My wife and I have dined at NECI while visiting the area a few times over the past several years.
It is always a wonderful and inventive meal. A delight for any tastes and offers choices that are unique. Very fresh with local fare as much as possible. Always a variety of entrees to suite any preference or requirement. The service is always attentive and they make an effort to be helpful without hovering.
A great meal, in a warm and very friendly environment. A must if you are visiting Montpelier.
Nice place to get together with friends/family and not too expensive. The food was good and the service was excellent. .
The food was exceptional for the price. The tasting menu was well done. Appeared as though there were more table open but folks were being turned away. Guess you did not have enough staff. Unfortunate.
We returned to the site of our first date after 21 years and found it just as charming and romantic as it was then. Very accommodating wait staff had no trouble with us moving from patio to basement table after appetizers. Very reasonable wine selection and prices, and some creative dishes. The cantaloupe-ginger soup with crab was particularly good, as were the Mediterranean spreads. We will certainly be back the next time we are in town.
My wife said her trout dinner was very good. My chicken was dry and served with a (too) heavy tomato sauce, and the kale was tough. Service was great - no complaints there. Atmosphere/ambience was OK - not too spectacular. We appreciated the quiet - so many restaurants today are too noisy.
Great burgers and fries! They have a good craft beer menu and the desserts were EXCEPTIONAL .
Enjoyed ourselves. Our waitress was very nice. She might want to work a little on her comments. Instead of saying "Cool" say something else.
My previous experiences at NECI were wonderful, which is why I suggested meeting there. 4 people. For a long time we were the only patrons on a Saturday lunchtime - you used to be packed. You used to have tables on the sidewalk to sit and eat, not tall stools to perch on and drink... have had lunch, dinner and holiday brunches. All good. This was not.
3 of 4 ordered the mushroom/leek pastry - we were told by our (very sweet but not well informed) waiter that there was no salad with the dish, so only 1 stuck with it and a salad came with the meal! I had the quiche - nice, but was asked if I wanted soup and then was charged for it -though told it came with. Fried fish batter dull and tasteless, tartine (which is an open baguette with butter) came so piled high with towering veggies it was a challenge as to how to eat it. Our (very sweet) waiter did not know what was in the food we were ordering, didn't know what came with what and did not go and check to find out and return to tell us.
I liked my quiche -though calling it ratatouille was a stretch- and the mushroom/leek pastry. The wine glass had about 3 swallows, not gulps...so value wasn't great for lunch.
I have been to your restaurants in Burlington area both downtown and out a bit, in Montpelier more times than I can count and always enjoyed it.
Might have been an off day but with only 2 parties all lunch time it is hard to understand slow service, lack of information that affected our choices, and lack luster food. Since I drove from Windsor VT just for lunch had hoped for something better.
I will give it another try as I love the idea that students are learning the biz but won't bring the same friends.
NECI is a great place. There are many local products on the menu. We have been going for years. A reminder: this is a place where chefs are trained. Be flexible.
My group of 7 friends made a reservation for dinner (which was the only 5 star thing that happened) for after the Corporate Cup. We arrived and were greeted and shown to our table. That was where our experience started to take a nosedive. We were given ice water but our server did not come until 10 to 15 min later. He took our drink order our appetizer order and our dinner order because by then we had had plenty of time to figure that out. After asking about our drinks, they came 15 min after they were ordered. Thankfully we had a lot of catching up to do and realized that almost 30 min went by without anything that resembled our appetizer or dinner appearing. Someone in our party actually got up to ask for bread because we were pretty hungry by then. Finally after a little complaining our appetizer and dinner came at the same time. We had been there for an hour before our food came. By then we just wanted to eat and leave because it was getting late. We did not leave until 8:45 pm after getting there at 7:15. Too long and we were a bit disappointed with the whole experience. Knowing this is a cooking school restaurant, I normally wouldn't of bothered to write this review and I just wouldn't of gone back and would not recommend. But everyone deserves second (or even third) chances especially when they are learning. For the host..when you see someone holding the menu out at arms length that means she forgot her glasses and offer that plate of cheaters for her to see...we had to notice that. (great idea though on glasses!) Server, be more attentive and check in more. (he was very genial and friendly though...but that only goes so far. ) Our food was okay. Turkey burgers was dry for me and others just said "okay" and fish and chips for others were "okay" as well. The restaurant didn't look busy but I realize that it has several levels. Still not sure I would come back although I am a strong believer in learning from one's mistakes. Hope this was helpful.
