Ferrisburgh’s Starry Night Café reopens with a new chef | Food News | Seven days

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  • Courtesy of Danielle Allendorf
  • Executive Chef Robert Smith III

Robert SmithIII, the new chief executive of Starry Night Cafe, had never even been to Ferrisburgh before his job interview in November. But the 29-year-old chef, who grew up in Jericho, was immediately impressed with the destination restaurant on Route 7. It’s “one of the nicest restaurants I’ve seen in Vermont,” he said. -he declares.

After temporarily closing in the fall, Starry Night smoothly reopened in late December. It currently serves dinner Thursday through Sunday, with a limited menu as the kitchen prepares, Smith said.

This menu will continue to evolve and be “in tune with the seasons,” as Smith said. One of his current dishes is a marina di Chioggia squash from North Ferrisburgh’s Farmer Hill which he seizes, compresses in kombu seaweed for days, then braises and reglazes in squash juice. “It’s like a vegan steak,” Smith said.

The steak tartare is cut to order and served deconstructed, complete with puffed buckwheat, shiso leaves, and a fork and spoon for guests to toss it themselves. A weekend special features cold-smoked Prince Edward Island mussels on sourdough and honey oat toast prepared by pastry chef Starry Night Courtney-Lucie.

Smith began his restaurant career as a dishwasher at the now-closed Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond. At 22, he moved to California, where he cooked at Providence and Sightglass Coffee in Los Angeles and the Michelin-starred Central Kitchen and Al’s Place in San Francisco. He returned to Vermont just two days before his Starry Night job interview.

“I have a contemporary approach [to cooking], with a lot of techniques and global flavors that I learned in California,” Smith said. “But it’s focused on Vermont’s bounty.”

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