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Bucatini carbonara with pancetta, asiago crisp, cracked pepper, gremolata

Bucatini carbonara with pancetta, asiago crisp, cracked pepper, gremolata 

Hard to believe it is July 1st already.

Our restaurant opened for the summer season last week. This week we are holding our first "Small Plate Wednesday". It's "Small Plate Night" at the Birch Ridge Inn.

Those of you who are in Killington may be growing webbed feet with all the rain we have had. Certainly some of the residents may be feeling a little house bound. It is the summer after all. We should all be basking in the shadows of the Green Mountains. While we can't control the rain, we do have a cure for it being dreary outside.

During our spring hiatus, Chef Leo spent much of his time thinking about the summer menu. To go along with the new menu, he has created nice selection of small plates for people enjoy.

Mary and I think that they are a perfect addition to the Birch Ridge's restaurant menu. To make it easy for people to sample Chef Leo's menu, we are declaring Wednesday nights "Small Plate Night".

For "Small Plate Night" the marquee special is simple....order 3 small plates - pay for 2. It is the perfect way to dine sans entree. Small plates are also great to share with a friend. We also have paired our small plates with our wines by the glass selections to make your selections easier. Of course, if you are so inclined, our regular menu is also available.

"Small Plate Night" on Wednesdays at the Birch Ridge Inn starts at 6:00.

You can find tonights menu for the Birch Ridge Inn at birchridge.com.

Wherever you may be... hit them straight... keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sunscreen.

Vegetable Pho ... a new dish on the Birch Ridge Inn menu

Vegetable Pho ... a new dish on the Birch Ridge Inn menu 

It was not the busiest night in the restaurant in the history of the Birch Ridge Inn, but it was quite successfull all the same. The first night jitters of re-opening the restaurant are now behind us. All of the hard work that we have put into the restaurant behind the scenes during our hiatus have come to fruition. It its own way, that is very satisfying.

Over the last few months we have been trying out a variety of new menu items. While we will continue with our approach of having a tight menu with items that change regularily, we have revamped the food concept to merge with the changing dining patterns of our guests. The traditional soups, salads, entrees and desserts will continue to be offered. In addition, we are introducing a new "Small Plate" menu. Little works of food art in their own right, our "Small Plates" are perfect to share with friends, or "feed a hungry soul" when something other than a full entree is desired.

Below are some pictures of the small plates we served last evening.

Lamb souvlaki on grilled flatbread
Lamb souvlaki on grilled flatbread.

Steamed PEI mussels in green curry coconut broth
Steamed PEI mussels in green curry coconut broth.

Vermont cheese plate with fig jam
Vermont cheese plate with fig jam.

The restaurant at the Birch Ridge Inn is now open for the summer season serving dinner Tuesdays through Saturday from 6:00 PM. To celebrate our "Small Plate" menu, Wendesday nights will be "Small Plate Night" at the inn. Stay tuned for a formal announcement on that in the next couple of days.

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, we will have a minor schedule change. The restaurant will be closed on Saturday evening, July 4th. We will be serving dinner on Sunday July 5th starting at 6:00 PM for guests enjoying a long weekend in the Green Mountains. On July 4th, the town of Killington has a great July 4th celebration and BBQ hosted by the volunteer fire department. If you are in Killington on July 4th, you should not miss this celebration.

We look forward to seeing you soon at the inn. Wherever you may be... hit them straight... keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sunscreen.

Restaurant opens June 25th

As I write this, there are less than 24 hours before we reopen the restaurant at the Birch Ridge Inn for the 2015 summer season.

Last minute preparations are underway to complete all of the tasks we took upon ourselves to complete before re-opening. The kitchen crew are hard at work finishing all of their prep work to re-open. Mary and I are completing the last items on our lists. From the mundane tasks of finding flags and signs, to the complicated tasks of soundproofing rooms and installing a new AV system in the Great Room, it has been a very full month of work since we returned from our May holiday.

We are very excited about the restaurant re-opening. During the hiatus, Chef Leo has been working on a great new menu filled with all kinds of delicious items.

Less than 24 hours. We hope you come and join us when you visit Killington.

Wherever you may be... hit them straight... keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sunscreen.

