Dining Al Fresco

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Ah, the warm months. Best for swimming, hiking, biking, farmers markets, and weddings. Oh, and my favorite activity: dining al fresco. That’s basically Italian for “in the cool (air)”. There’s really nothing better than enjoying food and drink outdoors, whether you’re grabbing a sun-filled midday break or enjoying a cocktail into dusk. In fact, there are numerous places around the Valley to do just that and given our limited warm weather months, you might want to hurry and partake.

When I stopped to think about it, I think every single Valley restaurant that is open in the summer has some form of outdoor seating. That speaks to how much us locals are interested in sharing our piece of natural paradise with you.  And it’s quite awesome for an outdoor dining enthusiast such as myself.

Knowing that, you could basically enjoy a different outdoor meal every week for the entire summer. Listen to the Mad River bubble by as you sit outside at Peasant or The Sweet Spot. Play some cornhole at Lawson’s or Kids’ Brook in Warren Village at The Warren Store or Pitcher Inn. Take in the greenery outside The Hyde Away or Mad River Barn. Soak in the afternoon sun Worthy Burger or The Smokehouse. The Waitsfield Farmers Market is the really just the ultimate al fresco experience. My family grabs breakfast there every Saturday, complete with live music and a lot of dog interactions. The list goes on and on. The point is you can enjoy great local food and drink outdoors just about anywhere you go around here.

Up on the resort, both our summer restaurants, Hogan’s Pub and Rumble’s Kitchen, have some serious outdoor spaces. Hogan’s might have the best deck views in a forty mile range and offers both shady and sunny seating. There’s a nice mix of light and hearty fare on the menu this season, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention that the infamous “Smash Burger” from the Green Mountain Lounge this winter has moved onto the Hogan’s menu.

The Rumble’s Kitchen patio on the other hand, my favorite spring après spot, is just as great in the summer. Capturing Lincoln Peak in its greener state while enjoying the setting sun is an experience worth having. Plus, you can take in the newly renovated Courtyard, now complete with cobblestones and soon to be new gardens and firepits.

If you really want to experience the new Courtyard, this weekend’s Brew-Grass Festival would be a smart way to do it. Over twenty Vermont breweries will be in attendance along with plenty of food and an earful of bluegrass music. I’ve been on a sour kick lately, so you’ll probably spot me near the Hermit Thrush tent most of the time.

See you on the mountain!
John Bleh
Public Relations Manager