Hen of the Wood Restaurant Burlington, VT

07 January 2014 / By travel4foodfun@gmail.com
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Hen of the Wood, Burlington, Vt.

Hen of the Wood, Burlington, Vt.

This is the second location of the original restaurant, which is located in Waterbury, VT. The Burlington,VT outpost, headed by James Beard nominee Chef Eric Warnstedt, opened in October 2013.  It has the look and feel of a sophisticated ski lodge restaurant.  Upon entering the restaurant, your eyes are drawn straight to the open kitchen with a “chef’s” table dining counter.  However, you then refocus and take in all of the other elements: a modern, U-shaped bar, a roaring fireplace surrounded by plush leather chairs, stacked wood along the walls, and wooden ceiling beams.   The dining room seamlessly connects the bar with the kitchen.  The warmth of the restaurant is welcoming as you start to shed off the bitter cold of the outdoors.  We were lucky to have been seated at the kitchen’s open counter.  Watching the food preparation was part of the overall sensory experience.  The menu is heavy on small plates, which is what we prefer.  We had an amazing meal, starting with Martha’s Vineyard oysters.

Hen of the Wood, Burlington, Vt.

Hen of the Wood, Burlington, Vt.

Since we saw the preparation of nearly every dish, we were impressed that every oyster order was served with freshly grated horseradish.  This makes a huge difference.  The horseradish was not overly spicy and literally melted in our mouths.  We also had ham-wrapped rabbit loin which was beautifully plated with crème fraiche, apples, and frisee.  The loin was tender and the bacon didn’t overpower. Our third plate was mushroom toast topped with bacon and a poached egg.  Absolutely delicious and well balanced.  The fourth dish was a special of the evening: rabbit kidney with bits of bacon and two fried eggs on top a bed of quinoa.  Lora doesn’t typically like organ meat, but the kidney didn’t taste “funky”.  It was a flavorful lean protein.  The meal ended with a delicious pot de crème.  Intensely rich and silky, the chocolate goodness was topped with freshly whipped cream.  We have been to incredible “farm to table” restaurants in major cities throughout the US, and this restaurant rivals one of our favorites, Craigie On Main in Cambridge, MA.  This is a definite “must go to” restaurant in Burlington, VT. You will not be disappointed!

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