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On a Winter’s Night in Burlington: Reviews of Toscano Café and Cork Wine Bar (Burlington Blog)

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Toscano Café and Cork Wine Bar: Two Burlington Restaurants Worth a Visit

Reviews of Toscano Café and Cork Wine Bar

Toscano Café and BistroAs the holiday season is the time for eating, drinking and being merry, I am glad to announce that I have been actively engaging in all three. To begin, I met a friend for dinner in Richmond and we decided to indulge. The menu at Toscano Café and Bistro on Bridge Street offers a variety of well-priced entrées and appetizers alongside daily specials featuring local and fresh ingredients. Beer on tap runs on the local/seasonal schedule as well so I ordered a Wolaver’s Brown Ale. The wine list was great for a date night or just happy hour snacks. Complete with hand written checks, the atmosphere is rustic and cozy with a complimentary and sophisticated palate.

The two of us decided to share three appetizers: the fried calamari, bruschetta and the Vermont cheese plate. Although almost every restaurant in the state seems to have a cheese plate featuring a local selection, I have been wowed by few. Portions too small, variety too dull or prices too high seem to mask the beauty that can be the cheese plate, but Toscano has it down. Complete with a fruit chutney, candied nuts, and toasted bread, the dish was exciting and long lasting (we didn’t even finish it all!). The bruschetta was heavily topped and the calamari came out piping out, lightly fried and delicious. I’m glad to be spreading some holiday cheer outside of the bustling city limits of Burlington. Once that holiday shopping is done and you find yourself ready for a quiet, relaxing and scrumptious meal, indulge and venture to Richmond! Toscano Café and Bistro is open six days a week for lunch and dinner (closed on Monday, and brunch served instead of lunch on Sunday!). Check out for menus and directions.

Cork Wine Bar and MarketWith eating covered and out of the way it’s time to move on to drinking. I am pleased to announce the opening of a new wine bar in one of my favorite Vermont towns, Waterbury. As many Vermonters know, Waterbury was hit hard by Hurricane Irene and many of the businesses still remain in limbo. Luckily the opening of Cork Wine Bar and Market adds a hopeful new vibe to the local community, encouraging locals and tourists to once again seek out Waterbury. This is not only a place to buy wonderful gifts, but also to enjoy wonderful company. The wines ranges in price from $10-$100 by the bottle and any are available to enjoy on site for a $7 corkage fee. There are also daily wines (red, white and bubbly) to enjoy by the glass, along with beers on tap. Finally, a place for wine!

If you’re planning on sitting for a while be sure to check out the food menu. Though small, the menu features simple paninis, assortments of meats and cheeses, olives and chocolates by Laughing Moon in Stowe. The best deal for two is to choose one of the bottles to share, the prices allow for a bottle of wine to fit any budget. Also, for those who don’t know the most about wines, the staff at Cork is knowledgeable and passionate about their business. All of the wines offered by the glass are also available for tasting, but the service will make you feel comfortable and confident in your choosing. With the ski season awaiting, Cork will serve as a spectacular après ski date spot, as well as a host to special events like live music and private parties. Open daily on Stowe Street in Waterbury, visit Cork after a long day of shopping local or with the family visiting from out of town. (

More Holiday cheer will surely bless us all this season, so stay warm and think snowy thoughts. Ciao!

Chrissy Lefavour is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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