For fine Asian American cuisine on a par with big city restaurants, we heartily recommend the Inn at West View Farm in Dorset. Led by owner-chef Ray Chen since 2000, the Inn at West View Farm is rich in history. This spacious 1870 farmhouse with its wonderful fireplace sits on land that was once a working dairy farm.
While dining inside this beautiful, comfortable and romantic restaurant has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ray continues to provide excellent food that can be ordered online starting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. We suggest placing your order on Thursday or Friday because offerings sell out quickly.
After growing up on Long Island, Ray received his formal training at the legendary Peter Kump Culinary School in Manhattan. Ray then honed his skills at some of New York City’s most highly regarded kitchens, including JoJo, owned by international chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Mercer Kitchen in Soho. Ray’s gracious and elegant wife Christal (Siewertsen), who serves as host when the restaurant is fully open, has a financial background, having previously worked at Deloitte and Bear Stearns in New York. Along with highly skilled backgrounds, their business experience and teamwork bring the best of Asian cuisine and hospitality to the Southern Vermont community.
Our recommendations include tasty scallion pancakes, perfectly steamed and seasoned wontons with chili oil, beef satay and the wonderful bacon-fried (ever so lightly) rice. The beef satay comes in four pieces on skewers and is gluten-free. The chili oil from the wontons goes perfectly with the beef satay and the fried rice. Other offerings include seared rare salmon with crispy rice, pork dumplings, pork and cabbage spring rolls, five spice roasted duck with hoisin sauce served on a bun, crispy sesame chicken, beef and broccoli Lo Mein with oyster shallot sauce, chicken and bok choy with pan-fried Hong Kong style noodles, seaweed salad and pink peppercorn edamame. Meaty spare ribs are offered on occasion. All are delicious. Almost all dishes are between $10 and $20.
Several wines and Tsingtao beer are available, as are Asian groceries including Jasmine rice, bamboo shoots, tofu, noodle ramen and coconut milk. While we appreciate that Ray and Christal continue to serve the public during these challenging times, we hope that their wonderful restaurant will be back in full swing before long. The Inn at West View Farm, which also offers six lovely country style rooms, is at 2928 Route 30 and can be reached at 802-867-5715.
For those of us who enjoy Japanese food, especially sushi, Snowfish up on Stratton Mountain is the best around. Snowfish is in Mulligan’s restaurant, but with a totally separate menu. Conveniently, food from Snowfish can be ordered in Mulligan’s restaurant, at the bar or in a separate Snowfish dining room upstairs. The ability to order it anywhere in the restaurant allows flexibility for guests who want to order different types of food.
The sushi at Snowfish is fresh, well-sized and properly presented. Sushi rolls, ranging from $14 to $24, include California roll, rainbow roll, spicy tuna roll, veggie roll, a dragon roll, which is a California roll with eel and tempura flakes, and a shrimp tempura roll with avocado and unagi sauce. There are about 15 nicely filled sushi bowls, including the popular Sun bowl consisting of ahi tuna and king salmon mixed with sesame seeds and scallions, a shrimp tempura bowl, a firecracker bowl for those who like it spicy with tuna, mango, cucumber and chopped jalapenos tossed in a wasabi aioli. The bowls, priced from $18-$24, also come with rice or a mixed green salad. For non-sushi fans, there is a chicken bowl made up of fried chicken, sesame seeds and scallions. The lengthy menu provides a wide array of choices.
For the purists, the sashimi (no rice) offerings include Hawaiian ahi tuna, Pacific King salmon, eel, tobiko (fish roe) and a fish of the day. Nigiri (with a pad of rice) also offers the same fish. The sashimi is priced at $12 to $14 for three pieces. The nigiri, with two pieces, is $10 to $12.
Snowflake is usually open Thursday starting at 4 p.m. and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Best to call 802-297-9293 in advance just to make sure. Since Stratton and the restaurant can get crowded, especially on busy ski days, it’s recommended that you go early or during off-hours.