Tuesday, December 29, 2009

new years day brunch

we will be open new years day
friday 1-1-10 9am-2pm

maine lobster benedict
steak and eggs
house sausage and egg sliders
flaming crepes
croque madame
fresh squeezed juices
bloody mary specials
and cranberry mimosas-

oh- and if you go check out our girl Sara Grace at langdon street cafe the night before, we will set you up with free coffee and beignets when you come in for brunch!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

its late-
it's nearly the new year--
  • 10 years since the millennium fury,
  • 20 years since i was 13 (which is clear as a bell-),
  • 28 years since prince sang 1999,
  • and 30 years since i was 3...
to be three...
kismet turned 3 on Monday (solstice)
to think,
that this is actually my fourth winter there (at kismet)--
i remember three winters passing,
and can see myself
looking out of the back door at the snow piling up each time..
and i wonder-
am i growing?
does me staying here (the longest i have stayed anywhere)
mean me growing wiser, or me growing stagnant?
maybe if i stay put i will find out???
our should i lean and reach and stand up walking some place further?
-i crave evolution
i want so much more than the face value of all of this...
i want the puzzle to come together.
i want the work, the strive, the hunt and find-
and i want to capture all of it-
like a flower press,
like a water color,
like a classic recipe,
like a song in three part round harmony,
and i want to fit in in in in...
new year.
same me
i'll wait and see....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

outside the bubble

i have been feeling a little stuck in vermont lately--
how about you?

then i found this really cool video, that reminded me that there is more outside of our
wee vermont bubble--
check it out and tell me what you think-- i, personally am very inspired to know there is more outside of this box...
we are not alone.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


tonight Mathew (of the black door bistro) and I served our final dinner in the three season tasting menu-
serving this dinner in this time (a bit early, maybe for winter, though it does kind of feel like winter already, and often does this time of year), was a bit of an adventure- we both wanted the menu to be an expression of what we both felt most exciting about winter, while also acknowledging the depth, darkness & simplicity of the season.. I wanted to start by a fire, and we did, with whiskey and apple donut fritters- and we wanted the courses to be full filling- filling- and with the expression of simplicity.
Unfortunately, just a week before the dinner, I was notified that my very close friend was suddenly loosing her battle with brain cancer- in this last week i spent many hours with her, and asked Mathew to be prepared to serve the meal on his own.. In many ways, I feel like these last ten days & this dinner too- have been an opportunity for me to fully and completely experience the truth of the season. The depth of winter is so true and absolute- especially here- and we have only the very simplest of things to get us through- and then we do- and suddenly there is spring.....again.
For now,
we have this-
WINTER looming and yet familiar- we have celeriac and beets and carrots- we have the pot Au feu, - the "pot on the fire"... and that we have each other (even though the other may seem a bit distant they are there, believe me)...
Don't Forget-
don't forget to get together- cook gratin- make winter salads- learn new things- and be silent sometimes.

spring will come-

& in the meantime-
we're here-
see you soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

in the news

Next monday, Mathew (of the black door bistro) and I will prepare and serve our third tasting dinner. Though the event is fully booked, and is the final of our three season theme, we have decided to continue these special tasting menus begining agin in November. Our next series will be entitled "warmth in the winter" and will feature celabratory menus from three different regions of the world, begining with Indonisia, followed by Latin America and concluded with North Eastern Europe. I will write more about these next week- but in the meantime, check out the article in today's Time's Argus.
you can also read more of our interview with Sylvia on her blog

Monday, September 28, 2009

falling in

and suddenly it is the end of September.

Crisp mornings, frost on my nose, on my prized petals, on the tips of kale. I have tomatoes, ginger gold apples and seckel pears ripening in my storage room (i gathered them two weeks ago, just in case of a sudden winter snap) and they are there, ripening, and attracting a few of the remaining fruit flies- I look at my little pile of fruit, my jars of pickles, and my bulk bins of herbs and mushrooms and wonder-- will it be enough? It's hard tellin' not knowin' i guess.. But we always get through the winter- and why should this one be any different?

