Dining Review: Michael's on the Hill

Locally driven european cuisine.
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Locally driven european cuisine.
Michael's On The Hill 1103

There's good news for fans of Villa Tragara, where Caprese chef Antonio Di Ruocco dished out superb "Vermont Italian" fare for two decades before retiring in 2002. The circa-1820 farmhouse, with its charming faux-Tuscan sun porch, has been taken over by a gifted Swiss-born chef, Michael Kloeti, who comes to these hills by way of Gotham's culinary temple, Lespinasse, and the luxurious Lodge at Koele on Lanai in Hawaii. You'd think some culture shock might be in order, but Kloeti, who views the Green Mountains as an ideal spot to raise his young family, is solidly on track with wintertime favorites inspired by his own alpine childhood. Fork-tender loin of venison served with knoepfli (a spaetzle cousin), braised red cabbage andcaramelized chestnuts ($30) is just the thing to dispel winter's chill, and a to-die-for tarte tatin drizzled with a reduction of locally produced Cold Hollow Cider ($6) provides the sweetest of send-offs. Now the city sophisticates who flock to Stowe have yet another appealing alternative to scarfing pizza in the condo.
Information: 802-244-7476; michaelsonthehill.com