With October finally here the trees are taking on a slow but steady tinted grin in anticipation of an explosive vibrant smile of autumn colors. It’s this time of year that my mind gets wandering to one of my favorite places in the world… Quechee, Vermont.
Nestled in the mountains of Vermont, Quechee is the quintessential New England town. The old Yankee feel, quaint country inns and the covered bridges that are speckled across the country side – infamously making their way into memories of my time spent in the Green Mountain State.
One of my favorite places to visit while in Quechee is Simon Pearce Restaurant and retail store, located on the banks of the Ottauqhuchee River in a renovated former linen mill. The restaurant staff is amazing when it comes to finding gluten-free options on their vast menu offerings – most made with local Vermont products and all served on their own hand-blown glass or pottery. And after dining, visiting the glassblowing and handmade pottery workshops below the restaurant and retail shop is amazing.
And oh, how my heart broke this summer when I watched videos of the raging Ottauqhechee taking over this former mill, as well as the covered bridge leading up to the it – all due to the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.
But a little over a month later the Simon Pearce Restaurant & retail store is open now.
And although that covered bridge has not yet been replaced – it’s o.k. New Englanders are use to detours… those unforeseen alternative routes that build spirit and perseverance. The bumpy back road paths that allow history to be woven and make the ultimate destination all the more appreciated.
I am looking forward to taking in the beauty of Vermont this season with a new-found respect. My ultimate destination? The Simon Pearce Restaurant so I can enjoy my all-time favorite meal… Mediterranean Lamb Burger with Rosemary Aioli*. And like the trees covering the majestic Vermont countryside I too will be donning a vibrant smile as I happily ride on those back road paths… one expected bump at a time.
P.S. Want to help the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley? Purchase a Commemorative Barre Tealight made by Simon Pearce and $20 will be donated to the organization. As the Simon Pearce website says… “The Barre Tealight: Graceful, unpretentious, and warm…without being the least bit fragile. Just like the spirit of the people of Vermont.”
* Can’t make it to Vermont this year? Make my all-time Simon Pearce favorite at home.
Mediterranean Lamb Burgers with Rosemary Aioli
Mediterranean Lamb Burgers Ingredients:
2 pounds ground lamb
¼ cup sun-dried tomato (chopped)
¼ cup black olives (chopped)
¼ cup chopped basil
¼ cup (or less) olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Rosemary Aioi Ingredients:
2 cups mayonnaise (Check label for allergens)
¼ cup fresh rosemany (finely chopped)
¼ cup fresh garlic minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Use immediately or place in covered storage and refrigerate.
Mix lamb with tomato, olive, basil, olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill to desired doneness.
Place burger on a roll (I use gluten-free) and spread on top a teaspoon or more of the Rosemary Aioli.