Starry Night Café
- 5371 Route 7, Ferrisburgh, VT, 05456
(Published in 7 Nights 2004-05)
Astronomy is one reason to get out of Vermont's biggest burgs after sundown. Another is the cornmeal-encrusted calamari dipped in yellow curry and coconut sauce at Ferrisburgh's Starry Night Café. Addison County's most romantic restaurant is not just a dining destination. It's an eating odyssey that, from any direction, features some of the most scenic stretches of highway in Vermont. The restaurant takes it from there with fine dining in a funky-but-elegant atmosphere. After a couple of champagne cocktails, you stop noticing the trucks roaring by on Route 7.
A hand-carved wooden bar dominates the original dining room, which seats an intimate 28. In 2001, the owners added a second, more spacious eating area out back with a view of the patio and pond. Its rare, octagonal shape recalls the classic New England round barn — call it modern indigenous. Virtually everything in the restaurant is made by Vermont artisans, from the one-of-a-kind glass napkin rings and wrought-iron votive candelabra to the inventive dishes prepared by chef-owner David Hugo.
He's always on the lookout for local ingredients, but makes an exception for New Zealand rack of lamb, which he prepares with marrow bean, tomato, fennel and artichoke ragu. The one-page menu changes seasonally, like the sky. That's justification for at least four starry-night-gazing — and grazing — trips a year.