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Hen of the Wood, Kitchen Table Bistro, and More … Mark Bittman on Great Vermont Restaurants That Keep It Local

Mark Bittman seems to be spending a lot of time up in these parts lately. He’s mentioned a few places he likes in columns and on his blog over the past year, and in the NY Times Travel section last weekend, he wrote in some depth on a few favorites.

Hen of the Wood chef Eric Warnstedt

Hen of the Wood chef Eric Warnstedt

He loves Hen of the Wood — and why not? This is one of my absolute favorite restaurants anywhere, with a combination of food, atmosphere, and service that is, frankly, hard to find in Vermont. I’d say that Bittman’s assessment of the Kitchen Table as “uneven” is spot on, too. We’ve eaten there a lot, and a good night there can be very good, indeed. But dishes can occassionally fall flat, and the menu doesn’t change as frequently as one might hope. Still, a great spot, good people, and like Hen of the Wood, serious about working with natural and/or organic meats and produce from some of the best local producers. Of course, on the high end, Bittman’s big omission — perhaps because it’s open only late spring-early fall — is the restaurant at the Inn at Shelburne Farms, where the ambition and level of cooking is almost in another league.

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