Kismet has been promising a move since spring of this year-- and TRUST me, I've been working on it!
Sometimes it feels like the weeks move more quickly than i can believe, and as summer gives to autumn, already i have next summer menus in mind while booking solid with weddings for 2010!
These last few weeks have been particularly full with transition- Mathew and I served our second collaboration dinner last Monday ("fall") and we have been working on up-coming menus and themes for dinners to come- and in the midst, i have been making the way for kismet's new home-- it's all so complicated though- so many hoops to jump, loops to untangle, and cliffs to fall off of- and then there is the every morning waking to the questions within my own head-
does Montpelier want kismet to move downtown? what next? how? when? what if...? & there are definitely moments that i stop and look at everything (my desk overflowing, my children wanting my attention, order forms, bills to pay, menus to write, email full, phone ringing, dog scratching herself raw, leaves changing, car falling apart, line of brunch customers out the door, fruit ripening in the pantry, meat curing) and ME in the middle of it all- and I am suddenly very overwhelmed-- how do i take ALL OF THIS and make MORE?

in this industry there is a strange life that happens behind doors- in walk-in's, in meetings, in the middle of the night- there is this constant scraping the bottom to make enough for everyone- then there is what happens out on the floor- the abundance, the fluidity, the grace and charm- I have always been intrigued by the paradox of the restaurant ecosystem- and yet have always gotten a thrill when it all would come together, and the sounds of laughter and conversation mixed with glasses toasting, silver on porcelain, and music fills a room. I love to see people enjoy food- and most of all, i love LOVE love to cook that food that people enjoy. But how do i keep it simple in the midst of it getting more complex?

in ways, i look forward to the lights dimming for the winter skies; kismet is cozy and bright, the lines are shorter or non-existent, and there is more time for introspection. But there is also the awareness that this slowing down is an opportunity to organize and be prepared for the spotlights of the new spring..

& what do you want this winter to be?
tell me what you think-

Friday, September 11, 2009

grow local fest

oh -
you might want to know
that kismet will close
our barre street doors
in full support of the
Grow Local Fest on September 12, 2009 (a little thing to help there be a garden project in every Washington county school)-

we will be serving a very yummy and local menu up there with them on the college green.
join us,
& we will see you there--or on Sunday (brunch!) September 13, 2009
for our usual hours (8am-2:30 pm)

and don't forget to think about this:

Saturday, September 05, 2009

part II: fall collaboration

well-it is kind of crazy that another season is at it's peak (it does sort of seem like spring summer and fall just sort of bloom and wither rather quickly...), and soon another season will follow. in these last few days, i have heard so many happy voices proclaiming their love for fall-- ah, yes, it is so nastalgic, and romantic, and plentiful... there is woodsmoke in the air (it is september, mind you) and there are still warm afternoons and quick swims while we can get them..
and then there is this:
mathew and i are planning part II of our three part seasonal collaboration menus-- and Fall is really around the corner!

if you cant read the above photo- (it is kind of small) it details our next chef collaboration meal, to be held at kismet (all candle lit and cozy), with just mathew and I and our guests.. we have a few reservations already, b ut there are still several open seats- please do consider joining us, and if you miss it this time-- dont you worry, WINTER is just around the corner (our winter menu debuts october 19>>about the time of the first snow.) .
to RSVP for either meal, please contact us through this blog, or through http://www.kismetkitchen.com/, there is a contact us page there, and you can reach us there very efficiently.

would yo like a squizz at the fall menu?

i thought so..
stay posted--
but it may include smoked duck ham, candied crab apple, willow hill cheese, venison, and (amongst other things..) mulled cider and emily's family-made bourbon whiskey...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

yes yes yes SUMMER

its late... but i had to write and say a BIG thanks to all (11) who attended the special summer dinner menu at kismet tonight--
big yum for roasted eggplant, braised rabbit, and lavender ice cream!

Mathew and i made and served the dishes alone- toiled and deliberated over the courses, but OF COURSE it all worked out...
it's 2 am-
i'm tired/wired
and cant stop thinking about the NEXT dinner!

