Places to Visit »Ludlow Lakeside Rental

Vermont Tranquility

As native Vermonter and dear friend Stacy told me, being in Vermont is all about a state of mind, not doing things. Considering that we were game for a full week of peaceful, pre-baby relaxation, nothing could have been better. Sure there are places to explore and activities to partake in (such as the Shelburne Farms, where we bought some incredible cloth bound cheese but were too late for tours) but mostly, with a view like the one we had, it was all about lounging lake side, taking in the trees and the breeze. Our rental house was on Rescue Lake in the town of Ludlow. It’s a tiny town, but there’s a Shaw’s for all you need to make your own meals, a cute spot for breakfast called The Hatchery, and, while we were not happy to have to find out, an extremely friendly Chevy dealership that was able to fix our car after it freaked out within hours.

The house itself, which we found on cyberrentals was clean, well appointment, comfy and perfectly located with a private dock and hot tub that we took full advantage of. It’s large enough to share with another couple with a second bedroom and the owners, who live next door are un-invasive but there to help if you need them. We spent full days on the dock, making friends with an adorable family of ducks. It was such a simple joy and one I could never experience in the city. As another reminder that we were far from the streets of Brooklyn, as if we needed one, the local paper declared the city’s biggest wedding – between a teddy bear and a rag doll.

While the house, with it’s view and amenities offered so much relaxation, we did venture out sometimes. Nearby are the gorgeous Buttermilk Falls, a winding park featuring several swimming holes and falls under green shade. It was empty early in the morning, but later in the season – when you can actually go into the water, it’s a favorite local attraction. We also took the scenic drive up Okemo Mountain, the nearby ski resort that looks like a 1960s abandoned space station in the summertime. I am a tad embarassed to say I was too lazy (and pregnant) to take the trail to the top, but am sure the views would have been worth it otherwise.

Click here for the rest of Ludlow Lakeside Rental

See more: Places to Visit

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on July 18, 2010

Restaurants »Woodstock VT: Simon Pearce and Osteria Pane Salute

1760 Main St Quechee, VT and 61 Central St. Woodstock, VT

Who knew Woodstock, Vermont was home to such esteemed, delicious food? You’d never guess it if you just stumbled into the most prominent main street eatery, Bentley’s (a pub food spot that doesn’t deserve scorn, but is not worth writing home about either) but nearby are two varieties of high end cooking: the romantic, waterfall view Simon Pearce (technically a few miles east in Quechee), and the dimly lit hidden Italian gem, Osteria Pane e Salute.

Simon Pearce is the epitome of established upscale dining. Waitstaff¬† in pressed white collared shirts, a heavenly view¬† – in this case a rushing waterfall located right under your seats, a seasonal menu of dishes that come to the table with considerable haute cuisine panache, and a crowd of oldsters lining up from the minute the dinner hour begins (advanced reservations recommended). While for normal day to day eating a place like this might be stuffy for Jim and I, Simon Pearce seems more custom fit for special occasions. Plus it’s in Vermont, where even stuffiness is a bit more laid back.

Natural stunning ambiance and crisp whites are grand, but I’d hardly be spending my time telling you much about them if the food weren’t great. We shared a tempura shrimp appetizer as well as a crab cake that was easily the single most tasty dish we had all vacation. Both followed by substantial main dishes, mine a flavorful roasted chicken over handmade pasta, Jim’s a hearty cod with gourmet mashed potatoes. We ended the meal on an equally decadent and high note with a walnut meringue dessert.

While Pearce is a fancy pants feast in the established traditional sense of the past few decades, Osteria Pane e Salute is the back to roots, modern version of the same idea. Instead of stuffy, you find warm and cozy, a locavore menu that tells you exactly where the ingredients come from, a mix tape that includes Serge Gainsbourg, dim lights and limited seating (definitely, definitely need reservations for this one). All in all, a place that both in style and food quality would feel right at home in Brooklyn, receiving rave reviews from Adam Platt. That it’s nestled in the upstairs of an old white building off Main Street only makes it more charming and special.

Dining here has options for many budgets, which is nice. A long list of excellent sounding thin crust pizzas fill the back of the menu while a $42 dollar four course meal pre fixe is listed on the front (the items from which can also be ordered a la carte). Since we were in vacation mode, we of course opted for the pre fixe and were thrilled with the results: buttery proscuitto and fresh handmade mozzarella, a decadent liver pate crostini, seafood pasta with a lovely rich sauce, calamari grilled to tender perfection, and last but not least, a homemade vanilla gelato dusted with licorice sea salt. The meal, to our surprise took over two hours, and we enjoyed every second.

If you’re in the area, or even a drive away, consider these spots for a nice meal out, depending on your mood. Neither will disappoint. Lots of photos after the jump- oh and the last is of a marshmallow sundae I had at the quaint and ultra friendly Mountain Creamery – great for a less fancy sugar fix.

Click here for the rest of Woodstock VT: Simon Pearce and Osteria Pane Salute

See more: Restaurants

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on July 11, 2010

Desserts »Maple Creamies

A Vermont Favorite

I’d never heard of the intriguing Maple Creamie before – but just a few queries about our summer trip to Vermont to some locals and it’s on nearly everybody’s list of must do’s. Fortunately we had a great spot near our Rescue Lake cabin for trying the local delicacy called the Green Mountain Sugar House. Leave it to the proud Vermonters to make a frozen dessert from their favorite export, and like the (real, non-plastic brown bottle) syrup, a creamie has a distinct sweetness with that maple after taste that beats the sugary chemical taste of many soft serves. These tasties can be found all over Vermont in roadside sugar houses and farmer’s market and it doesn’t seem like a Vermont summer is complete without one.

See more: Desserts

Be the first to leave a comment →
Posted on July 11, 2010