NECI on Main
NECI on Main

NECI on Main

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.neci.edu/neci-on-main/index
  • Phone: 8022233188
  • 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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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
NECI on Main reviews from OpenTable diners
47 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (28)special occasion (22)great for lunch (16)great for brunch (15)neighborhood gem (14)good for groups (12)romantic (8)notable wine list (8)great for outdoor dining (6)kid-friendly (6)hot spot (3)late-night find (2)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • can't tell they're students
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    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.
  • 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.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Our server for the Father's Day brunch was very friendly and attentive. The food quality was good but there was no communication of farm to table, and many of the buffet items were not identified.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surprising Saturday lunch
    LocalvoreVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Went to Montpelier for the day, with the farmers market, booksales, shops and perfect walking and exploration day. Had friends join me for lunch as NECI never fails. Most of the meals were delicious and interesting presentation. Same menu as two weeks ago. But that's good. However, the French fries were nearly the worst ever, and not appropriate accompaniment to the smoked salmon club sandwich (which is scrumptious! But huge and too much bread). Server was new, but not attentive, and the restaurant was not full. Two salads were large and Both guests thought them delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent as Usual
    katef
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Neci on Main never fials to satisfy..friends and we had a late lunch and it served as dinner..so good and abundant...don't pass on bread, this time rye with caraway, whatever you do.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 21 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 456 reviews are from the NECI on Main reviews archive.
  • Server & food excellent
    Gryphon
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Our server Chris was excellent with his menu knowledge and descriptions. The food was perfectly prepared and plated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Culinary Treat
    beatlegirl53
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    We dined at the NE Culinary Institute for dinner. We had a lovely meal with good service. Some of the food was a bit inconsistent, but to be expected considering they are student chefs. We will definitely pay another visit when we are in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ambrosia for lunch
    LocalvoreVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    My first meal as a returning snowbird took me straight to Montpelier and NECI! The spring menu had SO much choice, but that didn't bother me as I will be returning soon, in hopes of sampling everything :-) astonishing smoked salmon club sandwich (fries were a bit heavy with this, crisps instead?) it all melted in the mouth. Their ice tea is simply divine, fresh, fragrant, chilled. We shared desserts as everyone wanted to taste the gorgeous creations. You won't be disappointed by any. It was first day for the waiter, so service was somewhat inept. But he was not intrusive for our delightful reunion.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Too salty
    DaisyMaeVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    While my dinner partners seemed to enjoy there meals, both my Caesar salad and mushroom barley risotto were far too salty for me to give more than 3 stars for the food. Better to under-salt than over!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceeded Expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Do not miss dining at NECI on Main when in Montpelier! Our experience was lovely. A rare treat to have an excellent dinner and a tasteful quiet setting. Well done NECI!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ambiance and Taste
    Clay
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I dined in the basement which I feel is a cloistered mecca of quiet ambiance. A feel of secrets and mystique envelope the dining experience in an aura of calm. Is it day or night, is it sun or rain...all thoughts leave and allow one to revel in good companionship, food and drink. The food, napery and service is perfection. I could go on...but there must be imagination for your own visit.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sunday Brunch
    xmasboy
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We had Sunday Brunch on Mothers Day. The only thing I did not like was being seated upstairs, a bit inconvenient when all of the food is on the first floor. Service was great, food was amazing! Save room for the deserts - the selection of varied deserts was overwhelming. I sampled as many as possible! We have primarily done Sunday Brunch in and around Burlington. Sadly the choices in Burlington are either real good (over priced or no reservations available) or just not that good. Decided to make the short drive to Montpelier to try something different. Very happy we did so.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Small Plates
    MichaelB
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    My wife and I had a wonderful 3 course, 6 small plate dinner. Everything arrived on time and was delicious. As usual NECI is outstanding
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Graduation Dinner
    MSRDO
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We chose this venue for our graduation celebration and it was excellent. Small enough to be intimate but a very diverse and fun menu. Food was excellent
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A fan already
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    I already commented at the restaurant. To me, NECI is a "find." It was the second visit for me, and both were enjoyable: meal excellent and staff most-pleasant. I wish a NECI existed closer to where I live, in Venice Beach, California. Maybe one of these days. Robert Kelm
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good fresh food
    Ellen
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    Food was good and waiter very attentive. Quickly corrected a miscommunication re ingredients with a new plate that was perfect. Accommodating to vegans.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a find!
    Nancy
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Beautiful restaurant, wonderful service, and very good food.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Easter brunch
    VTeats
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    We enjoyed our Easter brunch at NECI on Main. We especially appreciated that the staff worked hard to find us a better table--they originally had us in the downstairs bar area, rather than the more pleasant and lively main upstairs dining room. They were completely booked, so it was very nice for them to take the time to find us another table. The brunch is very reasonably priced, given the range of choices offered. In short, good value, and a very pleasant, festive brunch. By the way, we had eaten at NECI the evening before with friends, because we wanted to hear our conversation. So if you are looking for a quieter dining room for dinner, and some tasty eating, this is a good choice.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lesser brunch
    Knippelche
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    Enjoyed brunch, but were disappointed in lack of bread, fruit running out and no butter or margarine. We were used to better brunches with you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.