Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happening at Claire's and Around Hardwick

But for an alert friend, we might not have seen this! Each year, Condé Nast Traveler sends anonymous reviewers across the continents to locate what they call “the world’s most exciting new restaurants.” Imagine our surprise to learn that Claire’s has been included as one of only 43 restaurants in the US (and only 3 in New England) to make their 2009 Hotlist! Click here to see the complete North American list and read what they say about Claire’s, local food, and a community supported restaurant.

Big news from the kitchen: Local food well prepared for the community – who said you can’t cook local throughout a Northern Vermont Winter? In looking back over nearly a year, and through the changes Steven makes on the menu from day to day and week to week, what truly stands out is the impact we’ve been able to have in Hardwick and surrounding communities, thanks to our local farmers. During our first summer, keeping up with the rush of business, nearly 70 percent of every dollar spent for the food on Steven’s menu went to farms in our community. The majority of those are within 15 miles, and just a few are farther afield in the Northeast Kingdom. Most impressive were the results for our first winter of operations. During the coldest days from January through March, Steven highlighted our winter bounty so that we increased our purchases to 79 percent directly from farmers and artisans in our communities.

This might be the best that any restaurant has done in a similar climate, made possible by our supporters and friends who come back night after night to try new things and really appreciate what each season brings to our tables, and of course by our farmers who work every day to ensure that we have enough to eat locally. Their efforts really cultivate a new agricultural dynamic, where Vermont might be able to feed itself and supply healthy and flavorful food at home and even throughout New England.

Music Notes: This Thursday at 7:30, local teacher, performer, and writer Allen Church comes to Claire's. Allen is well known for his love of bluegrass and country as part of Broken String, and for the innovative "Celtic grooves" of the Church Restoration Project, which includes his son Jeremiah.

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