Killington boasts a year-round population of less than 1,000. It’s quintessential New England quaint. But it’s also one of Vermont’s premier resorts, meaning the amentias are top notch, and the food is diverse and charming as a maple syrup farm. Here are three ways to dine during your next Killington ski trip, covering any mood you might find yourself in.
In Your Ski Boots
Lookout Tavern (802-422-5665, 2910 Killington Road)
It might be easy to suggest that the location is the selling point with Lookout Tavern. It is pretty much the first eating and drinking establishment once you leave the mountain and has a massive second-story deck that looks back at the resort. That’d be selling it short, however. This bar and grill doubles as a worthwhile calorie-binging restaurant and an ideal après ski joint. The menu is exactly what the tavern name suggests, a smattering of burgers, fries, soups and steaks. The juicy and plump wings—both classic and buffalo style—steal the show. And Lookout is home to the Goombay Smash, the best cocktail in town. It’s a ridiculously tropical drink for Killington, but the rum and multi-juice concoction just seems so right when looking up at the hill.
In Your Jeans and a T-Shirt
Charity’s Tavern Restaurant (802-422-3800, 8 Killington Road)
In a typical New England hamlet such as Killington, there’s history at every turn. That’s what makes places such as Charity’s feel so perfect. The dining room is ensconced in dark woods, making it feel like the tavern of the day—even if that day were in 1894. It’s warm and inviting, and the food is often a class above what you’d expect based on the menu prices. Don’t pass on soup. The clam chowder and French onion are thick with flavor and warm you even on the coldest Vermont evening. While chops are the draw on the entrée menu, the rotating specials are often the best bet. This is where the back of the house excels. A recent example of Romano-encrusted sea scallops, served atop baby spinach and a balsamic glaze exemplifies the level of food Charity’s can reach, without raising the atmosphere even slightly above a casual feel. An added bonus: The bar at Charity’s is an authentic 19th-century piece made in Italy and it called a Virginia tavern home before being relocated to Vermont.
Once-in-a-Ski Trip Dining Experience
Birch Ridge Inn (802-422-4293, 37 Butler Road)
There are less than 1,000 covered bridges left in the U.S. About 10 percent reside in Vermont, including the gorgeous, slate-covered example leading up to this quaint New England inn. That’s reason No. 1 to visit for dinner. Reasons 2 through 26 reside in the dinning room and on the menu. Quintessential Vermont is an endearing idea, and somehow every image of that term finds itself in this restaurant. And the food is damn good, too. Served in an intimate and romantic setting, the continental American fare changes weekly, but keeps true to the classics. Escargot, duck breasts, veal marsala, apple pie, molten chocolate cake… it’s rich and saucy in such a great way.