By Gareth Henderson
QUECHEE – Boasting its scenic view of the Ottauquechee River and dozens of engagements on the spot, the Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee has been named as one of “America’s Most Romantic Restaurants” in Travel and Leisure Magazine.
T+L published the impressive list earlier this month and named 32 high-end restaurants from around the country. Simon Pearce was the only New England establishment to be voted “Most Romantic,” and one of two from the northeast – along with New York’s River Café, which offers a view to the Statue of Liberty.
“To be named among some of those great restaurants is an exciting thing,” said Ross Evans, Simon Pearce’s director of marketing.
Simon Pearce Restaurant General Manager Anton Vicar said the Travel and Leisure article was “phenomenal news.” The Sunday following the story, it was placed prominently on Yahoo.com.
“It was a picture of our little restaurant on their home page,” Vicar said.
Two months ago, a Travel and Leisure editor phoned the Simon Pearce team and asked them to “make their case” for the Most Romantic list, Evans recalled. The reasons included the dining room overlooking the peaceful Ottauquechee River, the 30 to 40 couples engaged in the restaurant each year, the delicious cuisine made with local products and the popular wine dinners. Evans also added another aspect that might attract “green-conscious couples:” a hydroelectric turbine powers most of the electricity at the restaurant, the retail store and the world-famous glass-blowing operation.
Since February issue of Travel and Leisure came out, the Simon Pearce Restaurant has received plenty of phone calls mentioning the coverage. The callers hail from all over the U.S., Evans noted.
“We have people making reservations into the summer, which is pretty unusual,” he said.
Without a doubt, one of the restaurant’s big draws has been the stunning view of the Ottauquechee River, which offers an idyllic Vermont touch to the dining experience.
“I think guests come to see that view,” Evans said.
The Travel and Leisure article also mentioned Table #5, a romantic table that sits directly above the river. Evans said Table #5 is always among the first tables on the reservation list, given its coveted location. But he also noted it’s not the only romantic table in the house.
“As we like to say here at Simon Pearce, every table is Table #5.”
The Travel and Leisure article is viewable online at: www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-most-romantic-restaurants.
This article first appeared in the February 24th print edition of the Vermont Standard, Woodstock VT.