Fish Stew Club!? Simon Pearce Restaurant Makes it Worth Signing Up For
”I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx
There are exceptions to every rule. For me, it’s the Fish Stew Club at Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont- just a hop and a skip from the Village Inn of Woodstock. It began innocently enough. A few years ago I ordered one of the specials at lunch at Simon Pearce Restaurant. It happened to be the Provencal Fish Stew. One bite and I was hooked. It was like a trip to the south of France. Fresh fennel, tomatoes, mussels, an assortment of fish, baby spinach simmered in a white wine and lemon flavored broth, topped with saffron aioli and focaccia croutons.
My fish stew delight is heightened by the atmosphere. The restaurant is cantilevered over a waterfall, looking at a covered bridge. The atmosphere is both modern and warm at the same time. The glassware is all made by Simon Pearce artisans – hand blown, made in the USA. The dinnerware is also handcrafted by master artisans. Service is wonderful, friendly and efficient. For me, going to lunch at Simon Pearce is like being on vacation, even if for just a few hours.
Alas, that lunch ended, but my craving for fish stew did not. A few weeks later, I called the restaurant to see when fish stew would be on the menu again. The lovely Deanna, restaurant manager, answered my call. She asked if I wanted to be included in the Fish Stew Club. Too funny, I am not the only one that craves the stuff. Sure, I sign up, and will be notified by e-mail whenever fish stew is on the menu. Perfect!
Now don’t worry if you aren’t in the club, and aren’t sure if you want to join, either. As of this fall, the Provencal Fish Stew has become a staple on the lunch menu. Not sure if it will stay that way, but I sure hope that it does so that you can try this wonderful dish anytime.
While you are at Simon Pearce Restaurant, be sure to check out the glass blowing downstairs. It is a delightful activity for folks of all ages. You can also see the turbine that harnesses energy from the massive waterfall. The turbine produces all of the energy needed to power the entire restaurant and glassblowing operation. If you are visiting on the weekends, you can see potters at work. And once you’ve come to appreciate all that goes into creating these beautiful pieces, you can saunter back up to the retail shop and treat yourself to a one of a kind remembrance of your visit to Vermont.
If I sound like a hired hand for Simon Pearce, I’m not. I just have a real love for how well they do things. Our guests always rave about the excellent service at the restaurant. Personally I have a bit of an addiction to their glassware. The tables at our Woodstock Vermont bed and breakfast are topped with Simon Pearce hurricanes and their champagne buckets and glass ice cubes are in our tavern. And yesterday I was lucky enough to have another bowl of my favorite Provencal Fish Stew. Life is good.