We went to Mr. Pickwick’s expecting and craving a British pub, you know, with pub food like burgers, bangers, fish and chips but what we got was an “upscale” British restaurant. Not that that’s a bad thing, just a thing. But after we ordered two beers (a Long Trail IPA for me and something for Chris that he can no longer remember – reminder to self, take notes during the meal) off the extensive beer menu (we’re talking pages here), it was too late to leave and go somewhere else.
So after taking a moment to re-adjust our taste buds and re-organize our dining options for the week in our minds, we perused the menu and made our selections. Chris started with the classic French Onion soup, this one done with four different types of onions and the standard bread crouton in the middle, covered with melted cheese. It reminded me of the soup I used to get back in the days of a local restaurant, the Wooden Nickel. We both liked it. I opted for the arugula salad, sprinkled with some stilton cheese, topped with a poached pear and served with a pear wine-reduced dressing, which was sweet – almost syrup-like. My salad was a winner too though I realized sometime the next morning it was supposed to come with some pecans which I don’t recall seeing. C’est la vie.
For our entrees, Chris enjoyed his Beef Wellington. It’s one of his favorite dishes and they made it in the classic way, topped with a bit of mushrooms, wrapped in puff pastry, and served with a truffled Madera gravy. Craving some serious protein, I went for the ostrich steak, served with two different sauces, a fresh yogurt mixed with lime and honey which gave some tang that contrasted nicely with the medium rare ostrich and some gingered fruit chutney which added sweetness, the dish was pumping on several cylinders. My only note on the ostrich is that while it was fork tender, it wasn’t juicy, but only having had ostrich once before in my life, I do not know if that is a function of the cut of meet or the preparation. Either way, I’d still order the dish again.
In addition to the main dishes, Chris’s Wellington was garnished with some green beans and baby carrots, and served atop some mashed potatoes. Mine came with some sautéed broccolini, and some rice, which I didn’t bother with.
For dessert, we chose the house specialty, a Spotted Dick, which from reading the menu seems to be a dessert that’s been around for a while. This one came with dates and figs in a “pudding” really, cake, ala bread pudding type of these, drizzled with a sweet sauce and topped with some vanilla ice cream.
During the main course, Chris switched to an Australian Shiraz, Monkey Barrel, which he really enjoyed (so much so that we later bought two bottles); he had two glasses of that and I felt compelled to share the second glass so he could drive home. I also had a cup of coffee with dessert. The total bill came in the $150 range which I consider pricey but I have a feeling we’ll learn that prices in Stowe Vermont, border on the high side do to the nature of the business environment (i.e., tourists).
So on the Kim and Chris three-star scale (three being make a special trip, two being go an hour out of your way for and one being, if you’re in the area, and need a place to eat), I’d give it one star.