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About 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.
Montpelier, VT 05602
Contemporary American, Contemporary European
Hours of Operation:
TUESDAY - SATURDAY Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Lite Fare 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Farm to Table
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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
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
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
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
Mother's Day Brunch Sunday May 12, 2013
NECI on Main Ratings and Reviews
This is our second time having dinner at NECI on Main. We have not been disappointed either time and will come back again every time we come up to Montpelier to visit our son at Norwich University. The overall quality of the food is very good, and we love the fact that we are supporting the students by dining there. The staff is friendly and efficient. This has to be the best restaurant in Montpelier for a fine meal.
Actually we were slightly disappointed here. We have been each summer as we visit this area for the last 5 years.
The service was very professional but delivery very slow.
The sweet pea soup was delicious.
Cheese plate was great.
The deviled eggs and salmon appetizer was very good altho not sure if that was supposed to be dill because it had no taste.
The risotto was barely warm and the veggies served with it were overcooked and mushy.
The fish and chips platter was very good with the exception of fries being too many.
The strawberry ice cream was icy and perhaps flavorless.
The coffee was strong and tasted old but the waitress did say she was brewing fresh decaf.
Our group of six liked their meals to different degrees. Veggie burger had wonderful ingredients but was bland. Salmon and risotto meals were delicious. All portions were reasonably sized. Great VT beers on tap. The daily specials were pricy. The bartender/waitress in downstairs dining room was exceptional, however not a NECI student.
I always loved this restaurant when it was the chefs table. I am sorry to see the upstairs dining room is closed, as I loved the ambience there. The night I went school was out of session. So the menu was sadly very limited. That said, what we had was excellent, but I was disappointed in the limited options.
Took a group of adults to Montpelier for a day trip as part of a municipal recreation program and we had lunch at NECI on Main. This was certainly a highlight of our day! The food was delicious and the ambiance was perfect for a sunny afternoon. They accommodated our group of 7 easily, and service was prompt and friendly. While the lunch menu is only one page, there's a great variety, whether you like classic pub fare like Fish & Chips or burgers with hand-cut fries, or prefer to try something a little out-of-the-box, such as Chicken Coq au Vin with zoodles or a smoked salmon tartine salad, you're guaranteed to have a well-presented and tasty meal.
We all give NECI on Main top marks, would recommend it to friends, and will plan to dine here again!
This restaurant is outstanding for the ambiance and the food, which have never disappointed us in dining here over the past 17 years. We originally discovered the place in the AAA book for Vermont.
This visit was unfortunate in that we were seated close to two women who seemed to be having a long-distance conversation The noise level was not energetic, but loud and obnoxious. I could not decide which one I wanted to strangle first. We do not like being flies on the wall for others' table talk. Unfortunately, NECI can have no control over such insecure, loud personalities.
We were seated at a small table, even though we dined later on a slow night. The room was mostly empty. Our server did ultimately move a second table over for us. We had ordered the demonico steak for two, which comes on four serving dishes, so space was a real problem.
This steak was delicious and grilled perfectly. Our only criticism was that it had inedible tendons/membranes running through it, because of the way it had been butchered. The accompanying salad was a real diet portion - hardly enough to share, if you enjoy salads.
The desserts were very creative and prepared and presented perfectly.
We would definitely recommend this restaurant for a fine dining experience that is not pretentious or condescending. The lunch clientele do not seem to be as noticeably loud as we found this evening's diners to be (there was another table of loud mouths when we arrived).
Once they left, it was delightful.
Every time that I traveled to VT, I used to go to this restaurant because it was a delight to try special dishes prepared at the Culinary's School. Unfortunately this time was a total disappointment as the food was common dishes prepared in chain restaurants and not of the quality and flavor of the NECI.
L and M Felhazy
We were pleasantly surprised at how lovely and welcoming it was. A good place to sit with a drink and talk before eating. Food is excellent and the desserts were amazing. The staff were friendly and resposive. The coffee was lukewarm and when I asked for hot, she made fresh coffee for me and it was excellent. My one suggestion is that the server not tell guests to keep their dirty fork instead of supplying a fresh one, especially for dessert. Good restaurants do not ask guests to keep a dirty fork.