As always, a great meal, cooked perfectly. The panda coat was amazing
My wife & I have been going to the main floor NECI restaurant on Main Street in Montpelier VT for several years- typically once a year during a ski trip. We have seen some decline in the quality of service and food over that time. The most recent meal there April 8 was adequate but far from the high quality prix fixe meals we have experienced in the past. This option apparently was not offered. The dining room ambiance is excellent but food and service has declined in our limited experience. My wife's meat was overcooked and the cheese plate was not up to the standard of past years. Service was not as relaxed and gracious as I would desire. Maybe we hit an off night? I do like to support the school.
I will start by saying I do love NECI, and have been eating out at their establishments for more than 25 years. I remember when you weren't supposed to tip because it was a learning environment (kind of loved that!) That being said, there are sometimes some drawbacks, either with food that doesn't quite live up to its potential or service that is spotty. The night we attended there was a special 3 course menu, which was great, but it took about 2 1/2 hours to complete our meal. We were not in a rush, and the staff was appropriately apologetic and doing their best, so it does not affect our overall appreciation of this venue in our community. But also want people to be prepared and remember this is a learning environment.
This restaurant that is an integral part of the New England Culinary Institute consistently turns out quality meals from the chefs in training. Occasionally the service may falter as the young charges learn their craft but your patience is almost always rewarded. Creativity is always rewarding if you are willing to be daring.
We always stop on our way to Stowe. Some visits are better than others. The menu is always imaginative. The oysters Rockefeller were the best I have ever had but serving 3 is ridiculous, 4 or 6 to the order would have been nice. The lamb meatballs delectable. The deviled eggs a good idea not the best result. The salmon should have been on each egg with the onion on top then capers would have made a better presentation. The trout was absolutely amazing and bacon mash, genius. The maple bread pudding was beautiful and flavorful but should have been served warm. Overall it was worth stopping as always, we will be back and the server was knowledgeable, professional and very kind.
My family always meets here for the wonderful Sunday Brunch. Fabulous, beautifully presented gourmet food, too many options to try everything. A great omelet and carving station, attentive staff and chef, and even a suptuous dessert table! The brunch selection is always changing, its exciting to discover what they have prepared for us! Well done!
This is the second time we've done the Sunday brunch. It's a little pricey, but when you consider all that's offered, it's really a fair deal. We brought along our family members as a special Christmas celebration--a yearly tradition that we now look forward to continuing. The wait staff was very attentive to removing our used plates, refilling our beverages, and replacing buffet items as they ran out. The food was outstanding!! Everything was freshly prepared; the cod, scallops, and shrimp ragout, in particular, was nearly life-transforming! Foodies won't be disappointed--this was gourmet dining at its finest. We'll definitely be back! :)
Appallingly bad service - drinks AND food - even though we sat in the bar. Food was good but entrees were cold.
Our appetizers came without plates to share, the waitress barely checked in, food took over an hour. The food came out hot and was good. This was a special occasion celebrating two family member's birthdays. Not sure we will try it again after the amount of money we spent.
Sunday brunch is a "can't miss" at NECI on Main. Wide selection of food and a dessert bar that can't be beat. The students at NECI work hard on the brunch, and it shows.
The appetizers were tasty and appealing - we sampled beet salad, smoked salmon with deviled eggs, and trio of spreads with pita.
However the main courses were disappointing.
The hanger steaks were tepid. The taste of the pumpkin pasta was not great and I thought the flavor of the risotto over whelmed the arctic char.
Too bad as we love your small plates and weekend brunch.
We were greeted promptly by the hostess and seated quickly. Thw wine list was varied and our choices were excellent. Service was great! The smoked char and chicken dinners were flavorful and seasoned perfectly. A wonderful dining experience.
We have enjoyed NECI on Main several times in the past during our visits to Vermont from Ottawa, Canada, and were excited to bring friends with us for their first visit. We made reservations for 1:00 pm and were surprised to find the restaurant empty when we arrived. The reason for this was that a bus tour was expected for lunch, but was late arriving. We ordered our meals, including soup for three members of our party. Apparently there was only enough soup left in the batch for one serving, so the other two had to wait. The two orders finally arrived but almost consecutively their main course was placed on the table beside the soup--getting cold while the two individuals ate their soup as quickly as possible before the main course completely cooled. Unfortunately, a quiche which had been ordered was absolutely stone cold. It had not been heated at all. Then the bus tour arrived and we were surrounded by people virtually running for tables, some of which were in close proximity to our own, so these patrons bumped against us and our table and the noise of their conversation was very disruptive. Our servers were busy with the new guests so we had no chance to order dessert and coffee, which in the end was fine with us because the atmosphere made it impossible to stay any longer. When we finally received our bill we had to take it personally to the front desk to pay because no server was available to take care of it. This was a a real disappointment after looking forward to the occasion for some time.
