The story of a New Yorker traipsing into the woods of Vermont — if only to find a hint of solitude — is certainly nothing new. The insistent need for a change of pace or just a change in scenery lives within us all. We do it to stay sane; we do it to rekindle creativity and we do it to remind ourselves of a truer sense of reality – regardless of what that means to you.
For me it’s all of those things really, however I’ve always looked to Vermont as a deeper source of kindred inspiration. Vermont remains virtually unchanged, because it takes a particular type of person to withstand all the cliches of a rural American landscape. They must endure the question of “what do people do around here,” and come to terms with the fact that they must “come to terms” more often than not. It’s one thing to appreciate the colors of autumn or the quaint ski hills of the Green Mountains. But it’s another entirely to fall madly in love with the year round exploits and obtuse understandings of Vermont.
Where I fall in all of this I’m not entirely certain but I do know that I’ve always shared a special affinity for the Green Mountain State. And only images can conjure up the raw emotion of such a crush, so I will simply leave you with those.
Some clickables from the trip…
The incredible Troutlily Farmhouse in Waterbury played home base to my traveling office while Witty and uncle Aaron made the arduous journey to the top of Hunger Mountain. Liz and Javin are some of the nicest people around and a stay here is unrivaled by most in the Stowe region.
While there’s nothing quite like a family barbeque in the wilds of a Vermont summer, these two restaurants certainly make a compelling argument against. Hen of the Wood is hands down one of the best restaurants in the region. And it’s not just my opinion. Chef Eric Warnstedt was a 2011 and 2012 James Beard Best Chef North-East Finalist and was named as one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs. Hen of the Wood was featured in a slew of magazine and newspapers as well as featured in the book Harvest to Heat.
Prohibition Pig is a must-stop for craft beer enthusiasts, pickle-back addicts and those searching for a properly prepared brisket. The cocktail list is impressive, beers are perfectly paired with the rich flavors of the gastronomic explosion taking place on the table. My only regret was going here after Hen of the Wood. I recommend the reverse order.
A great find on the way home, we stopped in at Juniper’s Fare, a quirky little diner of sorts with a humanitarian element (they donate a portion of their profits to Everyone’s Child to help feed and educate children around the world ). The breakfast sandwiches were incredibly good and their maple cappuccino was pretty insane to say the least. Pop in and ask for Bernie and Lori-Ann for some good conversation. Some runners up… The Alchemist Brewery, Piecasso, The Whip, The Village Creeme Stand,