Monday, August 10, 2009

hooray for summer!

this month, mathew bilodeau (chef at the black door) and I will begin our three month, three season, tasting menus. We will serve one menu each month over the next three months featuring our favorite flavors of summer, fall, and winter... You know that the seasons change quickly, so be sure to RSVP ASAP so you can mark this auspicious time.
We will only serve one seating to a total of 10 guests each menu, over the course of 3 hours in the candle-lit evening private dining room at kismet on barre street.
And-- it's being offered at a bargain too, because mathew and I just really want to work together in a new and inspired way- so the meal ticket is $100 per person including wine, beer, deserts, etc..
RSVP by 9pm Saturday August 15
(you can leave a comment here to rsvp) or email kismetkitchen@yahoo.com

Saturday, August 08, 2009

thank you

The kismet crew returned to Barre Street after a well deserved and appreciated vacation on Friday to the joyful faces of many- we had a busy day that (thankfully) flowed really well (even though i did capture nearly a 1/2 gallon of heavy cream in my shoe). After work (and nearly 100 meals later), we all ran home and got dressed for our next engagement. Sara Grace, with her head newly shaven, aimed for the main stage of the North East Kingdom music Festival to play at sundown, and the rest of us to the Seven Days Daysies Party, where we received our first Daisy!!

Thank you to all who voted for us (we didn't even realize there was a vote in order, and none of us even voted --or bribed anyone else to!). I have to say that it felt pretty good to see a few of our other local businesses catch some praises too! congrats to Carlos at positive pie, the folks at bear pond, the gals (and men) at salaam, aliza and randy at red hen, and langdon street cafe-
Montpelier has changed so much since i came here as a child in the 80's- and so much so in the last 5 years. I look forward to watching Montpelier grow, and become more widely appreciated, and at the same time, one of the reasons i love doing business here is because it is so casual, friendly, and supportive. I hope that will never change..

thank you again--
and see you soon!

Monday, August 03, 2009


kismet will be closed wednesday and thursday August 5 & 6th.
Since summer has finally arrived and is in full measure, we have given ourselves a few days off- we will be open again, regular hours and with our regular menu August 7th. See you then!

Friday, July 31, 2009

saturday afternoon brunch menu 8-1-09

hooray for kismet, and hooray for you! Genevieve (jen-vee- ev) has prepared a special bruch menu for us to mark the celebration of her advancement to the front of the line!
Today, August 1, 2009, Genevieve will serve the following menu from 11am- 2:30 pm. We look forward to seeing you- and please do enjoy your meal!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

it's finally here!

it's finally summer...ah, yes- it's been a long time coming, really-

and though it may be at it's peak and just at it's start at the same time, there is a sort of hushed excitement as everyone rushes off for a quick last minute vacation just when they were all about to give up on summer all together..

This last week we also have been celebrating at kismet- in a way of sorts- the veges and fruits are just starting to really come in- and though strawberry season lasted about three days long, and raspberries have yet to come in abundance, Champlain orchards shared today that they will have their first apples of the season in just two weeks, and all of our other farmer friends have been calling in to offer all sorts of veg like peppers, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, cherry tomatoes (finally!), garlic, chantarelles, cucumbers, green beans, corn (!), and still more peas, cilantro. and basil! This is it, the time we all have been waiting for in Vermont- when there is abundance and warmth, extra sunlight, warm water, music in the air, flowers (which are particularly tall this year because they are so sun starved), and outdoor festivities.

There is too, that this time of year also brings the abundance of work and energy spent preparing for the winter- which we do wholeheartedly as we pickle and can, jam and jelly, and dry precious herbs roots and mushrooms- we watch the animals get big and fat, the wood get chopped and stacked, and under the shade of our favorite oak elm or maple, sit with tender tired muscles watching the light change as if we can see time passing... i look out over my green mountains and can imagine them black and white and crystallized- i look at my stack of pickles and wonder how many i will have left when the spring thaws come. I look at my children and watch their legs grow as they learn to swim stronger, and realize how soon it will be that we have to buy new snowsuits and boots..

All of this-- IS--- why i am here- being in Vermont requires a sort of presence that demands so much of me- it is so involved and exhausting, i rarely even have time to read the newspaper or watch tv- and at the same time, being so crudely dependant on the weather also aligns me in a way that i feel completely connected to the harsh and beautiful realities of the whole world through tasting really fresh green beans and watching as the garden overflows....

truth be told- we are all working really really hard and doing our best to make it look easy, graceful, prosperous, and fun-- and right now i am feeling that deeply.. "It's like i have been climbing a mountain and come to it's peak, ecstatic and exhausted and full of awe- and then i look out and see twelve more peaks in the distance that i will need to climb.." (phil gentile)

Before you set out on your next big trek-- come in and let us feed you- have a glass of fresh pressed juice (or a bloody mary!) and sit for a moment amongst friends- we look forward seeing you...

see you soon.



