Mad River Valley/Waterbury (7)

Hen of the Wood (Waterbury)

92 Stowe St., Waterbury, 802-244-7300

Upscale dining takes a rustic turn in a former grist mill. Creative use of local meats, greens and cheeses has earned chef-owner Eric Warnstedt several James Beard Award nominations.

Michael’s on the Hill

4182 Waterbury-Stowe Rd., Waterbury Center, 802-244-7476

Elegant, ever-changing plates such as vegetable gnocchi and poached Maine lobster make the most of New England ingredients and the chef-owner’s European roots.

Prohibition Pig

23 S. Main St., Waterbury, 802-244-4120

Barbecue and comfort food meet “proper” cocktails and one of New England’s largest craft beer selections. In the adjacent brewery, pair a pint with tacos or ramen.

Sage Restaurant

8 Route 17, Waitsfield, 802-496-7243

Cuisine inspired by Spain, Italy, France and the Middle East transports diners to the Mediterranean coast. Choose from paella, pasta and seafood dishes, then finish with baklava from a family recipe.

Mad Taco

The Mad Taco (Waitsfield)

2 Village Sq., Waitsfield, 802-496-3832

Customers go mad for Mexican dishes made with fresh ingredients from the owners’ farm. Have a margarita or craft beer with your tacos, and don’t skimp on the legendary housemade sauces.

The Reservoir Restaurant & Tap Room

1 S. Main St., Waterbury, 802-244-7827

Beer fans hit up “the Rez” for its locally famous draft list and locavore pub snacks: chorizo tacos, fried chicken and big-time burgers.

zenbarn

Zenbarn

179 Guptil Rd., Waterbury, 802-244-8134

Building community “from soil to soul,” the red barn offers a globe-trotting menu of grass-fed beef burgers, barbecue and ramen, along with local craft beverages, live music and wellness classes.

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