NECI on Main
NECI on Main

NECI on Main

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.neci.edu/neci-on-main/index
  • Phone: (802) 223-3188
  • Hours of Operation:
    SUNDAY Brunch Buffet 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
    MONDAY Closed
    TUESDAY - SATURDAY Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
    Lite Fare 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Farm to Table & Mediterranean Tapas Menu
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary European, Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Our Wine Room is a private room located in our Cellar area. It seats 16 guests comfortably. This space is popular for smaller gathering or meetings.

    Please contact Neil Archibald for Wine Room inquiries
    802-225-3314

    Our Chef’s Table dining room is located on our second floor. It offers seating for up to 40 guests. In our quiet, private space, separate from the rest of the hustle and bustle of our Cellar and Main Floor.

    Please contact Fawn Wells Maxfield for Chef's Table inquiries
    802-225-3333
  • Private Party Facilities: NECI's fabulous dining rooms are available to you for business meetings, corporate retreats, holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, banquets, private dining and so much more.

    The use of regional ingredients, innovative cuisine and gracious service in an intimate setting continues on. For a one of a kind culinary experience, no matter the occasion, a fine dining experience awaits you and your guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Fawn Wells 802-225-3333
  • Special Events: Vermont Restaurant Week menus available for Lunch, Dinner & Tapas 4/26/13 - 5/10/13

    Local Foods Dinner Thursday May 9, 2013 @ 6:30 PM in Chef's Table
    (reservations required)

    Mother's Day Brunch Sunday May 12, 2013
    (reservations recommended)

Getting there

  • Cross Street: School St.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from NECI on Main
Imagine the entire state of Vermont as a food experiment or as its own laboratory where food products are grown and created for this particular climate; seasonally, organically, and sustainably. Now imagine restaurants as teaching laboratories this restaurant for instance.

NECI on Main is a production lab for New England Culinary Institute. For 30 years we have been teaching students to make connections with farmers, between the landscape and our food, and between seasons and culinary traditions. Sometimes we include food items that express a particular sense of place from outside of Vermont, or culinary traditions from other cultures, and use those items or experiences to enhance the foods grown here in Vermont.

Our menu is no exception in this teaching philosophy, and reflects the best that Vermont’s farmers, and America’s next generation of young chefs offer.

