Vermonters love their fresh dining options, and farm to table dining has become wildly popular. This isn’t surprising, as we love local goods and we all know that the best things really do come from Vermont. While there are many places to enjoy farm to table meals, Juniper at Hotel Vermont has taken it a step further.
Along with impeccable service, their innovative menu and unique seasonal offerings include things you can’t find anywhere else. From meats that were roadkill in their special “Wild About Vermont” menu last fall, to specialty made vodka and gin spirits which are made with local ingredients, to the carefully chosen vegetables and herbs by Executive Chef Doug Paine, you won’t find another place in Vermont like this. Let’s take a look at what sets Juniper apart from its peers.
You won't find an Executive Chef more committed to fresh ingredients than Doug Paine. As spring approaches, what Doug is looking forward to the most is getting back out into the woods to dig ramps and pick wild mushrooms. Wild edibles have always been featured on the menu and hand picked by their own executive chef. Now that's a treat, indeed. Watch Chef Paine as he discusses his relationships with local farms and artisans.
Committed to working directly with local farmers, the chefs at Juniper use over 40 different farms, artisans, and suppliers to source the best products available. One of the many partnerships is with Half Pint Farm in Burlington, where they source specialty herbs, tomatoes, hot peppers, flowers, and many many other ingredients.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you'll appreciate the fresh ingredients, artful presentation and exceptionally tasty dishes.
Farm to table brunch is the way to go, and you won't find a better place in the Burlington area.
One of the unique offerings in the past was the "Wild About Vermont" dinner which featured wild meats from Vermont. This idea was developed by Chef Paine, along with James Ehlers of Lake Champlain International and Louis Porter the Commissioner of the VT Fish and Wildlife Department. Paine wanted to have a take on the traditional Vermont game supper that would be a fun way to expose new people to the Vermont traditions of hunting and fishing. The menu offered wild deer, moose, beaver, duck, woodcock, goose, trout and salmon.
A few of the items were from - wait for it - roadkill. You see, part of a game warden's job is to respond to animals being hit by cars. When they get to the scene and the animal is still alive or not dead very long they can deem it fit for human consumption, and it is usually donated to people in need or charitable dinners. This is a long running program in VT and they thought this could show people the high quality of the meat, as well as showcase how tasty it is.
The other animals were donated by local hunters, fishers, and trappers. Juniper adhered to the Vermont Health Department's strict regulations which stipulate that this dinner be served in a function space separate from the main restaurant and be prepared outside of their main service kitchen. Rules were followed and Vermonters were treated to foods they may otherwise never get an opportunity to taste. Also, striving for a high level of sustainability, nothing was going to waste.
Hotel Vermont has the "Snail of Approval" from Slow Food, a certification that has strict requirements and is only given to restaurants committed to fair and sustainable practices.
Another aspect which makes Juniper unique is the ingredient focused cocktails which feature Vermont-made spirits. They have partnered with Silo Distillery to create a line of Hotel Vermont spirits, which brings a private label gin, vodka and lemon vodka to the hotel, creating the perfect base for many of Juniper Bar & Restaurant's signature and best-loved cocktails. Check out this video from Hotel Vermont!
The best place to taste these delights in the winter months is their outdoor ice bar!
When asked what is his favorite dish at Juniper right now, Paine tells us the fried chicken, which comes from Settler's Farm in Jericho, buttermilk fried and tossed with pepper jelly and caramelized brussels sprouts. But is the chef's favorite also the most commonly ordered dish?
Nope. The burger has been the most popular item on the menu since the restaurant first opened. If you're looking to venture out from their regular burger, try a cider glazed pulled pork shoulder sandwich with bacon, apples, and duck egg, on a fresh roll (pictured).
Vegetarian and vegan options are available at Juniper, too. This is one place where you really CAN have it all!
Are you ready to experience one of the most fresh and innovative meals you’ll ever have? Be a Vermont foodie and head to Juniper!