Kingdom Table (St Johnsbury, VT)

A fairly recent trip up to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a passing through St Johnsbury a handful of times, and it gave us a good opportunity to check out a bunch of well-regarded places in town, including Kingdom Taproom, one of the area’s better-regarded beer bars with a very good selection of northern Vermont beers. But upstairs from Kingdom Taproom’s basement location is their sister establishment, Kingdom Table, which focuses on providing farm-to-table fine dining. Since we had a good amount of time before having to head back home, we decided to check out Kingdom Table for dinner.

Kingdom Table has a really attractive space right on Railroad Street, which is actually a bit more of a “Main Street” than the actual Main Street up the hill, with a good number of nearby businesses (Boule Bakery and Central Cafe across the street, and Whirligig Brewing next door). In a building that originally was one of the salesrooms for the Morse Fairbanks Scale company, and before that several different storefronts including a kitchen and bath store, it’s now a nice, well-lit space with hardwood floors and a nice, central bar. Menu-wise, the focus is on gastropub-style farm-to-table dining, with both a series of burgers, and a relatively compact menu that focuses on having a few courses of appetizers and entrees featuring locally-source, in-season food.

We started off with an order of bread, served up with a maple compound butter (hey, this is Vermont). I don’t usually bother photographing “bread baskets” when reviewing a place, but they did a particularly good job with this: a nice, fresh, and crusty loaf and a compound butter that was nicely deep in maple flavor without being overly sweet.

We both went for the soup course, which was a carrot and squash soup. You couldn’t miss this dish when walking in, since this very creamy and flavorful carrot and squash soup was served up with some freshly butter-seared sage absolutely filled the restaurant with the smell of fresh sage. A nicely composed soup, with very rich roasted carrot and squash notes, with just enough spicing to give it the slightest bit of a curry-like flavor.

For our main courses, we both went with one of their local specials: a crusted pork ribeye. I feel like too often places get lazy with pork, just doing pork loins or chops, but here they did a proper ribeye-style pork steak, with roasted curry applesauce, glazed carrots, and brown butter sweet potato puree. This was a solid dish: the pork cooked just to the point of perfection, a really nice fennel-forward herb crust, served upon a mixed bed of the applesauce and carrots. While the sides and garnish had a lot going on, the focus here was still on the pork, making this a thoroughly enjoyable dish.

Overall, we really enjoyed Kingdom Table, and there’s a lot to the menu we didn’t explore; courtesy of Kingdom Table downstairs, they have a very well-rounded beer and cocktail list, some great looking burgers, and some nice looking desserts. It’s definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the Northeast Kingdom.

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