Dining and Socializing in Montpelier

What is fun about dining out in central Vermont? This week, the Montpelier Bridge decided to find out by sending a brigade of writers out and about to sample breakfast, lunch, drinks and dinner in Montpelier, Barre, and beyond. Be sure to grab a copy today and get your Dining Discount Card with special deals at locations including the Black Door, Kismet, Red Hen Baking Co., Rhapsody, and more.

Readers have been sending their thoughts about favorite places in town. Roger Crowley, former Montpelier teacher and who now spends his days photographing people and places, shared these reminiscences:

“In the 70’s and 80’s teachers spent a lot of time doing things together both in and out of school. The place now known as the Black Door was then called Fridays. Every other Friday was payday and teachers would leave school to do a little banking (no automatic deposit!) and gather at Fridays for some good food, drinks and endless conversation. It wasn’t just us teachers—our families would meet us there as they got out of school or work.

“It became routine for 20-25 teacher families to be yucking it up from 4 p.m. to 10-11 p.m. We’d make plans for next week, talk shop and eventually order meals while we waited for Jon Gailmor or some other talented musician to entertain us with song. Fridays became Julio’s and Phil Gentile (current owner of the Black Door) and Jane Edwards worked to carry on the tradition of having a great gathering hole not only for teachers but everyone.

“A first grade teacher at UES created a secret-coded announcement that she would blast over the school intercom on days teachers needed some special R&R. We all knew to gather at Julio’s when we heard her say, “There will be a special meeting of the Margaret Mead Society down by the school yard immediately after school today.” Julio’s was always the place where we gathered when we heard the “down by the school yard” announcement on the PA.”

Thanks Roger! Anyone else, thoughts about favorite gathering places in Montpelier?

Share the Harvest – Today!

The sixteenth annual Share the Harvest fundraiser is TODAY! It benefits NOFA-VT’s Farm Share Program. The Farm Share program helps limited-income Vermonters purchase CSA (community supported agriculture) shares of fresh produce from their local farmers.

NOFA Vermont believes that all Vermonters should be able to eat local organic food, regardless of their income level, while also making sure farmers get a good wage for their hard work. In 2010, the Farm Share Program served over 1,300 people statewide and 50 Vermont farms participated. The Farm Share Program is funded by donations and by the annual Share the Harvest fundraiser.

Participating restaurants, coops, and food stores participate in Share the Harvest by donating a portion of today’s sales to the Farm Share program. Participating Montpelier restaurants include The Black Door, Capitol Grounds, Hunger Mountain Coop, Julio’s, Kismet, Rhapsody, and Sarducci’s.