Places to Eat in Burlington VT
BURLINGTON, Vt. — Denizens of this city’s hippie past still wander the local food co-op and cheerful pedestrian mall, Church Street Marketplace, but they are relegated now to the category of local color. Burlington’s new poster children are its chefs, bartenders, and brewers. In recent years the state, home to more cheesemakers and brewers per capita than anywhere in the country, has emerged as a destination for foodies. Despite its short growing season, the Green Mountain State has attracted top-flight chefs eager for a slower pace.
Since the opening of Burlington’s first boutique hotel, Hotel Vermont, a year ago, the city’s burgeoning dining scene has grown more sophisticated and more diverse. The chic hotel is an ideal base for a culinary tour.
Guests’ first taste of nouvelle Burlington cuisine is likely to be at the hotel’s restaurant, Juniper, a few steps up from the lobby with its granite, slate, and reclaimed wood. The name refers to 13-acre Juniper Island in Lake Champlain, a couple of blocks away, and chef Douglas Paine often cooks with that piney, coniferous plant.
Like the building materials, the hotel’s every detail, from Lunaroma Aromatic Apothecary toiletries to the ingredients in Juniper’s dishes, is locally sourced. Breakfast diners enjoy dishes of yogurt or oats from Butterworks Farm in Westfield. Dinner brings Vermont lamb chili with arepas and micro cilantro to start. Entrees include sandwiches such as black-sesame-roasted local turkey served with kimchi, Sriracha, and chicken liver pâté.
Paine’s cuisine is also offered at the Courtyard Marriott Burlington Harbor next door. Both hotels belong to Westport Hospitality, a small group based in Burlington. The Marriott’s just-opened Bleu Northeast Seafood restaurant, with a view of the lake, gives Paine a chance to work with local products as well as regional cold-water delicacies supplied by Boston’s Wood Mountain Fish. The resulting fare includes dishes such as seafood lasagna with scallops, lobster, fresh crab, uni béchamel, handmade pasta, and Maplebrook Fine Cheese burrata. Breakfast offerings include lobster frittata or fried oyster eggs Benedict with herb hollandaise.