Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happening at Claire's and Around Hardwick

On our walls: Thursday, we open a new exhibit of recent works by Hardwick resident Marie LePré Grabon, a selection of drawings and paintings that refer to the Vermont landscape. Working in a variety of media, Marie explores the sense of place and time through color and composition. Marie has exhibited widely throughout the northeast and Canada. She received her undergraduate degree in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art and her graduate degree in Fine Art from Goddard College.

Come over for the Open House on April 6, 4-6 pm, to enjoy the art and meet Marie – if you haven’t had the opportunity before. The exhibit of artwork will be on display through May 30th.

Chip Troiano’s rich and textured photographs of life in Bhutan and Vietnam have filled Claire’s with light and color for more than a month. If you have a chance, come by Monday, March 30, for another look.

From our kitchen: Extended hours on Easter! We’ll be open, serving Steven’s unique “Blunch” combination of brunch and lunch items all day as well as an early dinner in the afternoon. We’ll offer full bar and coffee service throughout the day. Reservations are available from 11 am until 5 pm.

Afternoons are at Claire’s: Looking for a latté in the afternoon? A place to do some work over a pint? Maybe read the paper or a good book? Do you want to linger over a mug and daydream as the sun rises high over the river? Beginning this Thursday, we open at 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and sweets every afternoon except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If your interests are more electronic, we offer free wifi.

Thursday Music: Guitarist Art Edelstein brings us his warm and intimate sound this week on April 2. An East Calais resident, Art has two CDs available. Vermont Roads is a collection that recalls real people and real experiences, and his second celebrates that Celtic music through which his talent shines.

Don’t forget – Poutine and ‘Tinis Every Monday at the Bar. Crispy potatoes layered with tangy cheese curds and peppery gravy, best with a martini, draft, or wine special.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happening at Claire's and Around Hardwick

Poutine and ‘Tini Mondays: With plenty of chill left in spring, and only a few more weeks until tax day, what better way to spend a Monday evening than with a cool homegrown Martini and a bowl of hearty Poutine? Starting Monday, March 30, come by the bar at Claire’s for specials on Martini cocktails, as well as draft beer and wine, crafted and selected as the perfect accompaniment for a small or large serving of the most famous of Quebecois delicacies.

From the Kitchen: Steven’s Poutine is a variation on the classic. He starts by roasting chicken bones to provide a touch of caramel to the base for the gravy, adding trimmings of grass fed beef from Snug Valley Farm for more richness. A bit of butter provides creaminess and a hit of black pepper adds some heat. Steven fries the crisp potatoes and layers them with generous portions of cheddar cheese curds from Vermont Milk Company, which melt only slightly from the hot gravy. Share in a bowl or enjoy a small plate, with a Martini made from Vermont vodka infused at Claire’s with cranberries or blueberries.

Thursday Music: Singer songwriter Jeremy Raboin is back! Jeremy stopped by and just started playing one afternoon last year, and this week marks his return to Claire’s. Come by and see what all the fuss is about.

And don’t forget to reserve your table for Easter!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happening at Claire's and Around Hardwick

Greens! Early greens are now available, including arugula, tatsoi, red Russian kale, as well as radish, pea, and sunflower shoots, all grown in the new movable cold frame greenhouses at Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury. Read more from Pete about the season’s first greens at Pete’s Blog and something from Steven about community centered cooking in an interview at the Seasonal Chef.

From the Kitchen:
Enjoy Pete’s early greens in a salad with black radishes and apples, dressed with a lively vinaigrette combining mustard and cider, or tossed in the creamy tang of a buttermilk blue cheese dressing. Pair the salad with a glass of crisp Alsatian-style wine from Pirie, and you’ll really enjoy our pre-Summer warmth and sunshine. As the sun sets and the temperature cools, Steven’s Chicken Molé provides just the right amount of deep rich flavor and a dash of heat.

Thursday Music: This week, Great Brook Blues Band brings their central Vermont version of Chicago blues – as well as jazz and funk with maybe a taste of country. Read more about their “free range, organic” blues… Great Brook Blues Band

Entrepreneurial Food, the Canadian version:
Listen in to a Sunday morning report on Hardwick agriculture featured on the national radio network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Despite some broad brush strokes, it’s a thought provoking story, textured with the sounds of Hardwick, and you’ll hear a variety of perspectives from your neighbors. Hardwick on CBC Radio. A transcript of the story is also available.

Blarney: We are closed every Tuesday until May, so we wish you a "green" St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happening at Claire's and Around Hardwick

Spring Awakening! The Northern Vermont version - we’ve passed from the shortest, darkest, and coldest days. Daylight savings brings longer afternoons, rain washes away the accumulation of snow, and temperatures rise above freezing, even as we anticipate another few inches of snow.

From the Kitchen: What better way to celebrate the return of spring than with the season’s first bounty, the sap that comes from Maple trees as daytime temperatures rise above freezing. Boiled down into one of nature’s best elixirs, maple syrup from Caledonia Farms accompanies Steven’s light and creamy pancakes made with whole wheat flour and flavorful corn meal. Maybe he’ll add a hint of last season’s blueberries, put up for just this time of year when the start of the new whets our appetites for more. Reserve your table for Blunch from 11 to 3 every Sunday.

Thursday Music: A special night of music this Thursday, March 12, with Dave Keller, who’s most recent CD is entitled Play for Love. Enjoy Dave’s lyrical songwriting that is both personal and political, his much praised mastery of the guitar, and what the Montpelier Bridge called “The jewel: his voice.” Learn more about Dave at

Entrepreneurial Food: The Center for an Agricultural Economy and the Vermont Food Venture Center welcome those interested in the value-added or specialty food businesses to a two-part workshop at Greensboro’s Lakeview Inn on April 7 and 8. "Recipe to Market and Selling Skills for Food Entrepreneurs" features presentations on everything from product development to marketing and distribution strategies. Contact Monty Fischer or Hillary Hoffman at the Center to register or for further information: 802-472-5840 or

Special Note: Thank you to all our friends who came by for Kristina’s last night managing at Claire’s. We all wish her well and look forward to hearing her perform once again.