Vermont- Hen of The Wood
Located just on the edge of Waterbury, Hen of the Wood feels like some sort of magical oasis tucked away from the crazy world outside. Patrons enter in the front door to a series of fresh flowers only to descend down the stairs into a gorgeous dining room with rustic stone walls, chandeliers composed of long branches and a beautiful waterfall out back. It was so cozy and inviting I just wanted to hole up in a corner and stay all night.
The lighting was so dim the pictures didn't come out well but I'll try to give some highlights. Parker House Rolls with radish butter and a plate of Vermont cheese was the perfect starter with the Jasper Hill 'Moses Sleeper' being the favorite of the night; followed by crispy Squash Fritters drizzled with maple syrup and an incredible Beef Tartare.
There was nothing super fancy going on here, just perfectly seasoned chopped beef, farm fresh egg and a yukon chip on top; simple, well balanced, and delicious. For entrees the table split down the middle with half of us ordering the Goats Milk Dumplings with winter squash, hen of the wood mushrooms and pine nuts...
...and the other half ordering Hanger Steak with crispy potatoes, creamed kale and Hen of the Wood Pinot Noir reduction.
My only slight disappointment was dessert. I had been drooling over pictures of their Opera Cake online but it wasn't being offered that night. Instead I had some sort of Chocolate Peanut Butter Bomb that was good but didn't quite achieve an ethereal level of dessert happiness.
I enjoyed wine most of my meal but it's important to note that Hen of the Woods is currently the only place left in Waterbury to get Heady Topper on tap. So if your looking for that amazing DIPA outside the can you need to make a reservation here.
I can't wait to return to Hen of the Woods this summer. Only -22 degree temps could keep away from that waterfall table out back; next time nothing will stand in my way.
92 Stowe Street
Waterbury, VT 05676