People drive from the far reaches of Vermont to dine at this restaurant just beyond the charming, little-known town of Bristol, 13 miles northeast of Middlebury. Plan time to visit the sprawling gardens that surround this beautiful property—they represent the slow approach to cooking that earned this restaurant its stellar reputation. Seasonal fare bursts to life here with hearty fare like the summer lasagna packed with vegetables and the near-legendary garlic soup,
a creamy year-round staple that seems genetically engineered to please. Desserts, however, are hit or miss.