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The Weathertop Blog

For area events & inn specials, as well as posts on our favorite topics - food, wine & travel...

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Recent blog posts

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Wagyu At Weathertop!

Our first shipment of Wagyu beef arrived today - beautiful, whole flatirons! I just finished trimming them up into 8 oz. portions and plan to offer them as a menu special starting tomorrow evening, while the supply lasts. What's so special about Wagyu? Without going into too much detail (you can Google it yourself...), it's as close as you'll come to Kobe beef, without flying to Japan and taking out a second mortgage to cover dinner. It's the same breed of cow, just raised in Texas. Oh yeah...in Texas, they don't feed the cows sake or give them daily massages (at least to my knowledge)...but the flavor profile is "reasonably" similar.

With such flavorful beef, we plan to honor it by keeping the preparation simple & seasonal. After a light dusting of smoked sea salt and freshly cracked peppercorns, we'll sear it on the BBQ, then serve it on a bed of heirloom tomatoes from our Gaylord Farm CSA basket. The finishing touch will be a toasted spice vinaigrette.

And what wine will we recommend? Give me the night to think about it - that will be the subject of our next blog. Tonight, we're having our "test" steaks with a Super Tuscan.

Bon Appetit!

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What's On Tap?

That's right...

To enjoy some of the local Vermont beers only available in kegs, we have added two draft lines at Weathertop Mountain Inn! Our current offerings are Trapp Golden Helles Lager and Lost Nation Rustic Ale. Golden Helles is a nicely balanced, golden-colored & filtered session lager with an ABV of 5.0%, while Rustic Ale is an amber-colored ale with more pronounced hop flavor (IBU: 40) and an ABV of 5.2%.

Enjoy autumn & the changing leaves in Vermont's Mad River Valley with a stay at Weathertop Mountain Inn. While here, sip a pint of each brew, and then move on to a can of Heady Topper. We'd say you've had the ultimate Triple Play!

Cheers!

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend our menu special was a stone-grilled ham steak, glazed with boiled cider and finished with grainy mustard. Our suggested wine for this dish was:

Laurent Kraft "Sec" Chenin Blanc, Vouvray AP, Vouvray (Loire), France, 2008

This is a dry Vouvray with light golden color and intense aroma & flavor reminiscent of fresh peaches, mangoes and orange blossoms. Crisp acidity and signature minerality perfectly balance the saltiness and tanginess of the glazed ham. If I had to describe this wine in one word - precise.

Dry Chenin Blanc is one of those wines that I don't have very often, yet every time I do it reminds me that I should utilize it more often...

Cheers!

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Bacon Has Its Day!

Since Saturday was International Bacon Day, we decided to celebrate at Weathertop Mountain Inn by serving our favorite uncured, fruitwood-smoked bacon for breakfast BOTH days of the holiday weekend. We continued the celebration through evening dinner service by featuring our Berkshire pork chops with house-made bacon-maple jam.

AND THE HITS CONTINUED...

For dessert, we served a dark-chocolate cake topped with a layer of marzipan and finished with a layer of dark-chocolate ganache. For guests who crave the combo of chocolate & bacon, we offered to add a few slices of our favorite bacon - hot, crispy & crumbly - on top of their chocolate cake. Why resist an urge? You can't enjoy dining to its fullest unless you have four feet in the trough!

Happy Labor Day and Bon Appetit!

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend our menu special was beef short ribs, braised low & slow, with plenty of fresh root vegetables, lentils and red wine. Oh yeah...we also added some bacon to kick up the flavor. This dish was crying for a BIG red wine, so our choice was:

K Vintners "River Rock" Syrah, Walla Walla Valley AVA, Walla Walla, Washington, 2011

Charles Smith, the owner of K Vintners, takes the concept of terroir to extremes. Not only does he retain vineyards in several Washington State AVAs, he bottles many single vineyard Syrahs to highlight their flavor differences. River Rock is no exception. It comes from the warmest region of Walla Walla Valley and, as the name suggests, the soil is comprised of ancient riverbed stone. These conditions should deliver wines that are big, bold & fruit-driven...and they do. The unique thing about the 2011 growing season is that it was cooler than normal, producing higher-than-normal acidity & tannins.

