* Click here for rating key
Starry Night Cafe Restaurant Review: Stretching across bucolic farmland and framed by lake views, Route 7 is vintage Vermont. The lazy country road is also a detour that richly rewards intrepid diners. Only 30 minutes south of Burlington, Starry Night’s restored cider house feels a world away from the city. Lanterns hang like a constellation above its carousel-shaped dining area, throwing light off the room’s artisanal, pine board décor. One can’t help but feel at home. Executive chef Josh Krechel embraces the northern terroir, preparing rustic favorites like caramelized leek soup over cheddar crostini, and braised pork belly. Nearly every dish makes use of local game or produce. We like the Gruyère risotto, a tapas-size mound of creamy Arborio laced with sweet apricot served under tender grilled scallops. It pairs well alongside a glass of Russian River Chardonnay. Mustard-encrusted lamb makes a hearty special, but it’s the crispy sautéed duck that impresses most. Browned confit-style and served as rare filets, the bird is owner (and former head chef) David Hugo’s pièce de résistance. For an indulgent treat, don’t miss the café’s gourmet hot cocoa, a drink of melted chocolate kissed with cayenne. Decadent enough to share, it’s an inspired finale.