We have gone to Easter brunch for 12 straight years. The only thing up to par were the desserts. Terrible vegetarian options, Frittata was bland tasting and gelatinous in texture. Potatoes were greasy with the only seasoning being pepper. Without the omelet bar, which was a staple, vegetarian selection was basically non existent. We will not be back.
I've been to fine restaurants, in New York City, Boston, New Haven, Connecticut and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and NECI on Main last night out performed them all. The meals presented to myself and my friend were prepared without compromise, and to the highest standards that I have ever experienced. For example the black tea served with my fish and chips could only be matched by traveling to the U.K....the fish was done to a turn and the chips cooked and salted to perfection...needing no malt vinegar to enhance or hide flavor...The veggie burger was stunning as were the colors in the tequila sunrise, something perfect for an overcast day in Vermont's opening of mud season. The shared side of Tapas was also a winner in each of its dozen offerings...The service was attentive, thoughtful and discrete. On a scale of one to ten, the experience was a thousand and a fantastic value considering the amount of work and the quality of work that went into these meals.
We've eaten at NECI once before and had a truly exceptional experience. Both the food and the service was absolutely fantastic. We were hoping for the same this time. We ate upstairs this time; and, although not badly dressed, we were dressed casually. I felt we were encouraged to eat downstairs this time, and it felt as if that was because of our appearance; but, we wanted to experience the upstairs this visit. Despite the restaurant not being busy -- throughout the time of our stay -- we were sat at the table just out from the kitchen at what felt like the where they seat the dregs. This would have been fine, and to some extent expected; but, that coupled with the fact that the table -- which was rigidly attached to the wall -- had a noticeable slant (4.5 degrees according to our phone app), made feel as if we were sat there punitively. They must be aware of this issue and choose to maintain it for this purpose.
The deviled egg and salmon appetizer was quite good. The rest of our meal was unexceptional. I had hoped for more. The price was fine. The service was fine. The experience was frankly rather off-putting for the lot of us.
We were excited to return, but we won't be in a rush to get back a third time.
NECI on Main is [in my opinion] the central VT place to go for a special date, valentine's day dinner, etc. The food is always made with fresh ingredients, presented beautifully, and great, sometimes spectacularly so! The menu choices are perhaps more limited than at many restaurants, but the choices are wonderfully different than "more standard fare". There is a meeting room down stairs which is ideal for special high-level business meetings or special family gatherings. For such meals and service one expects to pay premium prices, and you will. But you will get your money's worth. From that point of view I wish I could rationalize visiting NECI on main more often!
New Years Eve - it was not really busy and the food was OK for a banquet style evening and good value. Excellent dessert and table appetizer of smoked salmons. Our waiter however was a little too intrusive,joining in the table conversation on several occasions and removing plates before we had all finished (pet peeve). The restaurant was also out of several liquors which made us smile as the Liquor Store is next door! We have eaten here several other times.... it goes through cycles but you can usually count on good interesting food
We celebrated New Year's Eve. It was a perfect choice with creative food preparation, good selection, unique appetizers and desserts. Service was friendly while not intrusive and at an appropriate pace for a relaxed dining experience. We recommend it highly.
Excellent food, been here several times. Have to remind ourselves it's a "learning restaurant" where everyone working there is in culinary school, from the chefs to the waitstaff. They do a very professional job and it's nice to be able to encourage them. In addition to enjoying the delicious and varied menu items at very reasonable prices for such high quality, we really enjoy talking with the students who serve/bus our table. It's fun to find out where they came from and what their plans are after NECI, and just their personalities in general. It's a hard career choice they've chosen, and they do a fabulous job at NECI on Main. Highly recommend dining here for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch; you'll enjoy wonderful food while supporting the students in their efforts to become culinary professionals.
A pleasant venue, but inconsistent presentation. Drinks were strong, deviled egg appetizer fantastic. Burger entree very good. Fish & chips entree - the fries were good. The batter on the fish was spongy on the outside, and a glue-like, doughy texture inside - did not stay in the fryer long enough. No flavor in tbe Switchel-batter, was very plain.
I was disappointed in the very uninspired menu selections. In the past NECI had a good selection of dishesincluding seafood. We didn't come to NECI for burgers for dinner. The special short rib dish was good and the service was outstanding. Too bad about the limited menu
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