updated Dec. 28, 2017
For a magical dinner, head to the hilltops.
Some of the best menus in Vermont these days are prepared on mountaintops. Intimate, book-ahead, prix-fixe affairs, they feature many of the state’s top chefs and showcase Vermont’s small farms and craft spirits.
Killington’s Ledgewood Yurt is available for booking on Saturdays, and it serves a ski-in-ski-out lunch each day with dishes such as caramel whiskey butternut bisque and lobster salad. Bundle up and hop in the snowcat-drawn sleigh for a 15-20 minute ride to the yurt. When you arrive, you’ll find a three-course meal with a menu that can be tailored for kids and vegetarians on request. Prices range from $65 per person for the special “Family Nights” dinners to $129 for New Year’s Eve.
From Dec. 26-31, and on Saturdays through March, ride Sugarbush’s Cabin Cat, called the Lincoln Limo, to the top of Gadd Peak for a candle-lit wine-pairing feast in Allyn’s Lodge. The hearty meal includes hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, entree, dessert, wine and coffee. There, chef Gerry Noonan prepares roast lamb, chicken and other meats over the open fireplace. This season, on select Fridays, the lodge will offer a series of dinners that highlight a local beer maker (for example, Lawson’s Finest Liquids) or a set of unique wines, open for individual reservations. “One of the best parts of the evening,” Noonan says, “is after dinner, if the conditions are good, you can ski down by headlamp or moonlight.” Cost is $200 per person, all-inclusive.
A gondola ride away, the Cliff House at Stowe hosts select weekend dinners over the winter. In the past, its Summit Series Farmhouse Dinner series has featured the state’s exceptional cheese or small batch distillers, pairing their spirits with each course. This season, each dinner will feature live music by a local artist. Coming up, the Cliff House will feature a wine dinner, with live music by Darcy Cahill on Saturday, Jan. 6, and a winter-themed dinner with music by George Petit on Saturday, Jan. 27.