Hands down one of the best restaurants in Vermont, Hen of the Wood offers local, seasonal meals in a cozy atmosphere next at its locations in Burlington and Waterbury. Named for an edible mushroom (also known as Maitake), the restaurant originally opened in Waterbury in 2005, and followed with its Burlington location in 2013.
The restaurant boasts a very Vermont dining experience, with locally source ingredients and knowledgeable staff who can talk to you extensively about the origin of the cheese on the menu. At the Burlington restaurant there’s a nice bar area when you walk in (the bartenders make a mean cocktail), and if you head to the bathroom, you’ll see the exactly where the meat is coming from, with a pig carcass hanging in the walk in cooler.
The Hen of the Wood menu changes constantly, but there will also be a great selection of Vermont cheeses to choose from for the cheese plate, and some locally raised meat for a main course (if the hanger steak is on the menu, get it, you won’t be disappointed).
If you’re not in a large party, grab a seat at the dining counter at the back of the restaurant– it’s where the food comes out and the final touches are put on. Grab a drink, order some cheese, and watch the chefs and sous-chefs at work – more likely than not something is going to catch your eye.