Even though I live in the middle of nowhere, I am beyond blessed to have a world class restaurant a short 20 minute drive from my home in Vermont. It is called Ariel’s, and the owners, Lee and Richard, have become close friends to me and my family.
The atmosphere in Ariel’s is very reminiscent of old-style European eateries. The chef and maitre d’ live upstairs with their beautiful children and the Catahoola dog. The pristine setting in Brookfield on the pond (with a floating bridge) is primo, but it cannot hold a candle to the food itself.
With a serious emphasis on fresh, local food (long before it became so popular) and exceptional, affordable wines, Richard and Lee have set the bar so high that very, very few restaurateurs can achieve it consistently.
Lee can be glimpsed as you walk through the door working in her small but efficient kitchen. She prepares all the food. Richard is the wine and spirits expert, having had his own radio program called The Wine Guy.
Last night I went to a fabulous Farmers’ Dinner at Ariel’s honoring the local farmers and cheesemakers that supply their restaurant. I had the total pleasure of sitting with Craig and Angela Russell from Brotherly Farm (who raise beef and pork) and Allison Hooper (founder of Vermont Butter and Cheese).
I feel so fortunate to be a part of the remarkable food revolution that is taking place. Richard has also taught me how to forage mushrooms…and the chanterelles are out right now!