Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happenings in Hardwick and at Claire's

From Kristina

The golden Tamaracks are holding out as our last bit of color in the landscape. Snow is in the forecast! Hear that skiers? Soon. I spread three loads of beautiful gravel on my deteriorating driveway yesterday with the help of a friend and his awesome dump truck. I felt like a little kid watching it work. Very cool. Also got more wood delivered. Will keep you all posted on stacking progress - because it is so riveting - though I may just cover it with plastic for next year.

Music Notes: Thursday, Jay Ekis will perform his eclectic blend of folk, rock and world music at Claire's. Music begins at 7:30. You can check Jay's music out at http://www.ekismusic.com/.

Cooking on Main Street: Steven's pumpkin crême brulée is still wowing diners, with the great pumpkins from Riverside Farm, Butterworks Farm's rich cream, and the most delicate eggs from Windhorse Farm. Finish the flavors with a hit of smokey maple syrup from Caledonia Farm. Crispy, creamy pumpkinny local deliciousness!

Book Notes: TONIGHT is Mad Farmer Poetry night at Claire's. Co-sponsored by The Galaxy Bookshop, this event will bring our local farmers together to read from the work of one of the great farmer poets of our time, Wendell Berry. Farmers will begin reading from Mad Farmer Poems at 7 PM, so make your reservations for dinner or just come on down to read or listen. We're planning on having a blast.

Holiday Plans: We want everyone to know that Claire's is available for booking holiday gatherings. So give us a call and we'd love to talk about how we can be part of your holiday celebrations. We will be closed Thanksgiving Day.

Stay warm. Peace.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Claire's and Hardwick Happenings

Greetings from Kristina...

The leaves are on the ground, the skies are gray, and the little New England houses look cozy as their owners rake and button up for winter. It is quite beautiful in that season-changing kind of way. The peepers have come and gone and now we have each other to keep us company as winter nears.

Music Notes: This Thursday October 23, we will be entertained by Town Wide Yard Sale. The band is fronted by Ben Roy and he has with him a fiddle player, a standup bass and a mandolin player.

Cooking on Main Street: New on Claire's menu is Steven's Pork and Pumpkin Stew with a Cheddar Herb Biscuit. The pork comes from Bonnieview Farm in Craftsbury, the pumpkin comes from Riverside Farm in East Hardwick, the onions and fennel come from Pete's Greens in Craftsbury and the cheddar cheese comes from the Vermont Milk Company in Hardwick. This is getting rave reviews so come try it before it's gone!

Book Notes: Don't forget that this Tuesday October 28 Claire's and the Galaxy Bookshop will be hosting a Mad Farmer poetry reading at 7:00 PM. Local farmers will be reading or reciting from Wendell Berry's fabulous book Mad Farmer Poems. So come celebrate farmers, poetry, food, neighbors, community, and the better world we'd all like to manifest. For more info you can check out the Galaxy Bookshop website at http://www.galaxybookshop.com/.

In the News: Gourmet Magazine has a story up on its website about all the cool agricultural activities happening in Hardwick. You can read it at "Hardwick Revival." Be sure to click on the link next to the story about Jasper Hill's new aging caves. Gourmet also published a story about community supported restaurants that features the Bee's Knees and Claire's, available here: "New CSAs."

That's all for now. We look forward to seeing you soon. Peace.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Claire's and Hardwick Happenings

From Kristina.

What a week! The colorful leaves on the trees are hanging on and the sky is blue and the sun is warm - perfect leaf peeping weather. And the peepers are out in force. I met one woman last week from California who had never seen fall foliage. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. Vermont sure puts on a good show!

Music Notes: This Thursday at 7:30 PM Jeremy Raboin will be serenading us with his guitar and very nice voice. He dropped by Claire's one afternoon with his guitar and started playing. We loved it. One of our waitstaff commented - "I'll work the night he's playing!" So, we booked him. Come on down and join us for another great night of food and music.

Cooking on Main Street: It's hard to pick out just a few of Steven's incredible menu items to highlight each week. I love hearing people try to express how delicious the food is. What we hear most is how intricately and beautifully blended the flavors are. One particular dish where Steven wows diners is his Vegetable Pot Pie. Fall squash from Riverside and Harvest Hill Farms, peppers and onions from Pete's Greens, leeks from up the road in Craftsbury, and garlic, all stewed in white wine and butter under a Flint corn crust. Not to be missed.

