Tuesday, March 4, 2008

road food in winter

The March thaw and freeze and thaw has arrived. Sugarhouses show signs of activity, though I’m sure everyone is waiting until after Town Meeting day on the 4th to fire the boiler. The damp of the thaw leaves our driveways slick and our bones cold, and the sky is somewhat dreary. It looks like rain.

Such a day calls for an outing. Any kind of outing to banish dreary thoughts. It is a day off, and we’ve heard about a general store not far from our village that is owned by a Frenchman and his wife, and words heard at post offices and dinner parties praise his omelets. We take our turn voting at our town hall, then take a break for lunch and drive over the Tunbridge Village Store.

Neat and clean and cozy, the village store boasts a kitchen and a small grocery. Judy and JeanPierre have been running the store for almost a year. They found themselves in Vermont because of their love of horses. Both come from an impressive background in hotel restaurant and fine dining service, cooking, and management. The Ritz. The Four Seasons. Two of their own restaurants. JeanPierre’s mother is Florentine, and his father is from Nice, and JeanPierre has a passion for making pasta.

We are too late for the omelet, but there is French onion soup, and pulled pork. We order both along with with a plate of imported bufala mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil (a hopeful dish leading us to look toward warmer, brighter days), and house-made sweet potato fries. The menu is small, which we like, and there is a good selection of deli meats, and some simple prepared dishes. We buy a bottle of local Vermont wine from Fresh Tracks Farm in Berlin, to taste a Vermont Frontenac Gris. We have the same grape clambering up our pergola.

We drive home and are able to get on with our day; we are thankful for having a new little village store to lead us out of town. We drink lapsang souchong tea all afternoon, and wait for the freezing rain they say will come by nightfall.



CrazyBunnyLady said...

That's a really pretty picture.

Deirdre and Caleb said...

Thank you! I took it after a lovely snowstorm. I'm making a wallpaper out of it. maybe a design for a rug...