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  • Writer's pictureAvalara Foodmaps Elves

Restaurant Week in Burlington, VT with Lizzie & Abigail

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

A UX Conference brought these two Avalarians to Burlington, Vermont. Restaurant Week was a very happy coincidence. Great prix fixe dinners for $40, and much more happened.

Abigail: Well, the first thing that needs to be said is that you went to Hen of the Wood without me!

Lizzie: I didn’t want to! The whole time I sat at the beautifully moody bar alone I felt like I was being unfaithful...

Abigail: I guess it was my fault for arriving at midnight, and I know it was Restaurant Week, because you told me! I was so glad you went because, honestly, I might not have gone myself if you hadn’t blazed the trail. I had the most amazing calamari over wilted greens and squid-ink agnolotti—a dish I’ll remember for a long, long time. Magical EVEN THOUGH you weren’t there. With a kickass Vermont unfiltered rosé. And, dollar oysters!

At least we got to have dinner together the next night at Juniper.

Lizzie: We really did grab Restaurant Week by the horns. While the track-lighting being misdirected right into my eyes negatively affected my people watching abilities, it did provide us with some really spectacular drink portrait opportunities!

Abigail: That dinner under the spotlight was all about YOU. And drink portraits. And molasses ice cream, once you combine it with the panna cotta!

Lizzie: That combo really made the night, didn’t it? Our server was so fabulous too, I hope he took our suggestion!

Abigail: I’m glad you mentioned it to him, because the molasses essence was somehow trapped in the ice cream without being freed by the panna cotta and whipped cream. And molasses is a thing you need to cozy up to in Vermont!

Lizzie: That weather was lovely. Misty, chilly, and soon as I arrived I headed to Lucky Next Door for another regional specialty, tourtiere, per your expert suggestion!

A hearty meal in a very welcoming and quiet setting after the long journey and tiny plane adventure it requires to travel to Burlington.

Abigail: I have never had tourtière myself, so I'm glad it panned out. Not so much the trout donuts I had to try at Monarch & the Milkweed after you left. They weren't bad, but they were, as one might expect, weird. But, back to the tourtière, kind-of: How about all that French Canadian being spoken on the streets of Burlington?

Lizzie: I loved it! The signage all over the place in French as well. That reminds me of our lunch at the Skinny Pancake when that adorable French-Canadian couple was sitting next to us speaking so exotically (they could have been talking about the weather, but whatever it was, it was infinitely more glamorous than English) while we ate our crêpe-based feast.

I'm so glad we escaped the endless conference queue for the inevitably boring wraps!

Abigail: We peaked with the delicious savory morning scones at the conference; it was unsafe to proceed with their food. We learned that when we took to carrying around apples there.

Lizzie: They were HUGE. But the coffee we got from the made-to-order barista even held up to a Seattlite’s standards, didn’t it?

Abigail: Totally. As did the coffee we had at Uncommon Grounds.

Lizzie: But back to Monarch & the Milkweed. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect little restaurant if I tried.

Down to the milk service, to-go boxes and coffee creamers, every single detail was perfect. The pastries were to die for, too.

Abigail: I never got to mention to you that when I went back, I saw them branding the butterfly onto the napkins by heating an actual metal brand over flame.


Lizzie: Let’s talk about our adventures on “townie” street, one block north of the bustle.

Giant handmade dumplings by local legend Hong’s Dumplings, special thanks to Adam for recommending it to you. I was really sad when she didn’t have the sauce he wanted for sale so you could bring it to him! You can just see Bove’s old storefront across the street that was so rad we had to investigate it.

Abigail: Sigh, no Bove’s for us. Too late to the party. I hope Hong's lasts at least as long as Bove’s did!

Lizzie: I would have really loved to see that Italian-themed neon.

Abigail: I would have loved to sit next to that 1940s Venice-themed wallpaper eating something like cacio e pepe.

Lizzie: Well, if I ever see that sauce in a grocery store I’m totally going to buy it!

Abigail: I feel like it was a good thing I didn’t get to go to the Whiskey Room. I did make sure to have a classic sunset creemee before leaving town, though. And we won’t even mention the Mounted Cat Bar or the SAP!

Lizzie: Vermont is so wonderfully weird.

Abigail: In the spirit of this wonderful Gawker series of yore, we should ask ourselves as reviewers, "Is Burlington a good place to bring a doll?" My answer is an absolute yes. Especially if it’s an applehead doll. Have you seen those? Very big in Vermont when I was growing up. A good thing to use the HUGE apple in your pocket for.

Lizzie: I would bring a doll to Burlington. Finding a place for it on the tiny plane might be hard, you may have to buy it its own seat!

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