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Choices Restaurant Is A Killington Favorite

By S. Mathur

Chef Claude Blais, owner of Choices Restaurant in Killington VT, is a native of the Northeast Kingdom and 1975 Graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After living and working in San Francisco for nine years, he decide to move back home.

"For a year I worked my way from Jay Peak down the ski towns passing out resumes," Blais said. "I ended up in Killington where I worked as a chef in a 60 seat fine dining restaurant. Four years later I was approached by a developer who was building 40 condominium units at Glazebrook about opening up a restaurant there."

Neighborhood restaurants were his niche, and Choices Restaurant has won accolades from critics near and far since it opened in 1986. The Rutland Herald calls it the best food you've ever eaten, no ifs, ands, or buts about that. And the New York Times calls the food unpretentious and consistently good. The wide range of menu choices gives the restaurant its name.

"As the Chef-Owner I saw no reason to limit what we could do to 15-20 items when we can do a lot more and do them all well," Blais said. "You have the options of nachos or escargot, burgers to filet mignon and rack of lamb, fried calamari to seafood ravioli."

The gas-fired rotisserie imported from France is a focal point of the restaurant. It's the first thing that the customers see and smell when they enter. Regular rotisserie offerings are chicken, leg of lamb and an apple stuffed pork loin. All three are available daily, as is a sampler of all three. The weekend and holiday special is rotisserie prime rib.

"I'd probably have crab cakes, the Rotisserie Sampler and our chocolate ganache cake with a white and dark chocolate filling," Blais said in regards to what he would have the first time visiting the restaurant. "Second trip would be the Cajun pasta which features our signature green Peppercorn Fettuccine with Blackened Chicken and Primavera Vegetables followed with a Coconut Cream Pie."

As Chef-Owner, Blais believes that everything served in the restaurant should be made on the premises, including pasta, salad dressing, whole wheat dinner rolls and desserts. Blais has been a locovore since before the term was invented, and uses local ingredients as far as possible. There's a great wine list to complement the food offerings, as well as creative martinis and cocktails and Vermont beers.

The quality of the service matches the food. With its mountain views and well appointed interiors, the restaurant is a favorite with families, visiting golfers and ski groups, and couples. It's open daily in the winter and Wednesday through Sunday in the summer. Winter brunches on Sundays are highly recommended.

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