On vacation in Rome at St. Peter\'s Basilica

On vacation in Rome at St. Peter's Basilica 

Our spring hiatus is coming to a close. Our casual time as a straight bed and breakfast is just about over. Our restaurant re-opens for the summer season next Thursday. (You will be reading more about that over the next few days).

Over the hiatus we completed many renovations through out the inn. But we also had a chance to take a real vacation. Over the last several years, as the health of our fathers declined, we stayed in the area to be with family. This year. with elderly mothers in good health and relatively settled, we decided it was a good time to get away. So in May we embarked on a trip to get a city fix. Spinning the globe, our travels took us to Rome Italy. After research on TripAdvisor, some scanning of Expedia, some research on flights through Alitalia, and some emails to hotels, off we went on our first foriegn vacation in more than a few years.

After an uneventful 8-hour flight "across the pond" we landed in Rome and greeted by our hotel driver. Traffic in Rome beats anything we have seen before. Rome makes Boston look like it is a well organized city. But from talking to our driver, and some subsequent conversations, it became obvious fairly quickly as to the reason.. NEWSFLASH---- Rome is ancient! ----ENDNEWSFLASH. Rome is one of the oldest continiously inhabited cities in Europe. While each generation has made their mark on the city, the overall city structure is virtually unchanged in over 2000 years. Todays car choked boulevards were wide to allow Roman Legions to march shoulder to shoulder in victory parades through the city. Typical streets designed for donkey carts are barely wide enough to allow safe passage for todays tiny cars; and the myriad alley ways, while large enough for for a centurion on a horse, have been taken over in modern times by a nattily dressed 21st century Romans on a Vespas.

Our adventure was a learning process. On the first night, Mary had a sweet tooth (probably the jet-lag kicking in) so she decided to order something she felt comfortable about in Italian... the classic Tiramisu. Of course, Tiramisu in Italy does not resemble the lady finger pudding soaked creation we see in America.

Mary with her first real Tirimisu.
Mary with her first real Tirimisu.

Turns out classical Tirimisu is a pudding with a fruit compote on the bottom of the bowl. It can be toped with grated chocolate. It could be coffee flavored. We saw various fruit flavors of tirimisu all over Rome and virtually every restaurant we visited. Chalk this one up to interesting.

Rome is filled with majestic sites. Here are some pictures from our visit.

St Peters Square and St Peters Basilica
St Peters Square and St Peters Basilica.

A typical roman cobblestone street
The sites of Rome..
Click again to resume rotation.

We enjoyed our trip. Once we got back, renovation efforts began in earnest around the inn. I will detail some of that in the coming days.

Where ever you may be, hit the ball straight.... keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sunscreen.

Your humble blog writer

Your humble blog writer 

To all of the blog readers that have reached out to me... thank you. It has been several months since I have posted here. Not for having lack of material... we are in a material rich environment... but more from being consumed by a variety of items whcih will be revealed over the next few weeks.

Suffice to say, Mary and I are doing quite well thank you. Fortunately, the great snow in Killington helped mitigate some of the challenges we faced last season. Thankfully, those are all well in the rear view mirror at this point.

For the first year in several, we had the opportunity to take a real vacation. Several posts in the near future will highlight some of those comings and goings.

Many, many, many projects are going on at the inn. Several have been completed. Several are ongoing. Some are just waiting for material to be delivered to the inn to complete. There are a bunch of details to fill in for you here over the next few weeks.

The good news is that I am back at my computer for a few days, all ready to begin continuing to write the latest installments to Killingtonblog and our journeys at the Birch Ridge Inn. Stay tuned!

Wherever you may be... hit them straight... keep it in the fairway... and don't forget your sunscreen.

Still mid winter on Killington Peak

Still mid winter on Killington Peak 

Thank you to all of the guests who visited with us this season in Killington. The innkeepers and the staff are truely grateful for all of the support and encouragement we have been shown throughout the winter.

And what a winter it has been.

Winter is still going strong on Killington Peak. Skiing today, based upon my personal experiences this morning, was typical for mid February.... with the exception being that fewer lifts were operating due to the reduced number of skiers and riders visiting Killington at this time of year.