The final product is an outstanding wine, packed with blackberry, smoke & crushed stone flavors that last a really long time. The palate-cleansing acidity and refined tannins make it extremely food-friendly to boot. If you're into the rating game, Robert Parker gives this one a 95...not too shabby...

And the cost? Let's just say it's up there, setting you back about forty bucks. Consider it a worthy endeavor. As Charles Smith himself says, "It's just wine. Drink it." Indeed...

Cheers!

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

We received a bumper crop of beautiful cucumbers in our CSA basket from Gaylord Farm, so we decided to add a chilled cucumber soup to our list of appetizers. A cool & creamy summer refresher, this soup includes house-made yogurt, mint & cilantro. We've also modified our main course pork offering. Now, it is a Dijon mustard-glazed Berkshire chop served with the house-made bacon-maple jam "invented" and described in last week's post.

Bon Appetit!

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's wine choice was "all about me". I have a weakness for good rosé...any grape, any style and in any season. My choice was:

Circumstance "Cape Coral", Stellenbosch WO, Somerset West, South Africa, 2013

This wine comes from Waterkloof Estate and is made from 100% Mourvèdre. It is one of the most unique rosés you will ever try. While most have signature strawberry aroma & flavor, this one is all about peach & spice, and the color is a beautiful, delicate salmon. The wine is dry, but there is so much fruit going on that my initial impression was a hint of residual sugar. We paired it with a roasted vegetable & feta flatbread which really enhanced the fruit flavor. Then we added a dosage of music - groovin' on Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil". Just about as perfect an evening as you can get...

Cheers!

Cape Coral Rosé

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New Menu Item at The Shameless Carnivore

Slow weekend at The Carnivore, since most guests were at weddings or visiting family. However, that gave us time to "play" in the kitchen, and Lisa came up with a keeper...bacon jam...

This wonderfully flavorful, artery-seizing reduction includes North Country Smokehouse uncured bacon, onion, garlic, dark-roasted coffee, cider vinegar, brown sugar & maple syrup. Here you see it simply presented on fresh slices of zucchini, which happened to be our initial taste test. Starting Monday, you will find it on our menu, topping a cumin-encrusted Berkshire pork chop. That should be even better!

Hope to see you at The Shameless Carnivore soon!

Bacon Jam

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Detour Reminder

For those planning to visit Weathertop Mountain Inn and the Mad River Valley from now until August 18 (ish...), a bridge south of Warren is closed for repairs. If you are coming from the south, we suggest that you head north on either Route 7 or Route 22A, then come east over App Gap on Route 17. VTrans has a posted detour on Route 100, but it is a LONG way around. If you MUST come up Route 100, there is an alternate back road detour - contact us for details. FYI, the bridge that is under construction has a walkway available to pedestrians and cyclists if you were planning to cycle in that direction.

Happy travels!

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Time For A Trim...

We hate cutting down trees as much as the next person, but sometimes disease, encroaching power lines, guest safety and forest health make it essential. We decided to leave this project to tree experts (no, that's not me in the tree...), and had them do the entire property in one go. Several old & unhealthy trees were removed, while others were given a good haircut to keep them healthy. Most importantly, EVERY item removed will be replaced by either a Sugar Maple or a flowering bush, for aesthetics and erosion control, later in the season. We will probably never see them reach their full potential, but we have the satisfaction of knowing that somebody in the future will...

Thanks to Whitney Tree Service for their knowledge and a job well done!

The diseased ash tree is now gone...

That's not me in the tree...

Clearing some unhealthy pines...

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend saw a lot of grillin' at The Carnivore. The weather was also pleasantly cool, so a red wine was definitely in order. Our not-so-traditional choice was:

Duorum "Tons de Duorum", Douro DOC, Vila Nova de Foz Côa (Douro Valley), Portugal, 2010

This wine is a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional & Tinta Roriz from Portugal's Douro Valley. The aromas & flavors are reminiscent of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry & plum. Barrel aging adds spice & roasted nuts. The acidity & tannins are also sufficient to stand up to anything you might pull off the grill. And did I mention the price...considering the quality, this wine is so cheap you can't afford not to drink it...

Cheers!

view of the douro valley

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Peak Lily Season?

Hard to believe we're only two months away from our most popular peak season...foliage...

