The Copper Grouse treated us well during our short stay in Manchester, Vermont. While hotel restaurants are often uninspired and lackluster, Kimpton tends to raise the bar with high-quality eateries at their properties.
Even if we hadn’t stayed at the Taconic Hotel, I still would have been drawn to this restaurant with its seasonal and locally focused menu full of healthy options. And because Kimpton is awesome, Ashton was welcomed with open arms on the gorgeous, sprawling patio for the first real meal of our road trip vacation.
Because we knew that much indulgence would take place in the coming days, we kept this meal nice and light, starting with the watermelon gazpacho with feta and banana peppers.
This was nice and refreshing, though admittedly not the best gazpacho I’ve ever had. The best was yet to come.
My favorite dish was probably this gorgeous salad with grilled peaches, beets, red onion and goat cheese. Every bite was crisp and fresh, perfect in its simplicity. It always makes me happy to find unusual and filling salads on a menu.
We went with all small plates, thinking we’d get small portions, but oh were we wrong. The Copper Grouse caprese featured a generous ball of burrata topped with crispy prosciutto served over heirloom tomatoes and a basil vinaigrette. Caprese is pretty much the one thing I could eat for every meal for the rest of my life and never get bored.
Tom, slightly concerned by all the vegetables and lack of meat, tacked on an order of chicken wings with maple sriracha and tarragon blue cheese cream. These were deliciously sticky and spicy, and the tarragon blue cheese was incredible. They might tie with Bluejacket for the best wings I’ve ever had.
Again, the portion was surprisingly large and we had a hard time finishing all of the food. While some of the large plates (which looked delicious) were fairly pricey, if you stick to the small plates (and don’t over order) you can easily fill up here without spending too much.
We enjoyed this meal slowly, taking in the quaint charm of the quiet street in front of the hotel and the mountain views peeping in the distance – the perfect start to our trip. The Taconic hotel had the most peaceful setting of any that we stayed at during our road trip, and the Copper Grouse was the icing on the cake.
The next morning we got one more taste with room service breakfast, in an effort to get on the road faster. The breakfast menu is much less expansive than dinner, but hits all the bases. We went with a Vermont omelet with maple sausage, cheddar cheese, spinach, toast and breakfast potatoes.
Our healthy resolve from the night vanished mysteriously, but we had to get some of those Vermont classics – maple syrup and cheddar.
And speaking of maple syrup, we had another dose on top of this piping hot buttery waffle – a.k.a what dreams are made of.
There was also a beautiful bowl of fresh berries on the side, a nice complement to an indulgent first meal.
If you find yourself in Manchester, don’t miss this restaurant.
The Copper Grouse serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends. The parking lot tends to fill up fast, and reservations are recommended.