Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge, photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
If we were to name one runaway star of this year’s food-and-drink Daysies, it would be Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge, the funky pizza place that doubles as a live-music venue in Stowe. Year after year, Piecasso has lost the Daysie for best pizza outside Chittenden County to the ever-popular Positive Pie, which now has locations in Plainfield, Montpelier and Hardwick. The rivalry isn’t just professional, it’s personal — the owners of the two establishments are first cousins.
So we can only imagine the bragging rights Piecasso owner Eduardo Rovetto has just earned. Piecasso cleaned up this year, winning four outside-Chittenden-County Daysies (best restaurant, if you’re paying; best lunch; best pizza restaurant; best pizza delivery). Now that’s amore.
Winooski’s carnivore wonderland Misery Loves Co. raked in two Daysies this year: best new restaurant and best lunch. And new Waterbury pizza place the Blue Stone edged out Barre’s Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen for best new restaurant outside Chittenden County.
Gary Ma at Asiana House, photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
This year we decided to divide the best-Asian-restaurant category into best sushi, best Chinese takeout and best Thai. We were surprised to discover so many readers don’t like raw fish — “No thank you, sir,” wrote one. “Yuck,” wrote another. Still, sushi fans rallied behind Asiana House, both in Burlington and Montpelier. When it comes to Chinese takeout, people still adore A Single Pebble; Eastern Dragon in St. Albans nabbed the Daysie outside Chittenden County.
Winooski’s Tiny Thai had the best Thai Daysie in the bag. But we ran into some trouble with the runner-up: A couple hundred people voted for Burlington Vietnamese joint Pho Hong. Don’t worry, pho lovers; we’ll make sure to add a Vietnamese category next year. In the meantime, runner-up status went to Asian Bistro.
Hill Farmstead Brewery, photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
When it comes to ice cream, we love our Ben & Jerry’s. But we wanted to find out which smaller, scrappier ice cream companies were winning over our readers. The clear winner was Island Homemade Ice Cream, which raked in almost five times the votes of runner-up Strafford Organic Creamery. With flavors like Vermont Maple Bacon and Pumpkin Cheesecake, we can understand why.
In Montpelier, Three Penny Taproom, which has won the best-bar Daysie several years in a row, was recognized for something different this year: best burger outside Chittenden County. In Burlington, that title still belongs to the Farmhouse Tap & Grill.
Big shake-ups in the booze categories: Hill Farmstead Brewery took the best-craft-brewery Daysie from longtime winner Switchback Brewing Company. And Caledonia Spirits — which produces Barr Hill Gin and Vodka — overshadowed last year’s best spirits winner, Whistlepig Straight Rye Whiskey, by more than 200 votes. In a new best-cidery category, Citizen Cider was the clear frontrunner.
Cheers to all the winners.
Best restaurant, if you’re paying[W] American Flatbread — Burlington Hearth
[RU] The Farmhouse Tap & Grill
[RU] Sarducci’s Restaurant and Bar (Montpelier)
Best restaurant, if they’re paying[W] A Single Pebble
[RU] Trattoria Delia
[RU] The Kitchen Table Bistro (Richmond)
Best new restaurant[W] Misery Loves Co.
[RU] Bluebird Barbecue
[RU] Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen (Barre)
Best breakfast/brunch[W] Penny Cluse Café
[RU] Sneakers Bistro & Café
[RU] McCarthy’s Restaurant (Stowe)
Best lunch[W] Misery Loves Co.
[RU] Al’s French Frys
[RU] 3 Squares Café (Vergennes)
Best sushi[W] Asiana House – Burlington
[RU] Koto Japanese Steak House
[RU] Matterhorn Restaurant (Stowe)
Best Chinese takeout[W] A Single Pebble
[RU] (tie) China Express – Old North End, Joyce’s Noodle House
[RU] Green Dragon (Morrisville)
Best Thai[W] Tiny Thai Restaurant
[RU] Asian Bistro
[RU] Thai House Restaurant (St. Albans)
Best Mexican[W] El Cortijo Taqueria Y Cantina
[RU] El Gato Cantina
[RU] Frida’s Taqueria and Grill (Stowe)
Best vegetarian fare[W] Zabby & Elf’s Stone Soup
[RU] A Single Pebble
[RU] The Skinny Pancake — Montpelier
Best pizza (restaurant)[W] American Flatbread — Burlington Hearth
[RU] Pizzeria Verità
[RU] Positive Pie (Hardwick, Montpelier, Plainfield)
Best pizza (delivery)[W] Leonardo’s Pizza
[RU] Big Daddy’s
[RU] Positive Pie
Best bagel[W] Burlington Bagel Bakery
[RU] Myer’s Bagel Bakery
[RU] Bagitos Bagel & Burrito Café (Montpelier)
Best burger[W] The Farmhouse Tap & Grill
[RU] The Shopping Bag
[RU] Worthy Burger (South Royalton)
Best creemee[W] Burlington Bay Market & Café
[RU] Al’s French Frys
[RU] Vermont Cookie Love (North Ferrisburgh)
Best place to get late-night food:[W] Kountry Kart Deli
[RU] Ahli Baba’s Kabob Shop
Best cheese[W] Cabot Creamery Cooperative
[RU] Shelburne Farms
Best food cart/truck[W] Hong’s Dumplings
[RU] Beansie’s Bus
[RU] Grünhaus Nordic Street Eats (Montpelier)
Best craft brewery[W] Hill Farmstead Brewery
[RU] Switchback Brewing Company
Best cidery[W] Citizen Cider
[RU] Woodchuck Hard Cider
Best winery[W] Shelburne Vineyard
[RU] Snow Farm Vineyard
Best spirits[W] Caledonia Spirits & Winery
[RU] WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey
Best locally owned ice cream company[W] Island Homemade Ice Cream
[RU] Strafford Organic Creamery
Best bar[W] Three Needs
Best coffee shop[W] Muddy Waters
[RU] Uncommon Grounds
Best tea house[W] Dobrá Tea
[RU] The Bees Knees (Morrisville)
Best bakery[W] Mirabelles
[RU] August First Bakery & Café
Best natural foods market[W] City Market / Onion River Co-op
[RU] Healthy Living Market
Best farmers market vendor[W] Half Pint Farm
[RU] Rookie’s Root Beer
Best CSA[W] Intervale Community Farm
[RU] Jericho Settlers Farm
Best wine seller[W] Cheese Traders and Wine Sellers
[RU] Dedalus Wine Shop
Best chef[W] Eric Warnstedt (Hen of The Wood)
[RU] Phoebe Bright (Blue Paddle Bistro)