My husband and I just returned from our annual trip to VT where the highlight of our stay is our intimate dinner at the Garden Cafe & Gallery. Chef Judy's cuisine never fails to delight and surprise us! This time, I began my meal with an absolutely fabulous cup of her Crab Corn Bisque. I have to say that the only problem is I wish I could have had a full meal of it -- really -- it is that good. Delicately flavored with luscious lumps of crab meat -- yum! My husband loved the Vermont Winter Salad with it incredibly fresh berries and light house-made maple mustard dressing. For my entree, I continued the crab meat theme and was delighted by Chef Judy's gourmet rendition of the crab cake with her Jumbo Asian Noodle Crab Cake. Served over shame noodles, seasoned with coconut and cilantro and finished with an amazing broth. The broth was so delicious that I shamelessly slurped up the remains with my spoon!! My husband's entree was equally delicious -- the Potato Crusted Filet of Salmon. The fish was cooked perfectly and tasted so fresh, which is not often the case, even at highly rated restaurants. Chef Judy always amazes us with the freshness of each part of the dish, the vegetables cooked to perfection and including her signature edible flowers -- even in the dead of winter.
For desert, my husband succumbed to an absolutely decadent but delicious Bourbon Pean Pie with fresh whipped cream, and I caved and ordered the Assortment of Tavernier Chocolates, made by local Vermonters -- exquisite with delicate very unusual pairings, a Dark Chocolate Salami -- with hazelnut, marsala, marinated fig, and rosemary shortbread! To die for -- all accompanied by a lovely Italian dessert wine.
And when we had finished every morsel of our meals, Chef Judy came to join us at our table in front of the dramatic circular fireplace and we enjoyed a lovely chat. Really, our winter trips to Vermont would never be the same without our trips to the Garden Cafe. In fact, we are considering coming in the summer as well just to have another chance to dine with Chef Judy!
With deep appreciation and admiration,
Bob and Sandy