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

it may rain-- it could hail- and thy wind might blow--
but love--
oh yes LOVE
swirls in the air tonight..
yes it's wedding season in vermont- and again i am humbled by the truth of the wedding commitment..

and as one who attends many weddings each year with those i barely know; i must say- THIS year has been a year to remember.. sure there was the tornado back in 2007- the crazy hot rain and mud that melted sophie and aaron's wedding cake in august that year- and a the other little pitfalls- but this year-- this year has been a year to remember... to remember RAIN-- the emotion of it is so full now and i cant help but wonder-- wow... could these marriages be like these storms- as one mother in law to be said-- "it rains then the sun just shines.. like marriage"..
congratulations to all married this summer (?)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

every one wants to know...

every one wants to know...

keep looking--(but dont stalk me)--- and you
will see


(ive ben to a few weddings lately; cant you tell?)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

let's see

ahh.. let's see
how are things?
things are good.. there is love in the air (it is wedding season you know!), and
Montpelier love birds
have been spotted on

hope to see you there soon!
i love you

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

good to be home

i first returned to my home in vermont in 1998- it was beautiful and the same as i remembered it (a bit smaller i guess-- but i had grown!)- and fit so snuggly around me-
i slept in my old room- after being away from it for 7 years- & it felt ancient and historical and mystical--and secret- i was alone there, and it was perfect...
this was the last real time i have ever had alone-- and that was 11 years ago-
my oldest son MOSES is 10 today...and kismet is in the midst of wedding season, and i also have celebrated my own (32nd) birthday-- I wanted to find words for all of this put together, but will inevitably do so in your menus for this week-
in the meantime--
read this: a story of a girl i connect with
tell me what you think--
and ill see you soon!

Friday, June 05, 2009

c'est la vei

since last time:

yes! we did get the permit for the outdoor seating, and are working with a generous lot of folks to create an extension to the current kismet dining room--

yes! we did get our liquor licence-- mimosa's & bloody mary's and some rum drinks are all we have so far, but hoping that you will help us pick some wines and a couple of beers to add to the menu-- any ideas?

but alas, dining has been S L O W this week- so if you were waiting for an open table-- NOW is the time, because it seems that ALL of the tables have been open a lot lately!!
wild mushrooms!
thanks to Dave, our neighbor/forager, our fridge is FULL of them! and they are amazing in flavor, aroma, and unique appearance-- i feel like a little gnome in her den kitchen toasting, roasting, drying, and sauteing the assortment...

local strawberries-- i know, seems CRAZY because it has been so cold-- but yes, they are around, and as it so happens this time of year, the rhubarb and strawberry meet like two ships crossing in the night, and if we are lucky, we will be processing fresh rhubarb/strawberry jam within the next week or so-- yippee!

and wholly greens!! --local (like 2 miles away) spinach!, salad (with flowers--thanks joe!) from screamin' ridge

and it is life-
kismet is 2 and 1/2- and like a mother of a toddler, i am readying myself for the inevitable business of caring for a child who can walk on it's own... For the last 2 and 1/2 years, we have nursed her, held her close, and kept her in the little baby crib, off the beaten path, in a makeshift home (cozy and safe). We have introduced her to the world slowly and cautiously-- but now she has her little
ego-- her want to thrive-- her relationships and friends and connections-- and it's time to ready ourselves for her inevitable maturity--
as many of you know, we have been looking for a new home for kismet-- something a little bit more DOWNTOWN, if you know what i mean.
Well, we've been looking and two places presented themselves to us. We have been asked many times about the situation and i have to say, it's a little bit stressful- it's like considering three places at once--
where we are, one on state, and one on main--
there's a lot to consider and a bit of risk in each decision--
oh... if only things could be easy!
so-- we are asking for that right now.
On a bike ride after a day at the Montpelier middle school, i had this realization that kismet means fate-- but that it also means faith-- faith that what you do with good intention will pay off later-- so my life is this now-- kismet is becoming her own and teaching me-- that if i believe in fate, i have to have faith and just relax--
do my best, know what i need, and just try-- (aim, fire, shoot!)--
so, i don't have any new news for you, but i will say, that things are looking good, and no matter what-- if you want kismet in your life; she wants you and will always be there--

