My friends up in Vermont told me about Whetstone Station last time I visited in January and I completely forgot about it. As luck would have it, a Groupon for Ice Castles at Stratton Mountain drove me to find other things to do to make the trip more of an adventure. Located on the Connecticut River Whetstone Station popped up on the map in close proximity to some of the best shops and attractions Brattleboro has to offer: Latchis Theater and Brattleboro Books to name a couple. Positive Yelp ratings (though I try not to set too much store on them) plus a gander at the Our Brewery page on their website convinced me to add it to the itinerary. I was thrilled to read about their experimental approach to brewing. They make a beer only once and never brew it again. Fear not! If you love something you try from their signature brews, you can find all their recipes published on their site. The home-brewer can replicate anything she/he particularly enjoyed.
Out of the four I tried in the tasting flight, I only loved the Batch #77 Whetstoner but that won’t stop me from recommending Whetstone or from going back. The food was nothing to scoff at! Having given up meat for Lent, I was delighted to see many vegetarian options (though not surprised since Vermont is vegetarian friendly). Torn between a Cheddar and Ale soup, a Roasted Buddha Bowl, and Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Cream Sauce and Goat Cheese, I went with the ravioli. I may have based that entire decision upon the sage and goat cheese combo. I’m a total sucker for both. There’s something so savory and comforting about them. The chilly, barely double digit, temperatures called for a dish that would stick to my ribs.
My fellow adventurer ordered a Philly Cheesesteak special with an aioli that seriously tempted me to break my abstinence. Neither of us was let down. My ravioli were everything a person could want from a dish. Who needs meat when vegetables in a sage cream sauce taste so good? Even though I ordered the smaller portion, I still couldn’t finish my plate (thanks to the flight of beer) and regretfully left two and a half ravs behind.
Whetstone is located in one of the most interesting towns to visit in Vermont: Brattleboro. One of the places that comes most highly recommended by this book lover and many others, is Brattleboro Books: a quaint used book store less than a mile from Whetstone packed with treasure for the taking. I love the serendipity of book finding in small bookstores like this one. I find my tactic for book selection is very different from my Barnes & Noble habits. At Brattleboro Books, I grabbed anything lying in an odd place, not neatly tucked into the shelves like its companions, and added them to my armful. Four books and $36 later, we set off for the mountain.
I can’t wait to go back to Brattleboro to do some more exploring though I may wait until the Spring or Summer months arrive. Winter, in case you’ve been living under a rock, has been an awfully messy guest in New England this year.