We wish we could take credit for discovering Hen of the Wood, but Food & Wine magazine, the New York Times, and the James Beard Foundation, among others, have already bestowed their highest praise upon executive chef/co-owner Eric Warnstedt. And with good reason: Warnstedt is putting his money where his mouth is when he says he supports local producers. Almost everything on the daily-changing menu comes from neighboring Vermont farms and foragers (including some 10 to 15 varieties of Vermont cheeses).
Warnstedt’s dishes tend to be meat-centric, with entrees such as LaPlatte River Angus Farm short ribs (long braised, and tangled among homemade pappardelle pasta) and roasted rabbit with cidery cabbage and fennel. Vegetarians needn’t fear, however: This kitchen plates excellent dishes using all manner of produce pulled from the earth not too far from the kitchen door. Housed in a renovated grist mill not far from venerable Stowe Mountain Resort, Hen of the Wood’s dining room exudes casual sophistication and charm.
Hen of the Wood at the Grist Mill
92 Stowe St., Waterbury, VT
Dinner entrees: from $16