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Dorset Inn

8 Church St., Dorset, VT - (802) 867-5500
Posted By Michael Stern on June 5, 2008 9:34 AM
The Dorset Inn is a picture-perfect hostelry in a picture-perfect Vermont town. Located on the village green, with a broad front porch just right for rocking and a cozy hearth just inside for cold-weather comfort, it is the state's oldest inn, welcoming guests since 1796. It is such a friendly place … and a glorious eating destination, three meals a day, seven days a week.

Although a sign outside the inn reads only "Lunch and Dinner," one night at dinner we overhead Noonie the waitress chatting with guests about how chef/owner Sissy Hicks planned to make corned beef hash the next morning. After sunup, we were there with appetites at the ready. During the meal, Noonie informed us that "Breakfast" is not on the sign simply because there wasn’t room for the sign-painter to list three meals.

Breakfast in the Dorset Inn’s garden room is our vision of morning in heaven. Irregular-shaped buttermilk pancakes come studded with brilliant blueberries; crunchy raised waffles have the old-style, small-tread surface that holds countless droplets of swirled melting butter and maple syrup; and the corned beef hash is a patty with an outside crunch that surrounds a glistening center of ragged, brick-red beef shreds, nuggets of carrot, and caramel-brown ribbons of onion.

Dinner is pretty darn wonderful, too. Steaks, chops, seafood are all the work of a master chef; old-fashioned turkey croquettes are spectacular, sided by cranberry relish and stout mashed potatoes. But the dish that made us swoon the most was calf’s liver. It is tender as foie gras, saturated with the sweetness of onions and the savor of bacon and sided by creamy succotash. “People come just for her liver,” explained Noonie; and chef Hicks later told us about the pilgrims who have heard about her cooking and demand to sample the one meal she considers her best work. She makes them calf’s liver. “Not everyone is a fan of it,” she chuckled. “But I’d have to say it’s my signature dish.”
5 star rating
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Posted By Tom Burgess on March 23, 2014 7:31 PM
Mrs. QFan and I stayed at the Dorset Inn two summers ago and had a wonderful dinner in their restaurant. Service was attentive and the food and ambiance exceptional. It was a bit on the pricey side for Roadfood, but would go back there in a heartbeat if anywhere in the Manchester/southern VT area. They also served the Trapp Family craft beer which is brewed nearby. It was also exceptional!
3 star rating
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Posted By Marty Lager on March 23, 2014 12:20 PM
The Dorset has always been a fond memory. Do the guest room doors still not have locks? Other than that little quirk, what a great place. We haven't been in many years, but always one of the fond road trips the mrs. and I have taken over the years. The food was marvelous.
5 star rating
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Posted By Pat Gray on January 16, 2013 10:06 AM
One helluva good calf's liver and even better bacon potato pancakes. The country pate was okay but, to be honest, I've made better with a road-killed goose that I hit with my truck.
4 star rating
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Calf's Liver
Bacon Potato Pancakes
Country Pate

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