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


it's time
that pushes and pulls me
excites and scares me
deceives me and tells me the truth simultaneously.
it's time that i make decisions
time to take control
get more organized
it's time to plan
to go outside
to coordinate, to relax.
then, it's time to sleep, time to eat, time to pay the bills, time to do the laundry, time to make a new menu, time to go on vacation, time to buy birthday presents, time to take a break- and look at how time has passed and brought us here...

took a moment today to do some Internet searching-- it's always good to read what other's are saying about you- especially when it is good! in the midst of planning kismet's Summer menu, dodging and engaging city council meetings regarding our summer patio, and trying to put all of the numbers together for our prospective expansion this winter, i came across this blog-- big thanks to he/she who wrote it, and thank you to all who help make what we do possible and FUN. We have a nice time with you.
and dont forget-- it's time for asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, and mushrooms!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

mother's day brunch

mother's day brunch!
sunday may 10. 8:30- 2

house cured organic salmon on seeded baguette, poached eggs, hollendaise. served with roots or salad

grilled soldiers of proscuitto wrapped asparagus that you might want to dip in our egg nest toasties. (served with herbed roots)

frittata filled with peas, feta mint, and fennel tops. served
with salad, roots, and toast.

hooray for moms!
Come toast yours with
organic champagne and bloody marys!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Big week in montpelier today-
the health care rally on the state house lawn, green up day, the first farmer's market, the boys officially opened three penny taproom, and today is all species day!
dave brought in a bunch of wild stuff so we've been up to our elbows in local fresh and wild foods!

wild rosti (jeruseleum artichokes, day lilly roots, spring onion, wild leek), truffled fiddleheads, poached eggs, screaming ridge spinach, red hen toast, and choice of bacon tempeh ham etc...
see you soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

at last

at last-
wild red asparagus, ramps, wild mushrooms, day lilies, and-- oh yes child-- leaves on the trees (and flowers too)!

before i went to bed last night, i opened my bedroom windows- with the two windows by my bed open for the first time in 6 months, i fell asleep hoping to hear the sounds of the first spring thunderstorm- the lightening was shooting across the sky kind of how the northern lights do -- silent, fast, and illusive- but they were there, and I realized that i have not seen lightening in over 5 months... i slept deeply- so deeply that when i woke (well past when my alarm was supposed to go off), i kind of jolted out of the bed like lightening, threw my clothes on and opened the door (with out a coat on again)- and then kind of hesitated on my front step-- overnight, spring sprang, and was there in front of me. those who live in vermont are probably like- yeah yeah yeah, big deal, happens every year- but for the years that i was away from vermont in spring- THIS was the part i longed for- the sudden, quick, untamed intensity of spring in vermont. After the sap flow, before the water warms completely in the swimming holes, there is this moment, this brief moment of awesomeness when the flora roars and says -- oh no, we didnt forget, we've been here all the time, and thank you very much for waiting- and TADA! here it is-- and all of a sudden after nearly 6 months of darkness, greyness, and leaflessness- everything wakes up--

and i believe we do too- and there i was on my lawn in the after dawn with my camera and with my morning wonder eyes, taking photos-- lying on the grass (yes, grass!!) taking photos of flowers

as soon as i went into kismet, i was met with the fierce reality of being short staffed, and preparing for sunday brunch.
thankfully, dave had brought us an amazing assortment of local fresh wild crafted foods so i made an abbreviated menu featuring those and just hoped everyone would understand the situation.

After work, and a quick grocery shop at the co-op (can you believe the price of retail food?!), I made my way over to lamb abbey for the benefit for KATE and PAUL from HIGH LEDGE FARM-- sara was playing there, and it was a great opportunity to help out the farm as well as see sara perform with the children. Alanna and her children also came, and I have to tell you that I nearly cried when I saw her son dancing- his red hair bouncing, and that huge smile on his face-- i loved to see him so happy. and I loved too that so many folks were there to support the high ledge family-

now i am near bed-
very close to reaching out to utube to watch entertaining and useless videos, and trying to turn this sunday into a friday (it's friday to kismet)- but i wanted to be sure to say this:

thank you to all who celebrated this spring with us- we have been challenged in ways (we were extremely short staffed this week) and appreciate all of you who were patient and kind while we did our best.
oh- and keep your eye out for the burlington free press on Wednesday- dave (our forager) and moses were out foraging with bfp staff for an article to be printed in the food section.

