Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Closer Look: Black Dog Tavern

Thank heaven for little black dogs, especially those of the Schipperke breed named Zorro! Zorro is the house dog at the White House Inn in Wilmington, VT, which is home to the Black Dog Tavern. Zorro also happens to figure prominently—in a roundabout way—not only in the tavern’s name, but also throughout the Inn (pictures of him abound).

Black Dog Tavern is where a quiet mid-week evening was spent dining on relaxing cocktails and appetizing fare. Although service was slow (we found out the hard way that reservations are a must), the meal was impeccable. Kudos ten times over to the bartender for improvising on a Chocolate Martini that, sans Godiva Liqueur, was as clear as water but replete with a rich, chocolaty taste that would make a Belgian Chocolatier blush.

Black Dog Tavern’s menu (yes, that’s Zorro’s picture) is not extensive, but customers have the option of ordering from the White House Inn’s Restaurant menu in addition to the Tavern menu.

Our dining for the evening consisted of a mix from both menus. The Goat Cheese Fritters with chutney were bliss on a plate—four delectable cubes of distinctively tart goat’s cheese breaded and fried to a hearty golden hue. One bite was paradise; two bites and my eyes rolled to the back of my head. Yes, it was that good. The chutney complemented but did not overpower the tasty treats.

The Smoked Trout appetizer served with crostini and horseradish cream sauce was near the pinnacle of the flavor wheel as well. Firm and smoky but not fishy, the trout was a definite palate pleaser.

French Onion Soup au Gratin and Mushroom Bisque rounded out the starters. A blanket of elasticized cheese hid a deep beefy broth laden with saturated bread and sweet onions of one, while a multitude of mushrooms swam in a rich and seasoned broth of the other. Both were immensely satisfying.

The meal began on a positive note and continued to hit soaring highs for the remainder of the evening. Black Dog Tavern's Lobster Roll—the second lobster roll that I have had ever in life in as many weeks—was simplistically sensational. There was enough lobster to stuff inside of two rolls, and the mildly sweet and chewy meat was a wonderful mouthful with every bite.

The Chef's Hand-made Ravioli Selection—Mushroom Ravioli—was topped with crisp asparagus and floated on a light cream sauce sprinkled with fresh chives. As with everything else, it did not disappoint.

While we had to wait a while for our meals to finally make their way to the table, once the plates were placed in front of us we had zero complaints and a multitude of compliments. In the end, our bellies were full and our appetites were well satiated. Should you find yourself somewhere along Route 9 in the Green Mountains in Wilmington, be sure to make Black Dog Tavern a stop on your itinerary. Just be sure to make reservations.

Black Dog Tavern
(Inside the White House Inn)
178 Route 9 East
Wilmington, VT 05363

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