But right now gardens are in full bloom, the weather is great, and The Vermont Festival Of The Arts is in full swing. What more reason could you possibly need to visit the Mad River Valley this summer? BTW, if ya really needed them, we could give ya plenty of good reasons!

Hope to see you soon...no excuses!

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

This week we're introducing a new starch side dish - Bhutanese Red Rice. This heirloom rice is grown at over 8,000 feet and is irrigated by mineral-rich glacier runoff. It is a nutritional superstar, packed with potassium, magnesium, molybdenum & phosphorous. It is also high in fiber and complex carbs. The flavor is nutty & earthy, with a crunchy texture similar to wild rice. The brilliant red color, which looks great on a finished plate, is an added bonus.

Bon Appetit!

Bhutanese red rice packageBhutanese Red Rice Dish

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend we had a few life-long friends, an international cast of characters, staying at Weathertop for a long-overdue visit. Naturally, this required rummaging through the wine cellar to find something "a little special". It didn't take long to find that something. Our choice was:

Albert Bichot "Domaine Long-Depaquit", Chablis AC, Beaune (Bourgogne), France, 2010

Even better, we had a few magnums in inventory! It was a humid afternoon, which suggested a drier white wine. We were also going out to American Flatbread later that evening, so something lighter made sense too. This is a beautiful, textbook Chablis. Taut & steely, with a boatload of lemons, oranges and chalky minerality from start to finish. It paired well with afternoon nibbles - smoked trout, mixed Italian olives, Consider Bardwell "Dorset" cheese, crusty Red Hen bread and ripe pears. So much food before dinner? YOU BETCHA!

Friends don't let friends dine (or wine...) lightly...Cheers!

friends enjoying albert bichot chablis

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

Considering the exceptional quality of fresh vegetables in this week's CSA basket, we'll be highlighting them with interesting side preps - stuffed Cousa squash, wilted baby Swiss chard, balsamic-glazed beets, etc.

Even a shameless carnivore can enjoy veggies!

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We Couldn't Have Said It Better

For years we've been trying to come up with catchy little phrases that best describe what we're all about at Weathertop Mountain Inn. Long-time guests Kelly & Cheryl just left a note for us in their room which probably says it better than anything we have ever written:

"The Inn is actually a gourmet restaurant with well-appointed rooms to sleep in between meals..."

We think that just about covers it all!

Thanks guys...see you at Stage Race???

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What To Do With Old Barns?

Once no longer usable, make dining room tables out of them! While looking to replace the tables in The Shameless Carnivore, we stumbled upon a company that made table tops from old, reclaimed barn siding. We thought it would give a nice rustic look & feel, while at the same time being an enviro-friendly choice. Since these barns were 100+ years old, we can only imagine how long the tables will last!

Now it's time to put it all together...

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's grilled fish specials called for a clean & crisp white wine. Our off-the-wall choice was:

Zudugarai, Getariako Txakolina DO, Aia (Pais Vasco), Spain, 2012

Yes, the spelling is correct. Txakoli is a white wine made from the Hondarrabi Zuri grape. This particular vineyard is located on Spain's north coast, near the Basque fishing village of Getaria. The coastal terroir is key, producing a wine that is very dry, packed with green apple flavor and lifted by small, palate cleansing bubbles & crisp acidity. It finishes with signature salinity & minerality. I like to think of it as a wine with the best qualities of Vinho Verde, Muscadet, Cassis & Dry Riesling, all in one glass! Try it if you can find it...or come stay with us...

Cheers!

Zudugarai Getariako Txakolina Wine Label

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

We're highlighting super-fresh, whole Dorado & Atlantic Mackerel which we scored from our favorite fishmonger! Enjoy these wonderful fish in either a Mediterranean or Southeast Asian style.

Bon Appetit!

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Countdown To Fest

Hard to believe it's already the middle of July, but that means we're only two weeks away from the start of the Vermont Festival Of The Arts, located right here in the Mad River Valley. If you haven't done so yet, it's time to start making your plans! The Festival goes on for the entire month of August and offers something for everyone. Click here to go to their website, which includes a complete calendar of events.

Better yet...we're in the middle of all the activity. So stop by and see us!

Wishing You All A Happy Fest!

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