Summer Featured in the Menu at this Greensboro VT Restaurant| 08.23.19
Pros: Delicious Food; High Quality Ingredients; Tapas; Menu Items Unique to the Cafe; Full Bar; House Made Delicious Deserts; Location and Venue; Plenty Of Seating; Sunday Brunch Available
The Downside: Some Items Have A Higher Price Point; Not A Lot Of Options for Picky Eaters
Mountain Rating: 7.7/10
On a beautiful summer afternoon, we met family for dinner at the Hardwick Street Café in Greensboro, VT. A relaunch of the menu this summer added fantastic sharing plates, and a few new menu items that focus on the quality ingredients that can be found in the local NEK or Northern, VT region.
I am always so happy to see the art on the walls of both the gallery and the café itself. Large Glass windows and French Doors flood the space with light and bring the Vermont landscape in, almost like a mural along one side of the space. This light and the wood tones add to the open feel of the venue. All o these elements work together to make the gallery warm and inviting, unlike many ‘modern’ galleries I have been in that fee cool and industrial.
Upon walking in the café I immediately was drawn to the new artist on the walls. The work of Carrie Bagalio captured the spirit of the people in Vermont, and before I had even taken a look at the menu, I was ready to purchase a few prints.
Once I finally settled in at my table, we browsed the menu. I was happy to see that a favorite dish from a past visit, the salmon plate, had made the cut so we did order this to start. But new to the menu where mussels and an artisan cheese plate that featured cheese’s from around the area. We ordered both of these as well.
The mussels were well cooked and dressed with a butter white wine sauce. The presentation was beautiful and the portion size was decent for the price. The richness of the shellfish and butter paired well with the cheeses and salmon creating a wonderful assortment of flavors and textures. As a meal or to share as a cocktail hour sampler, I highly recommend these three dishes served together.
The cheese plate contained a local Blue Cheese, a sharp aged cedar, and a Manchego. This was served with dried apricot, almonds, dried cranberries, and some honey from Caledonia Spirits. Local matza crackers from Patchwork Farm’s Bakery finished off the plate. The mix of sweet, savory, crunchy, and salty is just what you crave from a good cheese plate.
We paired this with a few cocktails. I had the Tom Cat New Fashion, a take on the classic cocktail featuring Tomcat gin from Caledonia Spirits in place of whiskey. This is a gin made from honey and that has been aged in oak barrels to take on color and bolder, more whiskey like flavor. Substituted as the liquor element in an old fashion, and topped with a little candied orange, this drink was sweet with a deeper, robust flavor making it a great sipping drink to start the meal.
My husband had his standard vodka martini, extra dirty and our guest tried a shed ale.
While we were enjoying our appetizers, the patio filled with people who were there for a local musician. Full tables, and kids playing on the lawn brought energy to the evening. They also kept the kitchen staff busy running food. This all made for what you would expect to be a chaotic atmosphere, but inside the café the noise was at a minimum and there the atmosphere remained relaxing and laid back. Even once the music began, it wasn’t too loud. We were able to have our conversations but still hear what was going on outside.
After trying our first couple of plates we perused the menu again to see what else we might like to sample – having three of us there made it a little easier to try a number of things without being too full.
We selected an order of the fish tacos – and were not disappointed. Three soft shelled tacos were brought to the table. Instead of plain white fish or shredded fish, these tacos featured a piece of fried, battered fish as the main ingredient. This was topped with a slaw of cabbage and shredded carrot, as well as mango and red pepper with an avocado sauce and a little cilantro. These were delicious. The fried fish added texture and body to the soft taco. And the mix of flavors was refreshing yet heartier than most fish tacos I have ordered elsewhere.
One of my favorite things about the cafe is the quality of the dishes. They really focus on highlighting local farmers, local meat producers, local bakeries as well as their own baked goods. This really makes a difference in the flavor and taste of their food.
The cafe has taken this a step further this summer with scheduled Garden Parties. These events feature items from a local food producer/distiller/brewer, these items are then paired with other local spirits or wines to create specialty cocktails, or incorporated into appetizers for a 2 hour cocktail party held on the patio (or inside the gallery if there is rain) of the Highland Center of the Arts. All set to the sounds of a local musician.
These events are planned throughout the rest of the summer and early fall, and are really meant to highlight art in the Kingdom, culinary, visual, and musical: concerts, gallery openings, meet the artist events, author talks, local bands, chamber music, plays, dinner and a movie nights, workshops, wine tastings, the garden parties, and so much more brings the entire venue to life sometimes seamlessly blending the cafe and the larger art center into one fluid space.
There is so much happening at this venue that I really encourage you to take a look at Our Calendar, pick an event, and swing out to this beautiful spot for a night of entertainment and dining you won’t soon forget.
For the full menu and contact info visit