The Belfry: local, leisurely and luscious


Anna Charette

Home away from home

A little red schoolhouse sits alone at the intersection of Route 242 and Amidon Rd. in Montgomery Center. This building may be in a secluded spot on the outskirts of a small Northern Vermont town, but inside is a relaxing and unique dining environment offering varied and superb fare.

As for menu options, The Belfry offers a variety of appetizers such as Marty’s maple BBQ wings, potato skins, onion rings and one of their most popular dishes, bleu mushrooms. I have never seen this item on any other menu. It is served in a dish with cream, bleu cheese, mushrooms and garlic with fresh, warm slices of French bread to dunk in it. I do not like mushrooms or bleu cheese, but I absolutely love the unique taste of this appetizer and I have heard many others say so as well.

Also, Marty’s maple BBQ wings made with real maple syrup are delicious and I always ask for them crispy, which is what I get.

For entrées, choices include fresh ground sirloin burgers, chicken pesto burgers, broiled or blackened steaks with steamed vegetables and a potato, sausage with rosé sauce over penne, blackened chicken over linguine, veggie burgers, pasta Parmesan, and many more.

Not only are you getting a portion for the next day’s lunch, but also with every entrée you get fresh, warm bread and a salad.

Despite high quality and generous portions, most entrées are less than $15.

There are also specialty nights; Wednesdays offer Italian specials, which include dishes such as lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, stuffed manicotti and others, served with garlic bread.

Fish Fry Fridays feature fresh seafood like scallops, haddock, shrimp, salmon, trout, all blackened then broiled, baked, or fried.

These dishes are served with rice pilaf, vegetables, fries or linguine.

Although the main menu may appear to be short, the blackboard is filled nightly with specials that do not appear on the menu.

These may include maple-glazed pork, trout bruschetta, stuffed New York Strip with gorganzola and roasted garlic, spinach salad, pesto scallops, Chicken Marsala.

There are also many desserts including chocolate Kahlua mousse, key lime pie, maple bread pudding, fresh baked apple crisp and various pies.

My favorite meal is blackened chicken over linguine. The juicy piece of chicken breast, sliced over the oil and garlic coated linguine, is seasoned with blackening seasoning and cooked in a cast iron pan.

The small wooden sign on the outside of the building near the front door that reads “Open 4 till…” is a comfort for those who like to stay at the bar and chat with locals into the wee hours of the morning.

The décor is nothing fancy, but it is comforting and different with some artwork by area residents. My favorite is a large portrait of the owner’s daughter, Journey Snoke ,that greets customers above one of the booths. A small black portrait of Audrey Hepburn painted by my friend Lisa Patterson when she was sixteen sits in the back section above a large table.

The atmosphere is warm and intimate with soft lighting and cozy tables and booths. The Belfry comfortably seats about sixty people, and because of this, they do not take reservations.

The service is always prompt and friendly.

In the summer months, the back deck is available for seating.

I often enjoy this outdoor setting after a softball game or for a birthday. Although there is no ocean view, the green trees and fresh air do it justice.

I have never been unsatisfied with the service or food. So if you are looking for an evening out featuring excellent, affordable food in cozy surroundings, The Belfry is a good bet.

The kitchen closes at nine Sundays through Thursdays and at ten on Fridays and Saturdays.