Coast Guard chefs. Great to see them getting the opportunity to study at NECI.
Have always loved NECI establishments. However, this time it was a disaster. Despite having reservations, we waited for a very long time before anyone even came over. Eventually a member of the wait staff said he'd find someone to seat us. We agreed to sit downstairs in the bar area because they didn't have a table for us. The service there was equally bad. The waitress didn't even come to ask if we wanted a drink. We had to get up and ask to be served. The food was okay, but certainly didn't make up for the service, which was poor from beginning to end. Such a disappointment.
I would eat there more often but find it very expensive for what is served.
The char was delicious on Friday.
It's a good half-way meeting place between Burlington and White River Jct. WE were able to have a leisurely meal without feeling rushed. Bravo!
We visited NECI on Main in Montpelier, VT for an early dinner. We shared an appetizer, and each had separate entrees and desserts. All of the food was excellent - well-prepared, tasty and interesting. I can certainly recommend the experience.
We waited nearly an hour despite our reservation. We thought we would be welcome at the bar while we waited but the bartender repeatedly told us he couldn't serve us as he had a back log of "twenty minutes" for other drinks. It was painful to watch him slowly prepare simple beverage orders while we waited patiently for simple pours such as wine or beer.
I reminded the host several times we had a reservation. He told me there was a table delay and we would have to wait, until I again said I'd made a reservation for 7 o'clock and it was unacceptable to wait any longer. He and the bartender then said they could seat us immediately. By that point we'd finally been served beverages.
Finally, a member of our party said we would no longer wait and that the service was the unacceptable so we left. The only thing that the bartender seemed to really care about was that we settle up, not that we had waited nearly an hour for OUR RESERVATION, and waited fifteen or so minutes for drinks, but really he cared only about the bill.
We came so enjoyed our total experience. The food was delicious (and we tried almost everything) and the presentation was creative and beautiful. Our servers were very attentive, and we felt positively pampered!! Thanks for a very special evening!!
Brunch was so-so. Some of the food ran out early, i had to wait for some dishes to be brought out and then there was a line waiting for it when it arrived. Some dishes were over cooked. Service was not attentive at all.
Untrained waitress lacking food prep and content knowledge.
Small wine portion.
Small main portion.
Tasteless main dish. Arctic char.
No vegetables with dish. Needed to order a separate portion of vegetables. They arrived cold.
Cold, doughy stale bread. Bread should be served warmed and crisp.
40 min wait between appetizer and main dish. No explanation given.
Will not visit again nor recommend this restaurants. Better food cooked at home.
Great food and great service. The waiter was was knowledgeable, friendly, and courteous.
This was our second visit and it was great...again.
The menu is varied to accommodate a variety of tastes. Our waiter, Thomas, was very knowledgeable about not only the menu items but the wine and beer selections.
The meal from appetizer to dessert was delicious and unique. Some wonderful seasonal offerings.
The staff is attentive but not stuffy or over bearing. It is a wonderful meal in a relaxed atmosphere.
I would highly recommend enjoying a dining experience at NECI.
We have been to brunch at NECI on Main several times, and we have enjoyed each visit very much. There is always a wide variety of options which should meet the likes and needs of almost any diner. Service staff is attentive and personable, and always very accommodating. When we vacation in Vermont, we always plan to be near Montpelier on Sunday morning. Happy to recommend this as a great brunch spot.
A place we always take guests.. ...updated dining room ..excellent food, especially newly instituted Seafood Thursday which isn't well advertised.
Servers are attentive when you want them, knowledgeable about menu choices but don't "hover".
Great outlook on Main Street in downtown Montpelier, the state capital.
My cousins and I had an excellent meal. The appetizers were traditional ones with slight tweaks so that they held a surprise. The entrees were also unusual versions of Arctic char and trout. The eggplant cheesecake was spectacular and unexpected. Our wait person was charming and mostly knowledgeable but our orders came all at once, Soup, appetizer and entrees. Not sure if it was our miscue or hers, but in any event, it was a feast!
Ate lunch there 4 years ago, was better. Pasta was boring, burger not rare as requested, gazpacho uninspired.
Best trout I've had in a very long time. The eggplant cheesecake is delicious.
NECI's Sunday Brunch was a comfortable place to enjoy family time. There was a wide variety of foods, half were breakfast foods. Our kids did not find the gourmet dishes appealing. The omlette station was the highlight for most of our party. Service was excellent and friendly.