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“Eating breakfast in a stately home”

The Inn at Shelburne Farms Restaurant
Ranked #3 of 33 Restaurants in Shelburne
Certificate of Excellence
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 20 May 2008

There seemed nowhere else to eat breakfast in south Burlington/Shelburne so we booked a table at the Inn. We didn't realise we'd be eating breakfast in a stately home. The food was terrific (I had oatmeal, fresh fruit and lots of juice), the service was impeccable and we were able to walk around the inn surroundings and drive around the grounds without paying the entrance fee. The next day we came back and did the 4 mile walking trail.

1  Thank Neil R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 - 153 of 153 reviews

Reviewed 9 October 2007

This is a review of our dining experience at the Inn at Shelburne Farms. As we live locally, we've never stayed at the Inn in one of the guest rooms, so we can't offer any thoughts about that type of experience, one way or another.

My wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on Sunday (Oct. 7) at the Inn at Shelburne Farms. We try to dine there once a year, though we did not realize the restaurant was still open into the fall. The Inn does not have central heating, and generally closes after the summer season.

We arrived in late afternoon in order to soak up the last rays of sun on the spectacular front lawn and flower gardens overlooking Lake Champlain. Fortunately, Mother Nature cooperated, though the temp was still a wee bit on the chilly side (approx. 60 degrees)...but in the sun, it felt lovely. The fall flowers in the gardens were especially festive and colorful. When the clouds rolled in a bit, we headed inside to the Library for a celebratory glass of champagne (Veuve Cliquot Brut, $16). The Library had just a few people relaxing, and we found two comfy chairs in front of the fireplace, and my wife and I chatted with the other guests for a while.

At dinner, we were summoned to the exquisite dining room, which long ago hosted Vanderbilts and similar nouveau riche royalty (or dare I say it, robber barons) 100+ years ago. The dining room overlooks the lawn and the gardens, and features a beautiful white marble floor with what I presume is black marble 'diamonds' in something of a semi-checkerboard pattern.

Our waitstaff was well-trained (which I often do not find to be the case at most Burlington area restaurants), and we began with a lovely bottle of Gevrey-Chambertin '03, from Harmand-Geofroy 1er Cru (Lavaux St. Jacques), priced at $105. As this is a bottle that likely sells for $40 to $50 retail, the markup on this was at least reasonable. I was hoping to see other Burgundy choices on their lengthy wine list, but as is the case in most restaurants we encounter these days, the selections from France tend to be quite limited, if available at all. They had only 2 Burgundy red wines on a list of Pinot Noir that might have numbered close to 40 bottles. Still, the bottle we chose was superb. We greatly prefer a French Burgundy as opposed to the West Coast U.S. Pinots, because the Burgundy 'mineral' taste of the terroir is very real, and very pleasurable to us. We have yet to encounter a U.S. Pinot Noir that offers such a taste profile, they all taste like fruit without the 'mineral' leavening, if that analogy makes sense.

We chose two appetizers to share: the Maine Lobster Salad ($16, served cold), adorned with garden beans, fingerling potato, tarragon creme fraiche and pistachios. It was tasty, included one entire small lobster claw, and the pistachios added a nutty extra taste to it. We also shared the broiled Maine Sea Scallops ($14), served with a few cubes of an orange squash called delicata, along with green apple slices, a house pancetta that added a salty touch. I thought the scallops were exceptional.

Our main course 'entrees' were excellent, though I have to admit I was hopeful to find something other than beef or chicken that would tempt me. I was hopeful there would be a duck dish of some sort, but in its absence, I ordered the grass-fed Vermont Sirloin ($32), medium rare, served with salt roasted beets, marrow toast (which was a tad too salty for my taste), and a horseradish gremolata (a word I'd never encountered before, I'll admit). We each ordered sides ($5 each), my wife with a lightly sauteed lacinato kale, which was quite fresh, and me the sinful duck fat potatoes...which were essentially thick-cut French Fries deep-fried in duck fat. They were incredibly tasty. Yum yum yum. My wife ordered a main course of the Roasted Misty Knoll locally-raised chicken, served with local mushrooms, bacon, pistachios, a chicken liver toast, and saba. It was wonderful, even though it was 'just' chicken. My sirloin had a delicious flavor, which I attribute to the grass feeding vs. corn-fed diets found elsewhere.

We were tempted by desserts, but decided to pass. The dinner was superb, the sun set in front of our table over Lake Champlain at the beginning of the meal, and we had a lovely, lovely dinner, very romantic, very tasty, unhurried, you really can't ask for a lot more than that.

One small quibble: we had a small of amount of take-home food to bring home, and it was delivered to us in those little white boxes a la Chinese food, with the wire carry mechanism. All of which would have been fine had one of the boxes not leaked liquid from the kale all over my jacket and my sweater. I called them, and they were very gracious, offered to have it drycleaned. But I told them that while that's gracious, what I really wanted was for them to find a more secure manner of packing take-homes so that the next customer doesn't have a similar problem. She promised they would indeed do that. And honestly, sometime next summer, when I dine there again (and I will), I will be interested to see whether they have that sort of attention to detail, or whether I was told whatever seemed expedient at the time. I'm betting they'll do the right thing and change their take-home packaging, or at least, I hope they'll do the right thing.

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1  Thank signothetimes53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2007

Last year we tried the Inn at Shelburne Farms for dinner. The place is absolutely gorgeous and we expected dining to be equally impressive but it was not. The food was ok but didn't justify the price. The bad part was that the rainbow trout I ordered was not thoroughly cooked. Even the bacon wrapped on the outside was nearly raw, so back it went. Got it back and the fish was still uncooked inside, so we left. Service was fine.
In July 2007, we decided to give breakfast a try and it was pretty good. However, the service was awful. We had to get our own butter and serve our own coffee because the waitress seemed to forget we were there. It wasn't even very busy.
On August 18th, 2007 we accepted a breakfast invitation to meet some friends there. Service was much better but the pancakes were uncooked with liquid batter in the middle. Back it went to the kitchen. A new batch of pancakes came back but were tough and dry. Must be they decided to take no chances. My friend got half way through his pancakes before he also came across the uncooked batter. We paid the bill and left.
There are much better places to eat in Shelburne. Cafe Shelburne (reviewed in Vermonter.com) for dinner and the little coffee shop at Harringtons, next door to Cafe Shelburne has some terrific, fresh pastries.

1  Thank EvilCraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2015
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    • Value
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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