Side Dishes: Brasserie L'Oustau opens in Manchester
When it comes to French food, southern Vermont has plenty of upscale options. That’s why restaurateur Michel Boyer and his wife, Beth Whitaker, wanted to keep things more casual when they left New York City to open an establishment in their longtime vacation destination.
After more than a year of work, their plans will come to fruition on December 28, when Brasserie L’Oustau de Provence  serves its first meal at 1716 Depot Street in Manchester Center.
The brasserie is a French institution and very different from a bistro, explains Whitaker, a graphic designer who crafted the logo and menus herself. While the former is more formal than the latter, brasseries are mid-priced, she says, and “It’s not fine dining, it’s boisterous and fun dining. The whole idea is just to be comfortable and have a nice drink and good food and good conversation.” Whitaker and Boyer hope their brasserie will be an everyday option for Manchester residents and visitors alike.
Boyer, who most recently ran Brasserie 8 1/2 in New York, will serve as general manager of the new restaurant. He concocted the menu alongside chef Brian Flanders , who left his executive chef position at Okemo Mountain Resort  to join the brasserie. The refined bill of fare includes classics such as moules frites and salade Niçoise, but also more modern choices such as skate wing with crisp capers and beurre rouge.
Sunday brunch begins on January 1, after which the restaurant will open at 11 a.m. each day and serve through dinner.