Pizza, Pasta, and More from this Derby Restaurant| 05.18.18
Downside: Sound Echos So Gets Loud Even When Not Really Busy; Service Is On The Slower Side
Mountain Rating: 7.3/10
I recently had dinner with a friend at Vermont Pie and Pasta in Derby. I’d been to Pie and Pasta on a few other occasions, but it had been a while.
I was happy to see a varied menu, different from that which I had ordered from the last time I was there. On this occasion I was very impressed with most of the meal as it beautifully presented and absolutely delicious.
Appetizers and Cocktails At Vermont Pie and Pasta Restaurant
We started our meal off with some appetizers and cocktails. My friend ordered a Northern Border. This cocktail was like a Long Island Iced Tea made with raspberry liqueur and blue curacao in place of cola. The addition of raspberry gave it a nice bright flavor. I ordered their specialty raspberry cosmopolitan. This was made with raspberry vodka, limoncello, raspberry puree, sweet and sour, and cranberry juice. I am a cosmo fan and was very happy with this drink. The raspberry changed the flavor profile creating a whole new cocktail. This is one of those drinks you have to be careful with – it goes down easy, but packs a punch.
For appetizers we had to try a few things from the menu. I ordered the calamari. The plate arrived full of steaming seafood that was very crispy on the outside while being the perfect texture inside.
The menu had said it came with peppers. The dish arrived with far more peppers than I had imagined, making up half of the order. I’m not a pepper eater so I found this to be the only drawback to the dish, though it was such a large portion I still had to bring some of the calamari home.
My friend ordered wings from the appetizer menu. The plate came out with a nice presentation really showing off the size of the wings. The sauce was quite thick and coated them nicely. It was a little tangy with a slight heat that wasn’t overpowering, which is perfect for Northern girl like me who likes little very little spice.
The Main Menu
My friend ordered the lasagna rolls for her entree. I ordered the maple baked sea scallops and was very excited for the dish due to the menu description. The lasagna rolls smelled wonderful when they came out. The aroma of marinara sauce alone made my stomach rumble. They were served in a ramekin and covered with plenty of cheese. I had to take a couple of bites, and they were quite good.
Often, dishes like lasagna are made in advance, precut, and placed in the refrigerator poorly covered. This leaves the pasta dry and the filling crumbly. That wasn’t at all the case at this Derby, VT restaurant. The pasta was soft with a very moist cheese filling inside, and the sauce had great flavor. I thought it could have used more garlic, but it had been reduced nicely, wasn’t watery, and you could taste spices like oregano and pepper in each bite. The maple baked sea scallops were delicious. They came out with a bacon crumble on top. Bacon, scallops, maple, with a little bit of Maker’s Mark – what’s not to love about a dish like that?
I was surprised by the portion size. It consisted of eight whole, good sized, scallops with a few extra pieces. The bacon in the crumb topping provided a nice contrast to the softer scallops, giving them a little crunch. The best part of this dish though was really the three-fold flavor combination.
On first bite you experience a little crunch and the sweetness of the maple syrup. This is followed by a mix of the smoky bacon and the sweet, light taste of scallop. And once you swallow, you’re left with a sweet and smoky afterglow, which consists of maple syrup, the scallop juice, a hint of bacon and a deeper robust flavor provided by the Maker’s Mark.
The dish came with a rice pilaf side that went well with the scallops. The vegetable medley that was served as the second side was not quite on par with the rest of the meal. Being out of season, the squash had little flavor, but the addition of green beans helped to brighten them up a bit.
We finished the meal by splurging on dessert, something I rarely have room for – but thanks to a doggy bag I made it work. My friend ordered the maple Crème Brule. I love this dessert and was pleased with the flavor and consistency of the custard. The sugar crust was perfect, providing that satisfying crack at each bite.
I ordered the Chocolate Mousse. Each bite was light and airy with a silky-smooth texture. The dish was full of the deep chocolate flavor required of a good mousse, and of course I had to eat every last bite.
Dining at Vermont Pie and Pasta Restaurant in Derby, VT
Overall, Vermont Pie and Pasta is a comfortable restaurant. The dining room and bar have decorative elements from the north country that make the large space more cozy such as the woodwork, wooden beams, and a large stone chimney that greets you when you walk in. Darker tones also help to ground the space.
I have eaten at Vermont Pie and Pasta before and I’m always pleased with there presentation and bolder flavor choices. The price point is higher than many NEK restaurants, but the food I tried on this last visit was well worth it. Those looking for more budget-friendly options could still find a number of menu items to choose from such as pizzas, burgers, salads, and even some of the pasta dishes are under $20. Soups, chowders, their wings, and a few of the apps come with large portions perfect for a lighter meal.
Vermont Pie and Pasta is a great addition to the Derby restaurant scene. Add it to the list of places to try for romantic dinner out, a quick bite at the bar, for cocktails, or even sign up for one of their Paint and Sip events – they are quite popular.
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