Though he’s catered for Oprah and won Steven Tyler over with his meatballs, Lou Marzelli can still take the time to fill a family table. Dishes of lasagna, chicken parmesan, and penne in housemade marinara come to fruition out of recipes handed down through the Marzellis’ Italian-native family every day in their New York–style deli. A gleaming deli case brims with Boar's Head meats and cheeses ready to be sliced and stuffed into hearty wedge sandwiches. whereas pizzas proudly hold toppings such as genoa salami, fresh basil, or the crumbled remains of lesser pies. Breakfast selections are served all day alongside locally roasted espresso drinks, and 36 flavors of housemade gelato and sorbetto—such as stracciatella, strawberry, and tiramisu—put a sweet finish on Italian helpings.
Wolfe City Brick Oven Pizza’s artisan chefs flip, top, and bake thin-crust masterpieces cloaked in a choice of six different cheeses. The multitudinous menu imparts the memoir of pizzas made from whole-wheat dough ($9.99), which features the recurring characters of fruits, meats, and veggies ($1.50 each traditional, $2.50 each gourmet) and conveys a delicious dénouement. Those who prefer pre-designed pies can sample expertly concocted combos such as the Two Men from Tuftonboro's italian sausage and pepperoni ($14.99) or the Wolfe City Nacho Pizza's bacon, veggies, and alfredo sauce ($14.99). Dessert pizzas assume the identities of classic post-dinner bites, including bananas foster ($12.99) and s'mores ($8.99), and beers, wines, and sodas slake artichoke-induced thirsts. Wolfe City's chefs can convert dough into gluten-free compositions quicker than Clark Kent's switch into Superman or Spiderman's transformation into Sir Edmund Hillary ($12.99).
The original owner of the picturesque two-story house—a daffodil-hued farmhouse with hunter-green shutters and a matching front door—invited guests into his makeshift tavern for a bowl of porridge and a nap at 12 cents a pop. More than 220 years later, the house in Bristol still entertains a revolving door of guests as The Homestead Restaurant. Inside, a brick fireplace radiates warmth across tables scattered with teriyaki-glazed steaks and alaskan king-crab legs dipped in drawn butter. The chefs also swaddle meatloaf wellington in a puff-pastry shell, and peppercorns burst sharply across sirloin with brandy and cream sauce. A dedicated gluten-free menu caters to diners with health issues or a tendency to remember the terrifying dinner-roll scene in Jaws.
A second location of The Homestead Restaurant in Merrimack is just as inviting inside with exposed wooden beams, an antlered chandelier, and a second-floor bar affording a perfect eagle’s-eye view of the tables below.
The Green Mountains, a branch of the ancient Appalachians stretching across Vermont, are named for the layers of stately evergreens that carpet their slopes. Deep in the verdant hillsides, the town of Chittenden is near the Green Mountain National Forest with infinite vistas for hiking, mountain biking, and game hunting. The Coolidge and Okemo State Forests are also about an hour away by car.For a taste of history, the nearby towns of Killington and Rutland boast charters dating to 1761, before the creation of Vermont itself. Throughout the warmer months, downtown Rutland’s weekly farmers' markets offer a place to shop for regional goods such as Vermont maple syrup and alpaca weavings. The area also hosts frequent outdoor concerts and other family-friendly events, many of them free.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Dorset is a quintessential New England town, dotted with cozy homes and shops tucked into forested mountains and valleys. Visitors perusing the region's stores are bound to come away with a haul of fresh cheeses, local maple syrup, and warm woolens. The slopes of Stratton and Bromley mountains supply ample opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and downhill speed dating. Ice skating, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides round out the area's wintertime offerings.
Slate-gray roofs studded with dormer windows crown the antique shops and outlet stores in the tiny Manchester Village, where various colonial buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Charming restaurants downtown dish out local, sustainable eats. The Green Mountain National Forest surrounds the village, which is nestled between Vermont's Green and Taconic Mountains. About a 30-minute drive east, Stratton Mountain's sleek alpine slopes enable downhill skiing beginning November 23, along with snowshoeing and snow tubing. After a full day of arctic adventure, Stratton Village comes to life with après-ski carousing as pub-goers sip local brews and play darts with icicles.
Housed in a painstakingly renovated and beautifully expanded barn, the Inn at Sawmill Farm weds mountainous terrain and vistas with charming accommodations. Rooms within the main house (up to a $285 value) cradle guests in cozy splendor with plush comforters, colorful décor, flat-screen TVs, and private baths for uninterrupted practice of cetacean sign language. Certain deluxe rooms proffer a jetted tub to run stress tests on rubber duckies, and others feature private sitting areas or balconies on which to sip a luxurious libation while conducting heated conversations with mountains. Drawing from a seasonal list, the staff will recommend a bottle of wine or champagne (a $20 value), which can be enjoyed privately, or amid a roaring fireplace and new acquaintances in the common living room.