Dinner was prepared by my mom, making her lasagna (which is the best lasagna ever by the way), followed by a huge breakfast the next morning - pancakes, eggs, fruit, the works! Soon after we got a great maple syrup tour by their neighbor who taps and produces maple syrup right out of his house (okay, his syrup shack).
We hit up Burlington, walking around Church Street, farmers markets and having lunch at Vermont Pub & Brewery. It was busy, but I think everyone had a good time. By the time we got home, we only had a couple of hours to relax and get ready for dinner at the Starry Night Cafe in Ferrisburg, VT - which is where I'm headed with this post. I had only been to the Starry Night Cafe once before, with my family just prior to moving down to Florida. I had driven past it a hundred times, and it looked tiny and fitting, just on the side of route 7 next to a covered bridge. It looked quaint, and although I knew nothing about it, I always wanted to go there. Now I know that apparently, it's known as being one of the more upscale places in the area (Let me clarify, it's Vermont Upscale. Which means it's pleasant and nice and clean and has local food, ever changing menus, and although it does have a slightly 'upscale' feel, just like every place in Vermont, it's COMFORTABLE.). It is on the pricier side, but everything is local, and really very good. It's a good special occasion type place. And it's super cute inside - local art, a round room, and very cozy. Let me share with you some of the delicious things we had.
Fresh Maine Lobster Phyllo with Sprout Salad and Tarragon Vinaigrette
Sauteed Duck Bread and Confit Leg with Sweet Potato Celery Root Cheddar Gratin, Wilted Greens with Pancetta Red Wine Sauce, and Citrus Pistachio Butter
Grilled Misty Knoll Chicken with Smoked Apples, Baked Brie, and Seasonal Vegetables, and Sage Grilled Fingerling Potatoes
VT Cider Braised Pork Shank with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Wilted Greens, Smoked Cranberry Chutney and Crisp Parsnip ChipsOther dishes that weren't pictured included: Roasted Buttercup Squash and Pear Soup with Dried Cherry Creme Friache, Pappa al Pomodoro' Soup with Shaved Parmesan and Fried Zucchini Sticks, Cornmeal Encrusted Calamari with Yellow Curry and Coconut Dipping Sauce, Steak Tartare with Horseradish Slaw House Made Cheese Crackers and Cornichons, Mixed Greens with White Balsamic and Lemon Vinaigrette, Seared Organic Scottish Salmon with Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Wilted Spinach, Tomato Fondue, and Pesto Beurre Blanc, and a Local Venison Special. And of course, a bottle of wine and a few specialty drinks.
So the verdict? While I am only one of 10 people that enjoyed this meal, and we did do our best to share bites, I can only share with you my opinion on the foods I remember trying.
Lobster Phyllo: Um...seafood wrapped in a light flaky buttery dough served in a rich sauce - of course it's yummy!
Sauteed Duck Breast: I haven't had duck in a while, and dishes like this make me wonder why I don't have it more often. I think it was a table wide consensus that the confit leg was amazing.
Cider Braised Pork Shank: This was my order. I am never disappointed when ordering a pork shank, and this time was no different. Falling off the bone delicious, my only problem with this was the fact that I couldn't finish every last bite. In fact, I would like a Cider Braised Pork Shank right now please.
The Tofu Dish: Unfortunately I can't remember exactly what this was, I just know there were huge slabs of grilled tofu on my sisters plate. While I'm no tofu connoisseur by any means, I'm glad I didn't order this dish. I occasionally like tofu, depending on how it's prepared, but this was just too much, and I think my sister agreed.
Carrot Cake: Although I'm completely biased and find it hard to stray from my moms famous carrot cake, I'd have to say that they have something going here. The maple frosting was just enough and I loved the addition of pomegranates.
Steak Tartare: My go to appetizer. This one was pretty good, it could have used a little more of that horseradish 'kick', but I would totally order it again.
Mixed Greens Salad: The only thing that we ordered that we wish we could have taken off the bill. It was one of those dishes that everyone just stared at wondering where the $8 was. I mean, how hard is it to screw up a mixed greens salad, it's not like there are super high expectations there to begin with. One would think mixed greens would be, well, a variety of mixed greens. This was literally a small plate of 1 type of chopped lettuce. Maybe someone forgot to throw some sprouts on it or something, who knows. But everything else was so delicious, I think we all just tried to forget about it.
Salmon: I remember this being tasty, but nothing stands out as being particularly special.
Venison: I only had a small bite of this, and I remember enjoying it and thinking that it was cooked very well.
House Specialty Mixed Drinks: Tasty, although not seasonal.
So what's my final review of the Starry Night Cafe?
Starry Night Cafe - 5371 Route 7, Ferrisburg, VT
Total Price: Unknown, my father refused to disclose, although he did share that it was much lower than expected.
***All photos in this post are courtesy of Mr. Nich***