Continued
Foodspotting photos
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NECI on Main reviews from OpenTable diners
70 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (44)special occasion (34)neighborhood gem (26)great for brunch (22)good for groups (15)romantic (13)notable wine list (12)great for lunch (12)kid-friendly (6)great for outdoor dining (3)vibrant bar scene (3)hot spot (3)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Students rock
    wamu
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Great food, a lovely atmosphere, quiet - able to hear conversation well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • group brunch
    lovetobrunch
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We were 7 for Sunday brunch, 4 from out of town. We were seated at a large round banquette, which offered a very comfortable opportunity to talk to everyone, and would have been great for a sit down dinner, but was awkward....actually difficult...for brunch. The brunch choices were plentiful, and the quality of those choices were mostly delicious. It was noticeable, tho, that someone was lax in refilling the stations. More than one, and more than once, the offerings were empty; and unfortunately more than once the empty plates were not cleared when one returned to the table. That being said, I would return for brunch again, knowing to request not being seated at the round banquette.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent place for brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    The brunch at NECI is always superb. Every item on the buffet is delicious and the service is outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • MS
    nowhere
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    The food was not very good, my Grandaughter's grilled cheese was burnt and my turkey buger had no sauce and was very dry. We also ordered the beef stew and there were no vegetables. I would not recommend this restaurant for anyone. We also thought the prices were high for such bad food.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Birthday Brunch
    VTLake
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    3rd year we have done Nana's birthday lunch at NECI. Good food and service. Excellent selection of food for all ages.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Demo's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Demo's are nice, great & quiet distraction. The chefs are accessible and knowledgeable. I wish the demos had samples. I understand the demo food is plated on certain nights, but while things are slow (ie: during the first couple seatings of the night), it would be easy to generate interest and activity by having the demo station active. Our group was the first seating and it was a let down to see a skilled chef on display, front and center, basically twiddling his thumbs while he waited for orders from the kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleasant meal
    periwinkle
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    One has to keep in mind that NECI is a training ground, which in most respects is barely noticeable. Our server was friendly, energetic, and fairly thorough. We had to ask for a couple things usually offered (pepper, more coffee). She'll get better and better. Our salads were delicious, as was the small plate. Presentation was lovely on everything. One of our entrees, skirt steak, was on the small size (and we're not huge eaters). The other, duck, had a good flavor but was undercooked and, therefore, tough. It was a special occasion, so we ordered desserts. Tasty and, though smallish, ample. Good deal on wine by the glass on Wed. nights. It's a nice touch to have a special on each night of weeknights. We'll go back, but not often.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food from the students
    vernfin
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We've been to this restaurant which is staffed by students from the New England Culinary Institute and always been pleased with the food. The menu is interesting and the execution is just a professional as many of the urban "foodie" destinations. Definitely worth a visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fine culinary experience
    LuvDiningOutVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Culinary institute restaurant offering some terrifically designed and executed dishes. A quality culinary adventure in a handsome space with very capable service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality meal
    JaspersJewels
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    at a very affordable price. I have paid a lot more at restaurants for a lot less. We went for lunch and I am sure dinner is equally good. When we are near Montpelier again we will certainly visit NECI again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Totally awesome
    Yves1965
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    I had gone there a few times and always liked it, I had never tryed the brunch, and it was worth the price... All the food available was excellent, will definitely go back there...
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • beware of bearded ginger host...
    fansince96
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Our server was absolutely wonderful - was happy to answer our questions about the menu, understanding when we had special requests (for example, when my father asked that he give some uncleaned area of the table to be wiped off again, or when we were missing a fork at one point). HE was, and is, an absolute gem! I cannot say the same for the host. He treated us with great impatience and made sure that we knew that our request for a table which wasn't in a heavy traffic area of the restaurant was unreasonable and enormously irritating. My parents live out of town, but visit frequently. I, however, am a longtime resident of Montpelier so think that that particular host's behavior will not serve him well in such a small community.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch! Hope to be back again.
    foodtaster
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Brunch buffet with made to order omelets, had a tasty selection of breakfast foods (bacon, sausage, pancakes, potatoes), as well as including cheeses, smoked fish & meats and terrines, sliced fruit, salmon, beef, green beans, very fresh salad greens and toppings, and a varied selection of mini desserts. No excuse to leave hungry! Brunch is probably their best value meal, at $24, a very fair price for the offerings. The salmon and scrambled eggs on English muffin with topping (forget what it was called) were cooked perfectly, very appreciated as it's not an easy or common feat when serving food on heated buffet trays. We've begun making Sunday brunch at NECI a regular outing on our vacation trip to Vermont. (2nd time, and we'll be back)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • gr8xperience
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    I chose the salmon prepared at the Action table (hope I have the right term). I often have meals I don't care for as I do not love garlic and so many restaurants seem to overdo this ingredient. If there was any, it was not noticeable. Loved the kale, risotto and carrots. The presentation was beautiful and the amount was just right for my appetite. Delicious! Everyone at the table cleaned their plates, a real compliment to the chefs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Traveling in Vermont for 2 day vacation. Had a great meal and a very nice evening. Menu was interesting and all the food for the 4 of us was great. The only blemish was a busy bar on Martini nite (Thursday). Our drink order took way too long and our appetizer was served and finished before our cocktail arrived. Waitress was very informative and apologized. Also had to correct an item on the bill that was overcharged.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good service, disappointing menu
    frelin49
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    We read other reviews about this restaurant and saw several comments about poor service, but our server was terrific. We found that the menu didn't have much on it that appealed to us. What we finally ordered was good, though. I would recommend this restaurant. Whenever we get up to Montpelier, we always stop for dinner there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth the visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Food was actually very good but the special (a pork dish carving station) was not very hot. Our waiter Henry was outstanding and a pleasure to meet. If you're a meat and potatoes diner this might not be for you as most dishes were gourmet dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • can't tell they're students
    tpmp
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    This was my second time eating here, and, like the first time, the food was wonderful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, so-so service
    MaybePicky
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Attracted to NECI as a culinary school thinking that all the kitchen and front staff would be students. Correct for the kitchen but not the front staff, all employees, the wine waiter on his first day and the waitress quite new. Food was very good, nicely presented with not-too-large servings. Only comments here that bread not fresh and butter for 4 came in 2 small pats. Asked for more got 2 more small pats. Wine came, the tasting performed and glasses poured. Bottle (white wine, inadequately chilled) plunked down on table. Asked for an ice bucket which came and bottle placed therein. That was the last we saw of him so refilled our glasses ourselves as no one else offered to do so. Meals slow to arrive, later arrivals served before us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 20Visitor
