Sunday, January 6, 2008

Food heaven: T. J. Buckleys in Brattleboro, Vermont

Food. Can. Be. Art. But so often isn't. We don't think about food as art that empower all the senses when you have a glass of milk or French Fries with ketchup. But when you experience something like a dinner at T.J. Buckley's, you realize that food must be the most multi-faceted artform there is. Not only is the visual senses involved, but it is also smell, taste, hot/cold, sound, and touch. It is a total experience, nothing like 'just eating dinner'.

T. J. Buckley's is a tiny restaurant housed inside an ancient diner car on a street in Brattleboro, Vermont (132 Eliot Street). It only has about 5-6 dining tables, and the kitchen is right next to you, so you can see the chef a few meters away while he is working. It is obvious from the very beginning that this place is not about making lots of money, but about loving and making exceptional food. The menu is short, but anything we ordered was out of this world. We had dinner here one night, and then decided to come back the next night.

Looking into the kitchen you can see the chef and his staff (only one other person), prepare your meal, from peeling apples to washing lettuce and taking out the steaks from the tiny fridge. Everything is spotlessly clean, smells great, and done with love.

Appetizer plate with chicken liver pate and slices of pears, apples, and cornichons served with crackers. So incredibly good!

The appetizer to the left was a small smoked salmon tart or quiche, and to the right is a beet salad. The presentation of the food was a feast for the eyes. Every little detail was part of the beauty, even the pepper corns were perfectly positioned on top of the salads!

A glass of champagne in handmade glasses.

There is only one other restaurant that I think is as good as this one - Albert's Kitchen in Trollhättan, Sweden. If you travel to Vermont, this is the only place you HAVE to eat at.

There are some reviews of this restaurant (here, here, here, and here). I don't think the restaurant itself has a web site.

I think the appetizer to the left is a crab cake, and to the right is their 'regular' salad, which is not regular at all. It includes flowers and petals of unusual, but really delicious plants, such as nasturtium (Indiankrasse).

Entrees, one New York strip steak and I think the one to the right was rabbit. I didn't write it down and it was more than 7 months ago, so I have forgotten exactly what it was, but it was fantastic. Melt in your mouth meat, excellent vegetables, and smooth mashed potatoes.

To the left is the salmon I had- outstanding, amazing, incredible! To the right is scallops with polenta. We have to come back here, this was a memory of a lifetime!

1 comment:

EH said...

Completely devastating 3 hours before lunch, I was hungry all morning!

It looks superb!