back for.

Having finally decided to try the Guild Tavern in spite of the early bad reviews, I can say that we will not be trying it again for another year or two.

Sorry guys. You just don't measure up against the good dining available in northern Vermont.

Dinner for two with cocktails, wine and tip, appetizers and main course (no desert): $220

Restaurant ratings are a very subjective thing, so I thought I would share my own scale with you:
5 ***** - Close to perfection
4 **** - I look forward to going back
3 *** - OK, but just not worth the effort (or cost)
2 ** - Extraordinary deficiencies
1 * - Avoid at all costs

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2  Thank gregv_ma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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