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Great Evening - not rushed - it was enjoyable to be able to relax, talk quietly and still be able to hear everyone around the table. The food was good and portions just the right size.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mlhuffstetler
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We had a wonderful buffet style breakfast with our close friends. The Cooks were outstanding in making our eggs. There was a wonderful variety of other foods available as well as the desserts. The blueberry bomb is the bomb! We will be back! Many thanks to all! Great dining experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Saturday
    gosomewhereelse1
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I'm sorry, but we were disappointed. Service was slow (the server was pleasant), my duck was almost raw, and my friend's pasta was mushy. We won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent
    betterthanhome
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Been going [irregularly] for 20 years, never been disappointed.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointment
    CuisineFan24
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I had great expectations when I booked a table, but after my visit, I can't say that I have been thrilled with the culinary experience. The appetizer was fine, but the entrée was desastrous: the briskets were overcooked, dry and hard to cut and to chew, while the green beans were very much al dente. As for the dessert, it was as deceiving as the entrée, without personality, and almost tasteless. I am truly sorry to say that I cannot recommend NECI, nor renew the experience.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A memorable meal
    Foodforthought
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Just passing through and happy to have found NECI. We really enjoyed the quality and freshness of the food as well as the diversity of the menu. Our only complaint was that the hostess was a bit aloof and after finishing our cocktail our server did not offer wine or check back with us.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Back to College Dinner
    slck007
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I ate dinner with my daughter before bringing her back to college. I had the beer braised pork loin and she had steak. Our appetizers were delicious, I had gallettes w/goat cheese and she had a sweetmeat. Beer and wine selections were good. I thought the prices were very reasonable for the quality of the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous food.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We have eaten at NECI on Main many times in the last several years. Every meal has been memorable. The food is interesting, creative, and always delicious. The brunch is like no other that I've experienced. The food may be cooked by students by the quality is first-rate. We were surprised that this restaurant was not mentioned in Seven Days Best edition. We've eaten at many of the restaurants in the Burlington area and find many of them outstanding, but we always make a few trips to Montpelier when we visit this area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Special Night Out
    Meredith
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    My girlfriend and I wanted to spend a quiet dinner catching up on events in our lives and chose NECI because of its ambiance and reputation for good food and wine. Everything was lovely except for the entree. We ordered the grilled salmon, vegetables, and potatoes. We thought a side salad would be nice.....and it was. The salmon however came as sort of a cake....like pressed fish parts and was seasoned a bit too harshly. The vegetables didn't seem bn fresh and the potatoes didn't seem fresh either. It all seemed like'quantity' bulk institutional food. Sorry for the slam....but we thought you'd like to know. The dessert was fine, however. Maybe we shouldn't order from the special menu because it may indeed be prepared in large lots.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Everything We Expected!
    AngelaDandSons
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    My sons and I attended my family reunion in Richmond, Vermont and we stayed overnight in Montpelier. I had eaten at NECI once before while traveling with my best friend to Northern Vermont. I knew my boys would enjoy the food and service and it was everything we expected and more!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sirlawrence
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The food and service was very good. Service was by a paid staff. All the food was cooked by the students. Top tier food at a very good price.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well prepared and tasty food
    vacationer
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Slightly pricy but worth it. Duck was fantastic. Great selection of beer and wine. Tasty dessert
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 39 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 468 reviews are from the NECI on Main reviews archive.
  • Quite an experience
    Neen813
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    My husband & I were recommended to try NECI on Main from some friends and we decided to do so on a recent day trip to Montpelier. The ambiance is nice & the staff was friendly and professional. Service was great - our waiter made suggestions throughout, none of which disappointed. My hat is off to the students, they do great work and this is a good way for them to hone their craft. Food was excellent - fresh, hot, nicely presented and delicious! Portion sizes were fine and the value was fantastic! I will definitely return and recommend others to try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great local spot
    agfoodie
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We had eaten at the Chef's Table, just upstairs, about 11 years ago. Decided to try NECI on Main, and it was amazing. Food was served beautifully, the wait staff gave excellent recommendations on beverage and food pairings. Would absolutely recommend, and can't wait to go back!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • very cozy
    SteveE
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Very good food. Creative combos. Very pleasant atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent as usual with 1 exception
    katef
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Visited NECI with family members...food excellent in all courses, wine list also excellent,except choice of Pinot Noir a little on the thin side..our server, while very personable, forgot one starter, forgot to mention one type of whiskey not available for drink and so did not request a substitute until very end of of dining experience and (2) desserts ordered were quite late in coming although probably already pre-plated. I think the server was fairly new (not a student) and will improve with experience...other than that...rewarding dining experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great value food
    Travelfoodie
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Although a training culinary school, the food was delicious and the service was very attentive. Will be going again when in the neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • always good
    Leah
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We visit this restaurant once a year, when we vacation in VT. We have never been disappointed there. The staff is very pleasant, and the food is a very good combination of modern without being gastrotechy. It's prices seem reasonable (especially compared with comparable places in Boston).
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprisingly Nice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We had the Lentil soup, it was not described as pure'ed but was still very good. I had the Trout over mashed potato with string beans, very good. The service was average, no bread served.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect summer lunch
    LocalvoreVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    No trip to Montpelier is complete without lunch here. It makes a lovely day (even better if you can get something at la brioche to take home for dinner or another day as a reminder of the lovely food). Mussels were light and nice portion, French fries were vastly improved over recent ones. (I do wish they didn't include hem with nearly every item on the menu though- I recall some amazing potatoes chips, or even sweet potatoe fries). It was leisurely, enjoyable, quiet lunch, rather a rare dining experience, all the more enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Father's Day event
    LocalvoreVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    This was a special day and they made it a great event. There was fantastic food, of every kind. With special thoughts to Dad food (BBQ, roast, omlettes, cookie desserts). Standards of salads and smoked salmon were exceptional. Seating was completely full, with more people wanting to come in after hours, we lingerd to fully enjoy yet another perfect sized dessert!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.