REVIEW

The hours are brief and variable, the menu limited (and, likewise, variable), so it’ll take at least a little forethought and checking to pay The Wild Fern a visit. The small effort required, however, will be more than repaid, for this is one of the most unique restaurants in Vermont. Calling it a restaurant, in fact, doesn’t feel quite right, because it’s about as close as you can get to stepping into someone’s personal vision (that of Heather Lynne) with actually trespassing. Her blog states, “No Hostile Vibrations!” Yes, you have entered Crunchy Vermont.

Hand-made croissant are filled with any number of good things to eat, like this one with spinach, onions, and cheese.

Hand-made croissant are filled with any number of good things to eat, like this one with spinach, onions, and cheese.

The best approach to The Wild Fern is a look at their Facebook page or their blog, where you’ll learn what meals Heather will be serving, what scrumptious baked goods she’s lately whipped up, and who will be performing there when.

The Wild Fern is by no means a vegetarian eatery, despite its countercultural spirit. This croissant hides sausage and cheese within.

The Wild Fern is by no means a vegetarian eatery, despite its countercultural spirit. This croissant hides sausage and cheese within.

As we write this, for instance, she’s open from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays for fresh bread, homemade pizza, and a songwriter’s circle. Thursday nights from 6 until 9 she’ll be dishing out burgers and homemade pizza while partner Rick Redington performs (and with whom Heather plays bass as part of Rick’s band The Luv, “a Rock & Rastabilly Trio of Free-Range Human Beings”). Friday nights they do pizza and a theme (Mexican Night, for instance) entrée, with more live music. These details may well change by the time you’re ready to visit.

The Wild Fern is as comfortable as an old pair of slippers.

The Wild Fern is as comfortable as an old pair of slippers.

Saturday and Sunday mornings they do a very casual brunch featuring Heather’s handmade baked goods. Check online to see what she’s made that morning, or just show up and be surprised, but there’ll always be some filled croissant and her famous Vermont-style bagels, in addition to wherever else Heather’s whims lead her. Heather’s emphasis on Vermont style bagels is very clever, inoculating her against claims of inauthenticity from Big Apple interlopers. Those fresh bagels are terrific on their own terms, in flavors like local maple syrup and blueberry, or one we devoured one Saturday morning that featured dill, Havarti, and red onion!

The community spirit found within The Wild Fern is not dissimilar to that found in a small-town Southern cafe, though with a distinct blue-state vibe.

The community spirit found within The Wild Fern is not dissimilar to that found in a small-town Southern café, though with a distinct blue-state vibe.

The Wild Fern uses locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, and homemade is everywhere. If your burger is served on an English muffin, you can be sure that Heather baked that English muffin earlier in the day. If there’s spanakopita, the cheese and spinach were procured nearby.

Rick Redington is Heather Lynne's partner, and he also leads the house band, in which Heather plays bass.

Rick Redington is Heather Lynne’s partner, and he also leads the house band, in which Heather plays bass.

This fall she became obsessed with pumpkin, and the happy result included pumpkin pie bars with goat’s milk caramel drizzle, pumpkin white chocolate oatmeal cookies, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin whoopie pies, and spiced pumpkin challah French toast. If you live in the area you might want to consider signing up for Heather’s CSB (Community Supported Bakery) where, for a monthly fee, you’ll receive a supply of freshly baked breads and bagels each week.

The Wild Fern's home was last occupied by a branch of Bethel's Tozier's.

The Wild Fern’s home was last occupied by a branch of Bethel’s Tozier’s.

We can’t wait to return. Every town in America would benefit from the community-oriented, positive spirit of a place like The Wild Fern.

When Rick Redington & The Luv (with Heather Lynne) perform, they travel by Luv Bus.

When Rick Redington & The Luv (with Heather Lynne) perform, they travel by Luv Bus.

1731 Route 100
Stockbridge VT 05772
802-746-9119
The Wild Fern on Facebook

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BEST THING TO EAT: Vermont-style bagel