A Must Eat In Brattleboro, Vermont – Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery
01 August 2013
If you’ve ever been to Brattleboro, Vermont then you know that the energy in this small town (population just over 12,000) is vibrant and relaxed. It’s an open-minded village with a food co-op as the central supermarket. Nestled next to the Connecticut River in the southeast corner of the state, you can easily hop over the border to shop in Keene, New Hampshire or shoot down south into the picturesque Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. Brattleboro is a central stop on the daily Vermonter Amtrak route that links Washington DC to St. Albans, Vermont (way up north along the Canadian border). Brattleboro is one of the best small towns in the nation, with a village center full of cafes, bookstores, and boutiques.
I’ve had the chance to spend nearly half the summer in Brattleboro, my mom recently moved here and I’ve been flitting between home and her new place. The first time I came to visit she wanted to check out a restaurant just down the road, Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery, or better known around here simply as, Whetstone. I fell in love and have been back over half a dozen times in the last two months.
Located between the train tracks and the Connecticut River, Whetstone is one of my favorite restaurants. When you walk in you immediately notice the industrial style that calls to the pinewood and foodie temperament of the Northwest. My mom and I, both native Oregonians, felt right at home. The restaurant has two stories, with a small deck on the first floor and a rooftop terrace serving as the top floor. There is a smaller menu upstairs, but if you can get a seat on the first floor deck you get the whole menu and the spectacular view.
The atmosphere, even on a busy night, is energetic and not stressful or too loud. On one occasion we wanted to sit on the top deck and had a 30 minute wait. They take your cell phone number and text you when your table is ready, you can even check the status of your wait through the automated service which is really convenient. Upstairs there is a cozy nook with comfortable couches where we sat with a pre-dinner drink while we waited for our table. It was the most enjoyable table wait I’ve ever had.
Their menu is extensive and you can get a wide range of salads, sandwiches and burgers, as well as main courses such as ratatouille and steak. I am gluten and dairy intolerant, and while I find it hard to stay completely away from delicious gluten and lactose laden dishes, I do try. Whetstone serves gluten free bread and pasta, they also have a wide variety of dairy free options! To start you have to try their apple risotto fritters, served with a chipotle ranch aioli, balsamic reduction, and micro greens. They are crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle, with just the right amount of kick from the chipotle aioli, and the balsamic reduction gives it a smoothness that is unmatched.
They have a variety of specials, and a sizable beer, cider, and wine list which comes separate on a stylish metallic clipboard. They have delicious gluten free beers and ciders. My mom ordered an Argentinian Malbec last time we went to celebrate my upcoming move, and it was fabulous.
Another draw is the Mexican Coca-Cola they serve that is made with real sugar cane and no high fructose corn syrup. Not to mention their specialty cocktails. Our favorite is the Killuh’ Bee Martini, made with vodka, ginger honey syrup, and lemon juice. It was an awesome surprise to find out that an old classmate from college was a bartender at Whetstone and the Killuh’ Bee was her original concoction!
We’ve walked down there at night just for the Killuh’ Bee cocktail and the apple risotto fritters! I have to say, without a doubt, I have never had anything on their menu that I did not like. Fresh ingredients, full salads, and flavorful combinations…I’m hungry just thinking about it. I think I have some leftovers in the fridge just now, I think it’s time to get my munch on.
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