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Conscientious Eating and Local Ingredients Come Together at Piecemeal Pies

By Marina I. Jokic

Local, organic, and seasonal foods are staple ingredients at Piecemeal Pies. The Vermont restaurant works with local, small farmers to procure some of the freshest seasonal fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats. Striving to use the choicest ingredients for their pies, the restaurant is able to deliver consistent quality and signature flavors every time.

Not to be missed, the hard cider at Piecemeal Pies is arguably the best in town and has been praised by locals and tourists alike. Like other farm-to-table spots, they source most or all of their food from Vermont farms and want to reveal a story behind each dish.

Opening Piecemeal Pies in 2016, owner and Chef Justin Barrett spent much of his career trying to integrate the farm-to-table concept at sit-down restaurants such as Maine's Salt Water Farm Café & Market and, before that, the Fat Radish in New York City.

"Piecemeal Pies grew out of a love for the abundance of conscientious farms in the Upper Valley," said Barrett. "We work directly with these small farms to make sure that we always have the freshest local ingredients year round."

At Piecemeal, Barrett has created a precise, tasty menu that will please all palates. His menu offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well plenty of desserts and drinks. For dinner, you should try one of their signature savory pies. Flavors include pork and parsnip, chicken and leek, beef and mushroom, and rabbit and bacon.

"I've worked with many British chefs, and I fell in love with meat pies and ciders on a trip to England," Barrett said.

Since the menu is seasonal, it changes frequently and offers a wide variety of choices at affordable prices. Barrett keeps the prices down by cutting down on staff, preserving fresh ingredients for year-round use, and minimizing food waste. Customers participate in counter service at Piecemeal, which brings prices down and allows Barrett to pay his front-of-house staff a fair living wage.

The space was designed to be bright and vibrant. There is a large communal table as well as window counter seating that faces the train station. To embrace the history of the original Newberry's department store, there is an exposed brick wall and repurposed stock shelving wood floors. The kitchen is completely open so that customers can see the action.

"The best seller is the Rabbit & Bacon pie: Vermont-raised rabbit braised with bacon, thyme, caramelized onions, and red wine," he said. "I make several trips to the farms weekly and get inspired by whatever looks beautiful and delicious; you'll often see a farmer dropping off a pound of pea shoots or a flat of fall raspberries, and they'll be on your plate a moment later."

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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