Leunig’s Bistro (Burlington, VT)

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My favorite wrestler growing up was The Ultimate Warrior.  Well, it was out of him, The Rock, Brett Hart, and Lex Luger, only because his muscles were huge.  Everyone was a fan of WWF (no, not the World Wide Fund for Nature) growing up.  The thought of one of these dishes that I had made me think of wrestling and how stupid I was to believe it was real.  (I’m sorry, wrestling isn’t real, just in case you weren’t aware)  I also thought Mussels were spelled the same way as muscles were.  A tragedy.


Bistro’s aren’t my favorite place to eat because they always give off the same vibe.  Soggy bread, too much meat on their sandwiches, and lack luster soups.  Apparently, I was wrong, because you can judge every “bistro” by its book.  Leunig’s, which is located off of Church Street in Burlington, VT, is an upscale, vintage-glam bistro, that specializes in classic French dishes.  It’s also one of the oldest operating restaurants in Burlington (not that you actual care, but I do, because it shows that people like it long enough for it to stay open.  Most restaurant close within 3 years).  The restaurant is in a beautiful location and has a REAL bistro feel.  Outdoor seating, large rooms, and a vibrant scene, what more could you ask for?


During my visit I was able to indulge in three dishes.  The dishes ranged from Curried Coconut Mussels to Cauliflower Poboy.  I’ll start off with the Curried Coconut Mussels.  I’m pretty sure that God, Allah, Judas, or whomever you believe in, was in the kitchen preparing this dish.  This dish has to be put in the hall of fame of Mussels.  The broth was like no other I’ve ever tasted.  Green Curry Coconut Sauce, finished off with white wine, and surrounded by Shoestring Leeks & Carrots.  This was a dish to die for, literally.  Have you ever eaten a dish that tasted so good, the only words you could use to describe it are curse words?  Well, that was me.  F***, S***, and D*** were all adjectives I used with each bite.  I had the pleasure of sitting outside, so I’m sure I was putting on some kind of expression show that would grant me an Oscar.  Sweet, spicy, savory, are just a few words that I can use to describe it.  I would argue that butter was involved in this dish because I could taste a salty flavor with this dish as well.  Unbelievable.


The next dish that was ordered was the Cauliflower Poboy.   If you’re a vegetarian than this is the perfect dish for you.  Aleppo Pepper Battered Cauliflower, Avocado Hummus, Diced Tomatoes, Shredded Lettuce, Broccoli and Cabbage Slaw, to go along with a Pickled Red Onion Yogurt on a Brioche Roll, did your mouth water yet?  If not, go get that checked out, your mouth is having some challenges.  If I’ve never had a PoBoy before, I would think that all PoBoy’s are supposed to taste the way this one tasted.  Crunchy, flavorful, delicate and packed with all kinds of different vegetables.  I thought this dish would be dry but the Avocado Hummus stole the show.  The Onion yogurt wasn’t too pungent, and delivered a great after taste with each bite.  If being a vegetarian means I get to eat this consistently, sign me up.


The last dish that was ordered was the Salad Nicoise.  It consisted of Seared Ahi Tuna, Boiled Egg, Avocado, Roasted Red Peppers, Grilled Onions, Haricot Verts, Olives, Capers, Roasted Potatoes, and House dressing.  This dish wasn’t my favorite because I don’t believe Roasted Potatoes should be in a chilled dish.  At a buffet, yes, but not in a salad dish.  Roasted Potatoes should be served warm, especially with grilled onions and roasted peppers, so I can understand if this was served along side of Grilled Chicken Breast but not in a salad.  But, then, it hit me, this is Bistro style of cooking so I guess it’s acceptable.  What’s acceptable in society’s eyes, doesn’t mean you have to like it, right?  Man up!  (Or Woman up!)  Speak for what you think should be done and the reason why.  The salad part of this dish however was spectacular.  The tuna was prepared rare, but could’ve used more salt and pepper, and the house dressing was very light.  I would’ve loved to see some bacon to give the overall dish a salty flavor it needed to combat with the starchy flavor of the potatoes.  If you’re looking for a hearty dish, then this is the way to go.  Let me know what you think about it.


Overall, this restaurant is a go-to.  I’m not a fan of Bistro’s, because generally they all go the same direction, but when a restaurant has been in business for years, there’s a reason why it’s still standing.  Bob, who is the owner, has done an excellent job with leading his staff with excellent service and attention to detail when it comes to how knowledgeable they are with their dishes.


1 comments on “Leunig’s Bistro (Burlington, VT)”

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