Sunday, February 28, 2010

Celebrate Hardwick

Local Food: Sirloin steak grilled to order is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef, and ours comes from Helm and Nancy Notterman's grass fed beef at Snug Valley Farm just up the road. Served alongside French fries and carrots from Pete's Greens, the boneless sirloin comes from the top hind quarter of the animal. It's also Helm's favorite. The grassy richness of Jasper Hill's Constant Bliss cheese pairs well with the steak, and Steven includes sprout pesto to add a touch of green with a garlicky finish. Enjoy the steak with a glass of Boyden Valley Winery's Bordeaux-style Big Barn Red.

Around the Galaxy: Take part in the World Premiere of Ben Hewitt's book about the Hardwick area food system, The Town that Food Saved at Claire's on Tuesday, March 16. Steven has crafted a three course $25 prix fixe menu celebrating farmers and artisans featured in the book - come by before or after the book launch that night at The Galaxy at 7:00 to enjoy the special menu or our regular menu. And don't miss the World Premiere of Walking to Gatlinburg, Howard Frank Mosher's new novel, Tuesday night at Galaxy.

Music Notes: The Rustbucket Brothers, the acoustic/casual version of Rusty Romance, join us Thursday at 7:30. Don't miss their fun honky-tonk country and rock'n'roll tunes.

Local Events: Think snow! The Hardwick Trails are a great free resource right in our backyard. If you need to borrow equipment, there are snowshoes and skis for children and adults. Head out for a ski and warm up with a drink at Claire's.

The postponed 2010 Craftsbury Tour is Sunday March 7, and will be running from the Highland Lodge to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Look for Steven's roasted root vegetable bisque along the way.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stuffed Cabbage

Local Food: Steven takes Savoy Cabbage and fills it with sunchokes and grains from Butterworks farm and combines them with a carrot puree. Served on a sauce of cream and brown butter with tofu from Vermont Soy, and sprouts from Pete's Greens the combination of textures mixed with the nutty grains is a unique taste sensation. The final touch of gratinéed Hartwell cheese from Ploughgate Creamery on top adds to the rich and flavorful subtleties of this dish.

Around the Galaxy: On Tuesday, March 2nd, Howard Frank Mosher will begin his 100+ city tour in Hardwick! Pre-order your copy by March 1 to be entered in a drawing to win dinner with Howard at Claire's, following the World Premier of Walking to Gatlinburg on March 2nd at The Galaxy Bookshop. Then get ready for the second World Premier of the month. On March 16th we celebrate Ben Hewitt's book about the Hardwick area, The Town That Food Saved. Read all about it here.

Music Notes: Mark Struhsacker returns this Thursday at 7:30. Come check out his flat-picking guitar on bluegrass and traditional fiddle tunes.

Local Events: Celebrate the best of Northeast Kingdom food at Green Mountain Farm to School's Taste of the Kingdom at Jay Peak on Wednesday, February 24th. Sample dozens of dishes made by our local restaurants with the freshest ingredients from local farms. All proceeds benefit GMFTS and its programs to provide our kids and communities with nutrition and agriculture education and access to local, healthy foods. Tickets are $40 in advance: to reserve your tickets call Jay Peak Customer Service 802-327-2289 or contact Joanna Dillon .

Congratulations to all the Vermont chefs and restaurants nominated for James Beard Foundation Awards, including Bluebird Tavern, Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood, and Lara and Steve Atkins of The Kitchen Table Bistro.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Beer Battered Veggies

Local Food: Vegetables, coated in beer batter made with Switchback Ale, and lightly fried. Steven's winter twist features root vegetables - onions, rutabagas, parsnips, and carrots. You'll also find sunchokes, the uniquely nutty and slightly sweet tuber with a texture similar to that of water chestnuts. Dip each crispy morsel in our garlicky aioli, and this appetizer is great as a bar snack to complement a pint or cocktail while watching the Olympics, or as the introduction to a delicious dinner.

Around the Galaxy: Pre-order Howard Frank Mosher's new novel before the world premier event at Galaxy and be entered in a drawing to enjoy dinner with Howard at Claire's. On March 16th, Galaxy hosts another world premier, for Ben Hewitt's book about the Hardwick area, The Town That Food Saved. Pre-order the book before the event and Galaxy will give $5 to the Hardwick Area Food Pantry. Stop in The Galaxy Bookshop for details or read more here.

Music Notes: Cosa Buena is back this Thursday at 7:30. Come for dinner, stay for the Latin inspired jazz tunes.

Local Events: The Great Ishkabibble Ski Tour at Highland Lodge is this Saturday, February 20. The self guided tour of the Great Circle Trail begins at 9:30. Call 533-2647 to sign up.

Hours: We're open from 2:30 - 5:00 for baked goods, coffee and bar service. Join a friend, search the web with our free wifi, stop in for a break, read or host a meeting. Double the fun on Sundays and Mondays when we feature pint, wine, and cocktails specials, as well as the Monday grilled cheese, fries and Switchback for $7 after 5:00.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Local Food: While there are many different regional variations of poutine, the classic comfort food from Quebec, Steven stays close to tradition: salty cheddar cheese curds from Maplebrook Farm in Bennington, melted in a bowl of French fries and hot chicken gravy to create a rich and creamy appetizer. Try it topped with a fried egg for Sunday Blunch. By the way, Calvin Trillin called poutine the Canadian national dish (and explained its unique pronunciation) in this New Yorker article from November.

The Romance of History: Vermont's original republic might have missed out on the Declaration of Independence and drafting the Constitution, but we can still celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln on President's Day this weekend, when we're open every day for dinner, with baked goods, coffee and bar service from 2:30-5. Look for a Presidential Cocktail for Monday's bar specials.

President's Weekend also coincides with Valentine's Day this Sunday. At Claire's, that means Blunch and dinner service, as we welcome couples, families, and friends for a collective "be my Valentine" to our local farmers. Call for reservations.

Around the Galaxy: The Galaxy will host two exciting world premiers in March. Pre-order Howard Frank Mosher's new novel before March 2nd and be entered in a drawing to enjoy dinner with Howard at Claire's after the event. On March 16th we welcome Ben Hewitt and his book about the Hardwick area, The Town That Food Saved. Pre-order the book before the event and Galaxy will give $5 to the Hardwick Area Food Pantry. Read more about great reading here.

Local Events: Come to Claire's and The Center for an Agricultural Economy on Wednesday February 10 at 5:00 for a fundraiser to support the Neges Foundation and earthquake relief in Haiti. If you have an auction item you would like to donate, please do so at the Buffalo Mountain Co-op. For more information, contact Emily Lanxner at 472-5913.

Music Notes: Hardwick native Matt Renaud and Geoff Greemore join us with their acoustic covers this Thursday, February 11 at 7:30. Don't miss the opportunity to support our local musicians.