Dining at Cloudland Farm in Woodstock, Vermont is true farm-to-table dining set in a pristine country atmosphere. Half the fun of getting there are the pastoral, scenic views. It's a short drive out of the center of town and you'll want to bring your cameras and probably pull the car over a few times, as we did, to capture the views as you drive up.
It's a real, 1,000 acre working farm with an outpost store for buying extremely fresh meats and a small restaurant with limited hours for dinner service. Rustic and beautiful, it is a dining experience you will not soon forget.
Dinners are served on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with a simple menu of truly fresh, local food. It's also a BYOB restaurant which actually makes the dining here very affordable and absolutely worth the trip. We selected a Bearboat Pinot Noir 2009 from our home wine stock knowing that we would probably be enjoying some red meat as beef is their specialty. If you don't bring your own wine then stop in and meet wine purveyor Eric Wegner at the F. H. Gillingham And Sons General Store in Woodstock. He receives the Cloudland Farm menus each week and will pair a great selection of wine for you.
We were seated at a window table. It was close to sunset and as we looked out at the spectacular mountain view there was a slight mist in the air making us feel like we were actually dining in the clouds. We began with Asparagus Soup served with fresh Sourdough Bread and fresh country butter. It's amazing how much different really fresh, local food tastes. Just fantastic.
Next up was the Potato Gnocchi tossed with Country Bacon. Accompanied by an Arugula Salad with a light vinaigrette, this was a simple yet impressively good dish. The puffy bits of gnocchi had a toothy crunch and soft, creamy center. Beautiful.
Next up was a plate of bright green Fiddleheads with fresh goat cheese and berry sauce. Another terrific blend of layers of flavor and beautiful to look at on the plate.
Then, of course, there was the Beef. Perfectly done, as you can see, tender and flavorful. Local carrots and beets, sauteed onions and a drizzle of aged balsamic was, again, a simple presentation but just perfect, great whole food.
From the moment we saw the menu for the evening we were very intrigued by the sound of a Beet Sherbet. It did not disappoint in any way. Served with a Chocolate Crumble and small Flourless Chocolate Cake and a splash of Olive Oil and dribbles of Chocolate Gel it was a fitting end to an unforgettable dining experience.
Our view. If you arrive a bit early for your seating you are welcome to open your wine and sit out on the wraparound porch and just enjoy the verdant, green landscape as far as the eye can see. Just gorgeous.
So, would we recommend the place? Of course! In fact, we cannot recommend it enough. As much as we love Boston there just is not any overall dining experience that can compare to farm dining in such a bucolic, setting. Where else do you actually drive into a barn to park your car for dinner? Even if the food could be matched it would literally cost hundreds of dollars more for the dinner. Great spot. Great dining. Great people. Don't miss it.
1101 Cloudland Road
Woodstock, VT 05091
Helpful hint: Cellular coverage is spotty in these here parts, including GPS. The roads are not all clearly marked. We printed out directions in advance and had no problem at all, We suggest you do the same.
Our dinner was provided by the restaurant and arranged by the @GoWoodstockVT promotion site with no promise of any editorial consideration. We call 'em as wee see 'em, folks.