Friday, January 29, 2010

Autumn in Vermont '09

We've always wanted to visit Vermont in the fall coz we heard it's beautiful. We stayed in Stowe about 35 miles northeast of Burlington, for the 3rd time. Yeah, we love Stowe so much that we came back in the fall, first was in the winter for skiing and second in the summer. We stayed at the Mountainside Resort which we found online. The place is pretty decent and has a nice view from the balcony just like the one above. It's just a little dated but well-kempt. Afterall, we were out most of the time. When you're in a beautiful place like this, you would just wanna stay out most of the day like we did. There are so many things to see and visit like farms, events and festivals. Pumpkins are everywhere that's why I bought some decorative ones to take back home and they're still on my table up until now (February). I know it's time to toss it away but they still look nice, just as long as they're not rotting.

Below is the visitor's center in Jeffersonville where you can get maps and information or recommendations.

These gorgeous loaves of bread were from 158 Main Restaurant and Bakery in Jeffersonville where we had lunch twice. The restaurant was featured on Edible Green Mountains Magazine. I had their French Onion Soup and it was very satisfying, while my hubby had a Turkey sandwich on their homemade bread. Not many restaurants especially small ones make their own bread coz it's really time and space consuming. I was really surprised by how packed and busy they were despite their location, a small and sleepy town. It's not fancy at all but the food is awesome. Saw the chef and he looked like just got out of bed, or probably he forgot to comb and look in the mirror. There are so many great restaurants in Vermont that serve Traditional New England cuisine. In Stowe, our favorites are Harrison's Restaurant and Bar located in the historic village on Main Street right down the basement of a bank and The Blue Moon Cafe, a fine dining with a bistro feel. For breakfast, we always go to McCarthy's on Mountain Road, cash or check only. For people on a budget, Gracie's Restaurant isn't bad at all. We also like The Bee's Knees in Morrisville, a short drive north about 10 miles. I love their Steamed Mussels and Black Beans Burger. We've also stayed in Warren/Sugarbush or Mad River Valley area in the past and we love The Warren House, too bad they closed and I was really disappointed coz it's where I had the best Lamb Shanks. We also like The Common Man located in a 19th Century barn that serves New England cuisine using local produce. For lunch, Easy Street Cafe is the place to be. I had a half sandwich with a mug of Tomato Soup that was sooo good especially right after skiing. I've also tried their Asian Chicken soup which is very flavorful. Their Asian Seafood Noodle soup was also hands down. For a real fine dining, we headed to Pitcher Inn. It's a Relais and Chateaux approved inn, so elegant and fancy. We had a memorable dinner here. We were disappointed at Chez Henri coz the service was kinda slow and food is just okay. Not what I had expected from a French Bistro. Tucker Hill Inn used to run their own restaurant but closed down 4 years ago. I remember having great dinners there,too.

We visited the Applecheek Farm by the Clarks in Hyde Park for the second time. We had been here in the summer and bought some meat to take back home. They raise organic and free range chicken, Turkey, Emu, Muscovy Duck and grass-fed cattles. They taste really good that we went back to purchase more. They were having their Open Farm Tour day, just right timing or else we would have paid for a private one. So glad it turned out to be a sunny day.

We stopped by a roadside fresh produce stall called the Garden of Eden. The owner is a nice and friendly old man that he didn't want to stop chatting. We bought some fresh corn and Cherry Pie. He even showed us his little nursery where Tomatoes are growing.

You'll see a lot of picturesque sights along the way. We drove down to the border of New Hampshire and checked out small towns such as Norwich, Quechee and Woodstock. We tried to navigate the back roads on our way back but almost got lost, can't rely much on GPS, so always bring a state or road map with you.

I got this Pear Frangipane when we visited King Arthur Flour Co. in Norwich, Vt. Their store is expansive and it's every baker's paradise. I didn't leave empty handed, I had to buy what I needed for my goodies. I had to try this tart and it was up to par. I have their Baker's Companion Book and I haven't tried their recipe for this. Now I know how it's gonna taste.

This is one of the beautiful sights we came across. We had to stop for direction and eat my tart.

Woke up early at 7am and saw this hot air balloon from Stoweflake taking off. That must be fun!

Once again, the view from our balcony. Can't wait to go back, it really feels like home each time we're here. That's why Vermont is one of my favorite places to visit and hopefully retire in the near future. I'll just have to deal with the cold weather.

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