Friday, September 23, 2011

Restaurant Spotlight: Simon Pearce

Over twelve years ago, my wife and I fell in love with Vermont. It's not just the rolling green hills, fresh air and breathtaking sights. It's the people and the lifestyles that they lead. There's a sense of detachment from the modern world in Vermont. Good luck finding a McDonalds or Wal-Mart, and you're lucky if your cell phone gets a signal. However, you can find a cozy café, farm stands, fresh-made pies, maple syrup and cheddar cheese around every corner. For me, as a city dweller, that's what a vacation is all about, returning to nature without an itinerary or the modern world texting, tweeting or e-mailing my name. Over the last decade, I have made a point of revisiting Vermont on a regular basis.

Views of the river, falls and
covered bridge
Among all of this serenity and relaxation, one place that I must visit on every trip, is Simon Pearce Restaurant. Simon Pearce is located in Quechee, VT, and it overlooks one of the most beautiful Vermont landscapes that you can possibly imagine. However, even with all of the tourist appeal of the surrounding towns and the priceless view from their enclosed veranda, Simon Pearce does not rely on these attributes to bring in customers. What they do rely on is their ability to repeatedly deliver one of the best dinning experiences in Vermont and possibly even in the Northeast.

Seats with a waterfall view
The menu, created by Chef Joshua Duda, is all about simple rustic country-style foods with a global influence, made with the freshest ingredients and perfectly prepared by a deft hand in the kitchen. The service is impeccable, and in my experience, on par with the finest dinning establishments I've had the joy of visiting. This is all capped off by a smartly prepared, award-winning wine list that touches on regions from around the world. When you take the menu, service and scenery into consideration, I'm hard-pressed to think of a single restaurant that I'd rather be at. Simon Pearce excels at creating a unique dinning experience of the highest level.

Sullivan Harbor Smoked Salmon
There is one sad afterthought to all of this.  Simon Pearce and the scenic-covered bridge that spans the Ottauquechee River were seriously damaged during the flooding caused by Hurricane Irene. However, after a 20 day hiatus and what must have been a massive undertaking, the restaurant is now open for service again.

Ginger Seared Yellowfin Tuna
I can think of no better way to repay my appreciation for over a decade of wonderful dining experiences than by sharing this with my readers and urging you to visit. Vacationing in Vermont is a must. You owe it to yourself to experience this magical landscape and the people who call it home; and when you go there, Simon Pearce should be at the top of your list.

I'll be back there soon myself, and I hope to see you there too. Simon Pearce Restaurant
Did I mention that the sun sets over the river?  It's amazing!

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