Book Notes: This Tuesday, October 14, Vermont mystery writer Archer Mayer will be reading from his new installment "The Catch" at the Galaxy Bookshop starting at 7 PM. I have been addicted to his mysteries forever and I love when he comes to town. As always, come on by Claire's for dinner before or dessert afterwards.

Social Notes: A singles group for local folks over 45 is forming in the Hardwick area. They will be meeting at Claire's on Sunday October 19 from 4-6 PM. The goal of the event is for folks to get together and make friends and organize activities. So, if you're over 45 and single, come on by for a drink and a bite to eat. Claire's of course will still be open to all on this day, so you can still come to dinner even if you are not single or over 45. :)

Energy Event: Friday, October 17, at 6:3pm - "THE POWER OF COMMUNITY - HOW CUBA SURVIVED PEAK OIL" will be screened at Hazen Union High School in Hardwick. Admission is free. The film focuses on Cuba's process of transition to a sustainable society as a result of their loss of fuel when the Soviet Union collapsed. The goal of this film is to give hope to the developed world as it wakes up to the consequences of an oil dependent culture. There will be a forum following film led by Vermont peak oil educator Carl Etnier, as well as a presentation of information from HEART (Hardwick Energy Awareness Resource Team), about local community initiatives to conserve oil.

Art Notes: Just a reminder that Lois Eby's beautiful paintings will grace our walls until November 4. Those are her paintings in the New York Times photograph of Claire's. You can read up on Lois and her work at http://www.loiseby.com/.

We are welcoming leaf peepers and others to Claire's this afternoon from 1 - 4 for coffee and dessert. If you are in the neighborhood, come by and say hi.

I think that's all for now. Peace.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Local Student Features Hardwick for Online Publication

Raised in South Woodbury, Hazen graduate and Saint Michael's College student Cailey McDermott returned to Hardwick last week as photo editor and reporter for the college's online student publication, The Echo. She had heard a lot about Claire's, and so McDermott brought her curiosity, camera, pen and notepad back to where she grew up - to find out what all the stories were really about. You can read her article and view a slide show of her work at the links below.

The Echo, "Revitalizing the Rural Economy: Claire's Restaurant and Bar is Locally Grown"

The Echo, "Claire's Restaurant: Servin' it up local" multimedia

Food Writer Marian Burros - who has a home not far from Hardwick and has spent many years in the area - reported in the New York Times yesterday on what she found in Hardwick over the summer. Her focus is on farming and the regional rural economy, and how local business people and farmers are returning to the area's roots in agriculture through successful collaborations and ongoing cooperation to generate jobs and economic growth. Burros' article has been among the top 20 emailed Times stories for two days (number 3 on Wednesday), and has been posted widely on blogs in the US and abroad.

New York Times, "Uniting Around Food"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Claire's and Hardwick Happenings

From Kristina:

Greetings all and welcome to all the new folks on this list!

First I want to thank all of you who are telling your friends about Claire's and sending them to us. We are meeting the most wonderful people. It is such a treat.

I also had the privilege of eating at Claire's on Saturday night. My family and some friends came up to celebrate my and my sister's birthdays. And we had a blast. The food of course was amazing, the service fabulous and Don's Margaritas just can't be beat. It was a great experience.

Book News: Tonight at 7 PM Rowan Jacobsen will be reading from his new book "Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honeybee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis" at the Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick. You can read more about this event and others at http://www.galaxybookshop.com/.

Debate News: We will be showing the presidential debate tonight at the bar. Come on down and watch the fireworks with us. It starts after dinner at 9 PM.

Music Notes: This Thursday the fabulous Bread and Bones will be playing at Claire's starting at 7:30. They are a rootsy acoustic folk trio. Award winning songwriter Richard Ruane fronts the band and they are really awesome. You can learn more about them at http://www.breadandbones.com/ and you can link from there to their myspace page to hear some tunes.

Cooking on Main Street: It's definitely pumpkin season at Claire's. Steven has a luscious pumpkin soup on the menu and a pumpkin creme brulee. So come warm up at Claire's and try our warm soup and enjoy our local bounty!

Tomorrow I'm off to Burlington to get my oil changed and my snow tires put on! Woo hoo! Winter preparations continue.

Don't forget, you can also check in with us at our new website - http://www.clairesvt.com/ and our blog www.newvermontcooking.blogspot.com for the latest and greatest news about what's happening in our little hills.

See you all soon.