enjoy spring-- it only lasts a minute or two.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ok, it happened- and it's official, spring is here, even though (i know) i though it would never happen. And just like everyother year, it snuck in and surprised me. on sunday i walked to work without a jacket on! i felt naked and exposed, but smaller, less bulky, and free!! Working in the kitchen also feels different- though we have been using local foods all year long- there is something amazing and special about the wild foods of vermont that come in freshly picked- it was especially cool to open the bags of wild day Lillies, sunchoke roots, and wild leeks, as well as open up our reserve of dried powdered wild mushrooms and put together plates that were full of all kinds of shapes, colors, and textures that fully embody spring in vermont. Thanks to Dave K. (our personal wild crafter) the restaurant has been abuzz with awe and intrigue and conversations have been enlightening- dave spends quite a few mornings at kismet in the dining room eating and connecting with folks, and it is exciting to see his business take off as local folks request his services to help teach them foraging skills for their homes and land.
On the other side of things- spring also is a big healing and purging time, and kismet and the families of kismet of been riddled with our own quakes and shifts- we did close the restaurant yesterday because my children were sick and there was no-one well enough or available to cook-- wow! talk about micro business! we were only open for an hour! today i am running back and forth from my home to the restaurant to take care of things, train our new cook genevieve, and try to maintain things on both fronts- stefi's back is out, alexis has college finals, and saragrace is still recovering from her cold-- alanna hasnt been sleeping well, and the rest of our staff has had to cover and care for us! YIKES! but, thankfully, montpelier is a fun and comforting place to live and do business and i am so thankful for everyone's support-- while other businesses note slow business, i am happy to report that ours has doubled since last year, and we are stronger than ever!
Thanks so much---
and I know, I know-- you want info about our move-- i will know soon--!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

april snow = still some winter left to go

even though the sap harvest peaked two weeks ago- and even though we've been serving local salad greens for the last month, and our local tomatoes are just as bright and luscious as they could be, it is indeed snowing... still.

if you've been reading my posts, you would see that i always get a bit anxious for summer around this time of year- and anyone who lives in vermont year round would after nearly 6 months of freezing temperatures- but after already having had some really lovely warm and 60 degree afternoons back in february, it is a bit disappointing (and confusing) to have there be snow falling and for the air outside to feel and taste and smell like november.

But, regardless, Easter is in just a few days and montpelier children will hunt for eggs int he park regardless of snow wind rain or slush, as they do every year, and we at Kismet, will create a bright and lovely Easter brunch menu like we have for the last three years. Ahhhh- brunch. It's such a great meal really, and when eggs are our canvas, creating a special menu for Easter just feels so-- natural.

Though I haven't completely decided what we will be having- i do know that it is absolutely necessary in include some items- lamb, asparagus (looking for wild red "asparagus", if you have any let me know), quail eggs, local ham, and eggs-- of course. In my family, it was a tradition to have eggs and sobrasada, apparently (after doing a google of that so i could link it for you) that must be something very specific to my family, as sobrasada seems to only exist in one photo- I have decided that i while this year i will do my best to replicate it (i'm sure my aunt marilynn is scoffing at me now), i will make it a mission to reconnect with my Portuguese roots- master my family's original recipe, and share it with all of you for real next year.. in the meantime, i will make do with some hose made lamb chorizo and egg frittata's and hope everyone in my family appreciates my efforts...

Speaking of efforts-

Kismet has been steadily gaining on expansion plans-- though there are lots of rumors out there about where and when we are moving into a larger space, I can tell you only this:

we are currently negotiating 2 spaces downtown in montpelier and hoping to have things clarified by the end of june and plan to be in our new space by the end of the year. In the meantime, we are planning to have about ten more seats outside for the summer, and will hopefully have our liquor license by next month (in time for deserving mothers on mother's day). What else? Oh! and the space currently inhabited by kismet???? well, there are lots of ideas, one of which is for us to share it with others-- do you have any ideas??

also, we are working with someone fabulous to recreate our menu and re-do our website-- i am REALLY excited about this and hope that everyone will give me some feedback about what you would like for the new menu to include.. do you have a favorite? was there a special you had once that you think deserves permanent placement on our menu? is there something we should know about items we have now and how they could be different? Kismet is yours just as much as it is ours-- trust me-- i just work here.

so, what do you want for breakfast?

good night, i love you, and I'll see you in the morning!