Surfaces off Killington Peak from the K1 Gondola, and off Skye Peak from the Superstar Express Quad were primarily frozen machine groomed granular with a nice top layer of fresh snow. Snow has been falling at Killington Peak all week, and the forecast calls for more this weekend. The ski season lasting into June is being openly talked about by Killington Resort management... and the snow is on the ground to get them there barring some major disruption of Mother Nature.

Around the inn we will be closing after this weekend to perform our normal spring repairs. Our restaurant closed for the season last weekend. Food and beverage staff have been in all week deep cleaning the kitchen to close out the season. The same has already started with some rooms of the inn this week, with it accellerating next week when we close for lodging for the season.

The inn will re-open for lodging on Friday May 22, just before Memorial day. The restaurant will re-open for the summer season in late June on June 25th. In the interim, if you are planning your summer vacation or your fall foliage visit and you would like to make reservations with us for either the inn or restarant, you can always go online to birchridge.com or call the inn directly at 800.435.8566. We would be happy to accomodate you.

To all of our friends and acquaintences - Thank You for a great season!

And over the next couple of months, whether you are on snow, water, or chasing the little white ball down a green fairway somewhere..... don't forget your sunscreen!.

Mary on the upper headwall of Superstar

Mary on the upper headwall of Superstar 

Spring has finally decided to make an appearance at Killington.

I had planned on skiing this morning. Unfortunately, melting snow and ice found their way into a tear on one of the inns rubber roofs requiring my attention. A hour of snow and ice removal followed by 3 tubes of roof sealing compound appears to have corrected the problem... Of course, until it r@!ns it is anyones guess. So it goes.

We did have the great forture to venture out on the slopes 3 days this week. Conditions steadily improved from mid-winter to early spring with the passing of each day.

Conditions earlier in the week resembled mid-February with firm surfaces throughout the resort. By Thursday, after several afternoons in the mid-40's, conditions had shifted to soft, spring snow. It's about time!

Trails over at Bear Mountain are starting to take on their typical sandy appearance. Early morning skiers and riders break up the groomed surfaces, resulting in round snow pellets which do not adhere to each other. Ankle deep snow sand starts to develop, especially in areas where lots of turns are required at the bottom of the trails. After several hours of sunshine, the sand starts to melt slightly with the surface taking on a creamy texture. Thats when things start to get fun.

Killington Peak to Superstar from the junction of Killink and Royal Flush.
Killington Peak to Superstar from the junction of Killink and Royal Flush.

Killngton Peak from the top of Highline.
Killngton Peak from the top of Highline.

Steep trails are skiing beautifully. OL is taking on the normal spring softness that has made it into the premier bumps trail in the east. Superstar, whose headwalls are still in shadows for long stretches of the day is taking on a nice medium texture. It is not too soft, yet surfaces are soft enough that turns are easy to execute with minimal side slipping taking place. I have skied all sides of the lower headwall on Superstar. I still really like skiers left under the lift. But when I had the chance to be by myself on the lower headwall, the middle was also a lot of fun. The surface was very compliant, encouraging wide sweeping turns; something you can do on Superstar only when you are alone with the trail.

Continuing on Skye Peak, Vertigo was good. The upper headwall is a one or two turn event with minimal bumps. The middle section softens nicely as the day wears on. The lower section is still somewhat firm, being mostly shaded. As temperatures rise, I would expect the lower section to also soften up considerably.

Back on the basin side, Ovation is still flat and fast. Cascades is starting to soften. The lower portion which joins into Double Dipper is still slick in spots. Downdraft has been closed most of the week when I was on the mountain. Early morning slickness has probably caused the ski patrol to rope it to prevent unnecessary rescues. East Fall is ok. Highline is prime. In full sunshine most of the day, the surface is becoming one creamy piece of goodness.

The weather forecast for Easter Weekend in Killington is definitely New England weather. It looks like we are supposed to get a mixture of everything, including some new snow overnight on Friday. Next week is calling for more of the same, with snow showers in the forecast most days. Just what we need to keep refreshing the slopes of Killington to allow many more weeks of skiing and riding.

A friend of mine remanded me for continiously ending by blog with "Let it snow"! After the winter the northeast has had, I totally understand. So in homage to the sunshine, it's time for a change....

Unless you are working on a serious goggle tan..."Don't forget your sunscreen."

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