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NECI on Main

621 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies (758)
  • Special Occasion (580)
  • Neighborhood Gem (494)

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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.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Contemporary American, Contemporary European
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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
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Phone number
(802) 223-3188
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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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
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Cross street
School St.
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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
(reservations required)

Mother's Day Brunch Sunday May 12, 2013
(reservations recommended)
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 621 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner (Dallas)
4.0  Dined on October 6, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (New England)
4.0  Dined on October 6, 2017

Could not be happier with our choice of prime rib. It was perfectly cooked and the pumpkin panna cotta was the perfect ending highlight.

OpenTable Diner (Detroit)
5.0  Dined on September 16, 2017

Steak was one of the best I've had. Fish and chips...incredible...going back to have it !!!

OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on August 26, 2017

We had a very good dining experience at NECI. The food was well presented and tasty. It's been our experience that in this type of restaurant (culinary school) always does a great job. We would recommend.

gretchen (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined on August 23, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on August 19, 2017

Awesome meal and we love supporting the students of NECI.

sandyv (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on August 12, 2017

Mostly everthing was very good. I did think the demonico steak was overpriced. Hopefully you do change the menu often as it is rather limited.

Dotti (Philadelphia)
3.0  Dined on August 4, 2017

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.

vipjillery (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on August 1, 2017

Everyone should eat here. Wonderful dinner and food was fab.

OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on July 25, 2017

Took my father on vacation and made Montepelier a stop just to experience NECI on Main. Well worth the visit. Fine dining and great food.

vipMaxx (Las Vegas)
4.0  Dined on June 30, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on June 21, 2017

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!

OpenTable Diner (New England)
3.0  Dined on June 17, 2017

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.

OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
1.0  Dined on June 15, 2017

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

OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on June 10, 2017

Overall great experience once again. Food was delicious but some dishes could have used a bit more sauce

OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 14, 2017

Mother's Day brunch was wonderful! Amazing food and good service. I only wish they were open for Sunday brunch more often.

OpenTable Diner (New England)
4.0  Dined on May 14, 2017

Mother's Day brunch was excellent as it has been for the past 3 years

ChrisW (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 14, 2017

Thank you very much. Definitely a great Mother's Day brunch!!


vipNicholasoftheNorth (New England)
5.0  Dined on May 5, 2017

Always a great experience. Don't hesitate to go here!

OpenTable Diner (New England)
4.0  Dined on April 16, 2017

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.