Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dine on Nine: The New England House

This is the latest in a series of reviews I call Dine on Nine.  Route 9 goes all across the south of Vermont and is lined with several communities between Bennington and Brattleboro.  People from all walks of life end up on this little stretch of highway, and there are not just fun diners, drive ins and dives, but fine dining establishments offering up classic as well as innovative fare.  

West of Brattleboro, just before the long ascent to Marlboro, an interesting road side restaurant is serving good food and good times. Some would drive right by due to the brown exterior and subtle signage, and those folks are missing a comfortable and cheery dining experience.  I have kept going back as my curiosity has led me through different parts of the lunch and dinner menus. There are a side dining room and a square bar room that includes dining tables. On a Saturday night one may find a large contingent of one's neighbors enjoying the food and libations.

A recent late lunch with a friend included a shared appetizer of thinly sliced fresh tuna sprinkled with savory condiments that made it an excellent treat.

My friend, I'll call him Viking Dude, was very interested in the schnitzel, and so I chose the meal-size crab cakes (- yes, one is missing in the photo). The schnitzel was a bit dry and we felt that the very fine breading had soaked out most of the meat juices, but it was tender and the plate was completely clean at meal's end. We also felt that the breading was oddly devoid of any flavor and could have provided more ooomph to the pork. The crab cakes were finely ground with savory bread fillers and I would describe them as common or average, and a good size for a full meal.

The food is not especially innovative or extreme, but it's a good place to go with a large party that has varied tastes, like an office holiday party or a big family birthday celebration. There will most likely be something good for everyone.

The chef also likes to organize special themed nights, such as Italian night, so watch the website and outside marquis for information.

I've found service to be both attentive and responsive. In my experience the staff has checked for special requests a few times during the meal and kept up with drinks without being intrusive.  I have only one unfortunate experience of waiting almost an hour for my steak on a Saturday night, and the floor managers were so concerned that they did not charge me for the dinner, which was executed well and other than being very late, a good meal. 

I think this would be a nice choice for a night out with friends when you don't feel like having something too expensive or formal, and you want a varied menu of good choices. There's something of a mellow party atmosphere on a Saturday night in the bar that might be just the ticket for good times.

Those touring southern Vermont on Rt. 9 will find a very nice meal that should satisfy each person's tastes.

Full menus and more information about services and reservations are here: http://www.newenglandhousevt.com/dinner

No comments:

Post a Comment