Monday, June 11, 2012

Popolo Means People

Popolo means people.
The labbits are veeeeery happy that a new restaurant has opened up in Bellows Falls. There are places to eat in BF for lunch, there's an ice cream shop, a farmer's market, an Irish pub, a bar and the American Legion, and a couple pizza places. Rumor has it there's a couple Chinese food places but...the labbits haven't heard good reviews so they haven't been. They've been really hoping for a nice place to have dinner and Sunday brunch and FINALLY! A nice restaurant has opened up in the newly renovated downtown Windham Hotel. It's called Popolo, which is Italian for "people".  Only fitting that Pipkin would don a disguise to ensure that he could get in.

Classy looking joint. Should he have worn a tie?
Well, he made it through the front door with his disguise, and he's glad he's got a reservation. The place opened up a few days ago and has been packed every night. Pipkin got his own small table by the bar, but one of the main features of Popolo is the large communal table in the center of the restaurant. Popolo encourages people from all walks of life to break bread with new people and share their stories while eating good food.

Bread baskets should always have more than one kind of bread. MMMMmmmm!
While Pipkin pored over the Italian inspired menu, he munched on the three types of fresh baked bread in the bread basket. The menu had a lot of delicious options (for those who eat like labbits and those who eat labbits) with locally sourced produce and meat, and choices to fit every budget.

Pipkin's a master of disguise. No one has noticed he's a labbit! Muahahahha!
He started with the bruschetta, a toasted Italian bread topped with tomato, white beans, pecorino and olive oil.

Farro risotto.

For his main course Pipkin went with a spinach risotto. Instead of arborio rice, this risotto is made with farro, a wild grain cousin of wheat. It cooks up like puffed rice but has a nuttier flavor and has a texture with a bit more "crunch" than you're used to with an al dente risotto. It's a high fiber and high protein grain that is super tasty, especially when you crack open the poached egg for creaminess. Yum!

So many nommy things, how to choose?
You have to wonder how Pipkin eats so much and stays in good labbit shape (fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be, but not too fat and bunchy). He finished the bread basket, the bruschetta and the risotto and he's looking at dessert! His warren mate Masher McBuns might have to take him out on a few bike rides to burn off this meal.

Strawberry rhubarb tart with fresh cream. Seasonal desserts are deeeeelish!
Pipkin went with not one, but two desserts! He also figured since he made it this far through dinner and finally got to the desserts, he'd ditch the disguise and just see if they'd kick him out for not being  "people". Pretty daring, Pip. What if they kicked you out before you ate dessert?

Bombolini!
But no one kicked him out, so I guess Popolo means people, and the people welcome labbits! Pipkin went crazy over his desserts, first a strawberry rhubarb tart with fresh cream, and the highlight, these little bombolini, fried Italian pastry balls filled with Bavarian cream, served with strawberries and blackberries. MMMMmmmmm, mmmmmm soooo delicious!

Pipkin encourages you to take a look at the menus online. You will see lots of food and drink options in all price ranges. Since Popolo is farm-to-table cooking, you can expect the menu to change as we go through the seasons. There is an outdoor patio that has just opened up that overlooks the canal, and a room off the dining will soon host music events, movies, and a lounge area with a second bar!

Popolo's grand opening is June 30th, 2012. Should you find yourself in the labbits' little corner of Vermont, do visit, seat yourself at the big communal table or the picnic tables outside, and enjoy a meal at Popolo!

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