Monday, March 23, 2009

thinking about how things have been-

the sap flowing like mad--flooding- then stopping and standing at a STAND STILL-- that's kind of like how i feel--
man, i felt it all in February- it was overwhelming, it was all flowing freely--then slowed down... but now and now in mid march, i am feeling it again.
you may have heard about the "skinny on the skinny" post-- it was all pretty bizarre and unusual, and it set off all sort of reactions-- one of which was my choice to remove the post from this blog--
while i hoped that folks would read it and be inspired by both benjy's and my generosity (in sharing our process-s), what actually happened was an overwhelming amount of feedback that has been very distracting-
for the last time (i hope), i will say again that kismet is not worried about competition-- our (sp and kismet) conversations previously posted was about getting to know each other... that's it....
and now that time has passed, and time does what it does (allows us to evolve), we all are able to settle in to what is what..
what is what?
love is in the air....
love me and i love you back
loving redhen ham and cheese croissants, loving so many things--
more later

Thursday, March 12, 2009

sap flowing

it was early when i got up this morning, still dark, and still snow on the ground..
it feels endless- and lately i have felt a bit overwhelmed by it- but when I unlocked the front door, and started putting together my prep list, i started getting really excited-
I remembered that joel had brought down a delivery of local beans from the north east kingdom (yellow eye, king of the early and jacobs cattle). And as I started pulling things out of the fridge to prep for the day, I came across the salad greens that Pete's Greens brought us yesterday (full of sunflower greens, tiny baby kale and little leaves of radish and lettuces-) sitting next to the absolutely fabulous greens from joe at screaming ridge- And though it doesn't feel like spring outside, i can see that it is close- i can taste it, literally- and it tastes good!

During my morning chores- making coffee, mixing crepe batter, melting chocolate- I kept thinking about this whole thing with the skinny pancake. I still feel kind of confused- i know that everything will work out as it needs to- i just feel distracted. I have been getting a bit of response about the post and the situation- unfortunately, quite a few of them have been very intense and from folks who have never been to kismet. I am questioning myself- maybe even doubting a bit- pausing when maybe i wish i were flowing-
and then, the sun is up- and it's warm and cozy and the tomatoes in my hand are ripe and meaty and juicy, and I am inlove.... and just like that, the sap starts flowing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

closed till march 4!

here's our recent press release:

For immediate release
February 26, 2008
Contact: Crystal Maderia
802 522 3403

Kismet Re-opens After Spring Break
As many know, most restaurants suffer slow sales and profit losses in February, and for those restaurants dependant on local ingredients, February is a cold and bleak month. But many Central Vermonters who have visited Kismet in Montpelier, know that this restaurant has a way of avoiding the odds. Thanks to a dynamic business plan, and a commitment to a sustainable business model, Kismet owners Alanna Dorf and Crystal Maderia have been able to navigate this usually slow season with ease.
Thanks to the diversity of their business, which offers event and wedding catering as well as an in-house menu of locally sourced breakfast, brunch and lunch menu items, February is a time of planning, prosperity, and productivity. As couples around the region plan for their summer weddings, Kismet collects deposits well in advance, and often finds deposit checks rolling in during the winter months. “Unlike other restaurants, our bank account is full in February”, remarks Crystal co-owner and Chef, “this gives us an unusual opportunity to enjoy the slower season and make the most of this time to plan for the upcoming season”.
One of the ways business owners Alanna Dorf and Crystal Maderia make the most of their time is by closing the restaurant doors for all or part of February. This year, the business partners remained open for most of the month due to local customer insistence, closing just the last week of the month. “It’s amazing how much networking I have been able to do”, recounts Crystal, “I am really excited to go into spring having re-connected with local farmers and wild harvesters and having had a chance to really consider all of our options, intentions, and opportunities for this coming year”.
In addition to continuing their search a new larger downtown location, Kismet is planning to build a large patio for outside dining, has applied for a liquor license to serve organic brunch cocktails, has collaborated with several local farms to ensure year-round local produce, and will re-open Wednesday, March 4, with a new Take-Out Dinner menu. To celebrate the re-opening, and in the spirit of spring, Kismet will be offering $2.00 shots of local organic wheatgrass normal restaurant hours Wednesday through Sunday 8am-3pm, and free house-made butter with all take-out dinner orders.
For more information about Kismet, to read the Kismet blog, or to view the online menus, go to www.kismetkitchen.com. Business hours will resume Wednesday March 4. Kismet is open Wednesday through Sunday.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This weekend, I am offering two specials in honor of my grandmother
(we call her ne-ne), whose funeral i attended this week. My grandmother who lived in Pawcatuck CT near mystic and stonington, is part of a very large italian and portugese family, and many are fisherman, so I knew I could get something fresh. Unfortunately my wee little ne-ne (she was only 4'7" tall), was not known as being a gourmet- so, when I went to my aunt patty's fish shop in westerly, and asked for ne-ne's favorites, I new I was going to have to get creative. I did not leave the fish shop with a few dozen live lobster, I did leave the shop with a dozen stuffed scallops and a pile of finnan haddie. My grandmother loved the stuffed scallops (scallop shells filled with a breadcrumb mixture of shrimp, crab and scallops meat) baked as is, but today's benediction will feature the scallops topped with poached eggs and hollendaise and served with a salad or our classic local roots.

The finnanhaddie is a smoked haddock originally from scotlland, but a classic in many a cream sauce and chowder recipes from my home town. Today I will feature it in an omelette with pea tendrils, tomato, chevre and raw milk cheddar.

i dont really get out of town very often, so even though this trip was sort of last minute and in the midst of other dramas- i did appreciate the opportunity to get to re-unite with my family and.. to see the ocean!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

winter wonder..ing how much longer???

As our supply of local foods narrows to just a few items- and the snow keeps falling- and it seems everyroom i am in nearly everyone is coughing or weezing- i am wishing more and more that i could hibernate for the season! But alas- you would not let me! each day, I get to share the warmth and coziness with some of montpelier's finest, and fantasize and make plans for the spring and summer to come- I am planning alot lately- planning our summer wedding menus (simple, fresh, and fabulous!), planning events for my book (come see me at the co-op in February!) and for kismet (can't wait for the farmer's market again this year!), and getting to work directly with farmers planning crops for this coming year! And... you may have heard, we are also hoping to plan a move by 2010! So, while the snow is still falling out my window and I am very much troubled by the depths and diseases of winter- I am also fully involved in an internal process like many of the farmers and foragers we love and depend on here in vermont- It is important to be just a little bit ahead of things- though sometimes it feels impossible to keep up a pace like that- winter does give us a moment (while stuck in our driveway) to contemplate easier and warmer times- and ways that we can help manifest them!

I would love to hear some of your ideas! Any idea where we should move to? what would you like to see kismet incorporate into it's plan for 2009? an outdoor patio? bloody mary's and mimosas? a new menu? dinner? let us know what direction you would like to see us grow, and if you have any resources you think we should know about-- please, LET US KNOW!

in the meantime, I will share with you some of my favorite Montpelier offerings you may not know about--

MAYDAY studios-- my favorite little bookbinder runs a letterpress shop here in montpelier- check out her website too!

Saragrace and the Suits-- this band only plays about once a month, but they bring the type of full sound that keeps you going well past that

fat toad farm cajata-- yummmmm

montpelier winter farmer's market-- every other saturday up on college street

an amazing sprout salad special at THE BLACK DOOR, using pete's greens micro salad (not on sale elsewhere)

soon to come-- Venus Tattoo studio! in east montpelier providing tribal, unique, and custom tattoos!

two rivers farm-- they are planning alot of work over there, and because it is so close to town, everyone who loves good food and loves montpelier should check it out and get involved

edible green mountains is a great new, FREE magazine dedicated to local food issues in vermont.. though they haven't featured us yet, I did have a conversation with Deb (the editor) that inspired me deeply.
transition vermont is this new communication and networking tool helping folks connect and participate in local events that will help to shape montpelier and the rest of vermont's future. Join us and become our friend!