As the largest city in the state of Vermont, downtown Burlington succeeds in treading the line between a relaxed, lakeside city and an up-to-the-moment hub of vibrant cafés, restaurants, galleries and cultural events. Following on from our initial look at the restaurants in the area, we delve further into Burlington’s culinary scene, bringing you some familiar faces alongside some exceptional newcomers.
Zabby and Elf’s Stone Soup has family and a genuine love of good, nutritious food at its core, the chefs briefed to prepare all dishes as if they were destined to be consumed by their own family and friends. The culinary vibe is grounded in New York Jewish cooking and contemporary vegetarian cuisine, offering delicious options ranging from fresh challah and macaroons to hot brisket and maple-glazed tofu. The smell of bread and freshly made pastries greeting diners in the morning wafts from the open kitchen, which together with the soft music makes for a gentle and relaxed start to the day. Lunch and evening favourites include indulgent macaroni and cheese, punchy enchilada casserole and wonderful, fresh bowl piled high with steamed kale and brown rice.
Stone Soup, 211 College st, Burlington, VT, United States, +1 802-862-7616
Bleu Northeast Seafood prides itself on sourcing seafood raised in sustainable fisheries and served simply, to preserve the fresh flavour. The fish itself arrives from the cold Atlantic water of the New England coast, Alaska and the Maritimes, paired with flavours that reveal the sophistication of the chefs, drawing out unseen tastes and textures. Begin with a flourish and enjoy fresh shucked oysters served with mignonette, hot sauce and American caviar or perhaps Mount Desert Island mussels in a tomato saffron broth served with roasted fennel, a splash of absinthe, rouille and croutons. From here, progress to a cedar-roasted Faroe Island salmon with a warm fingerling potato salad, bacon vinaigrette and roasted green beans or move away from fish towards frenched chicken breast in wine, with smoked cheddar mashed potatoes, frilled leeks and a red wine jus.
Building upon its initial status as Church Street’s premiere coffee shop and café back in 1980, popular with artists, hipsters and business professionals of the day, Leunig’s Bistro has gradually evolved into one of the finest eateries in Burlington. The jaunty, Parisian feel of the café is detectable in the current bistro set-up, offering a true bohemian vibe whilst promising the height of professional, efficient customer service. Begin with a Canadian favourite, poutine, consisting of French fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in duck gravy, before lightening things up with the sophisticated and magnificent pan-seared cod crusted with roasted tomatoes and Kalamata olives, sprinkled with house-made Maple Brook ricotta and served with caper and lemon gnocchi, sautéed baby spinach, wild mushrooms, roasted aubergine and broccolini with fennel pollen and honey broth.
Established in 1993 by Thomas and Lori Delia, Trattoria Delia reflects the cultural and culinary prowess of Italy – a true celebration of Thomas’ Italian heritage. Befitting the gastronomical traditions it champions, Trattoria Delia is situated in the historic Vermont House, originally a turn-of-the-century hotel steeped in tradition itself. In the centre of the dining room sits a large stone fireplace, filling the space with a convivial ambience, alongside the characterful beams and Italian pottery scattered hither and thither. Begin with snails in herbs, rich butter, olive oil and Sambuca with wood-grilled garlic crostini before progressing to wood-grilled Spanish octopus, roasted potatoes, Castelvetrano olives and salsa verde.
Trattoria Delia, 152 St Paul St, Burlington, VT, United States, +1 802-864-5253
By Lucy Freeland