Butcher, baker ... cider maker? While the new tenants of the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center  — a bistro owner among them — don’t quite hew to the Mother Goose rhyme, they do run the culinary gamut. And they had much to celebrate last weekend as the center held its grand opening.
The former department store draws together Eden Ice Cider, Jocelyn & Cinta’s Bake Shop and the brand-new Brown Dog Bistro & Butcher Shop under one bustling roof. At the bistro, visitors can nosh on Québec-tinged dishes such as mussels with chipotle crème fraîche, local chicken liver pâté with ice-cider aspic, a glazed pork-belly sandwich, cassoulet, and chicken and dumplings.
The bistro’s duck rillettes also turn up across the hall on a tasting plate at Eden Ice Cider’s Tasting Bar, paired with Orleans Herbal Aperitif. The timely passage of a new Vermont law allowing tasting rooms to pour samples from a few other alcohol purveyors has enabled Eden Ice Cider co-owner Eleanor Leger to plan more ambitious tasting plates than she originally envisioned. They may include tarts and local cheeses paired with wines from Shelburne Vineyard and Lincoln Peak Vineyard, as well as with spirits from Caledonia Spirits, Vermont Spirits and Dunc’s Mill.
Customers can go home with muffins and breads from the bakery, or with local meat from the adjacent butcher shop, where the case is stocked with chicken from Tangletown Farm and beef from Spring Hill Angus.
Located at 150 Main Street, the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the Brown Dog Bistro is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Kingdom (Food) Comes."