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On Monday, August 5, Vermont Arts Festival's Taste of the Valley transformed Sugarbush Resort into a foodie haven, as local restaurants and food vendors served up small hors d'oeuvres-like samples of signature dishes.
When faced with an almost overwhelming array of food, several strategies helped attendees hit all of the tables declaring defeat and turning in for the night, including limiting bread consumption—unless it's from Red Hen Bakery and Café, of course, and drinking plenty of house-made ginger beer from the Hyde Away Inn & Restaurant.
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Sippable samples were popular at this year's Taste of the Valley, with both East Warren Community Market and The Warren Store serving up cold cups of cucumber-honeydew and melon-basil soup, respectively. Akes' Den made a hot sweet potato-apple soup to complement its lobster sliders and Mad River Distillers poured samples of its straight-to-your-head First Run Rum.
Perhaps the prettiest dish of the night was The Inn at Round Barn Farm's smoked salmon and pea-mint soup dish—complete with tiny edible flowers—and The Common Man's sweet corn ravioli with summer vegetables came in cute, compostable banana leaf cups.
Seafood was also popular on Monday, with both Timbers Restaurant and Chez Henri serving up steamed mussels. The Valley's newest restaurant, Mad River Grill, went surf and turf with mussels as well as shrimp and lamb and Castlerock Pub promoted its raw bar night with hand-shucked Blue Point oysters.
For dessert, The Sweet Spot served up a delicious ginger-molasses cookie topped with lemon ice cream. And, as the sun set behind the mountain, Leonardo's Italian Gelato and Sorbet made for a refreshing, if cold, end to the food-filled evening.
While this year's Taste of the Valley is now over, keep tasting in The Valley all year round by visiting any of the restaurants and establishments continuously updating their menus.