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The Weathertop Blog

For area events & inn specials, as well as posts on our favorite topics - food, wine & travel...

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Michael Lang

Michael Lang

Mike is co-owner of Weathertop Mountain Inn. He generally takes his orders from Lisa, but his various titles include building supervisor, toilet scrubber, grill master, sommelier, website designer & BS artist... 

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Cocktails & Travel Memories

Saw a bottle of Cachaça on the shelf at Mehuron's yesterday and decided to buy it. While common in metro areas & S. America, I haven't seen it much up here in the north country. It brought back memories of a trip to Iguazu Falls, Brazil 20 years ago. While pondering the wonders of nature from a barstool overlooking the falls, my favorite bartender (that's what we called mixologists back then...) plied me with his twist on the traditional Caipirinha. As best I can replicate, this was his recipe for a Kicked-Up Caipirinha:

  • 2-3 oz. Cachaça, to taste (white rum will do in a pinch...)
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 TBSP granulated sugar (raw is better...)
  • Fresh mint, a handful of leaves
  • Hot sauce, a few dashes

Muddle the lime, sugar, mint & hot sauce in a shaker; add the Cachaça & two cubes of ice; shake well then transfer to a glass filled with ice; garnish with more mint & lime.

The falls are pretty awesome whenever you see them, even in a drought year as it was when I was there. Having a few of these Caipirinhas took the awesomeness factor to a completely different level!

Novo Fogo Organic Silver CachaçaIguazu FallsIguazu Falls - Drought Year?

SAÚDE!

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Great Night For Q

It was such a lovely afternoon that I decided to break out the old smoker & kick back on the garden patio while waiting for our peeps to check-in. In addition to a dry-rubbed pork loin, I threw some fresh-picked garden peppers in the smoker. Not having done this before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. After three hours time, they came out soft, juicy & lightly smoked. Served on crusty bread with Ploughgate Creamery cultured butter, they were a perfect complement to the pork.

Smoked Pork Loin & PeppersSmoked Carmen & Super-Hot Chili PeppersSmoked Garden Salsa Peppers

STILL SMOKIN' AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

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What Does One Do?

After 24 years of marriage, what do a pair of innkeepers do on the anniversary of their wedding? This year is particularly special, since it falls on a Monday and we have no guests in house. Normally, we would be cooking for others, but not tonight...

So whaddup? Well, great food & wine!

Nothing fancy mind you. Just a flatbread...with wild mushroom, fresh truffles & fresh duck sausage. Add a great salad made with local greens and wash it down with a 22 year old Grand Cru Bordeaux. Simply elegant (if you love pizza & old Bordeaux...).

Anniversary Flatbread & Wine

As for love...well that's given...

Without intimate hope, faith & trust, a business like our's would NEVER be possible.

SO HERE'S TO LOVE, PIZZA, OLD BORDEAUX & 24 MORE GREAT YEARS!

 

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The Best Gift Of All

Today we received the best gift imaginable from a guest...

A great Trip Advisor review or a nice cash tip? Are you kidding...I could care less about such things. This gift was a family recipe. And these folks happen to be from Galilee, the northern region of Israel near Lebanon & Syria. The food in that region is an amalgam of all the regiosl cuisines & cultures. Their recipe is for Spinach Shakshuka. Any shakshuka I have ever tried was based upon tomato & pepper - not spinach. So I'm totally jazzed to try this one out. To be traditional, I need to get my hands on some goat milk, but I can't find any in the local markets (I did find goat butter though, which is also needed...). If anybody knows of a source, PLEASE let me know.

Once I get the goat milk thing sorted out, I'll try the recipe, take some photos and share it all.

HERE'S TO GOOD EATS!

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Fresh Herbs...Great Cocktails!

Here's a nifty little tip you can try out this afternoon (after 5 o'clock of course...).

If you have some herbs in your garden going to flower, there's an alternate use for those lovely little blossoms. Instead of making an aromatic bouquet or simply tossing them out, use them in your favorite cocktail! Muddled, shaken or stirred they provide a burst of aroma & flavor more intense than the herb's leaves. Mint & basil blossoms go particularly well with gin, vodka & white rum. So go ahead & experiment with your favorites. End the work week on a pleasant note...

ENJOY THE WEEKEND & CHEERS!

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What Am I Doing Right?

While our melon plants may not be doing very well in the container gardens, all of our pepper plants are doing extremely well. They need some serious staking, as their numbers are skyrocketing. Some are getting as big as the plant! Obviously much happier than the melons. Check these out:

Carmen Sweets & Super ChiliesGarden Salsa Hots & Long Red Cayennes

Why are they doing so well?

GOT NO IDEA, BUT I'LL TAKE 'EM!

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What Am I Doing Wrong?

The farmers of Muddy Boots CSA must have that magic touch...

Here's a photo of the beautiful cantaloupe we received in our basket this week:

Muddy Boots CSA Cantaloupe

Now here are some photos of the melon plants in our container garden:

Our Melon PlantsWill We Ever See Melons?

WHADDUP WITH THAT?

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Dead Arm Shiraz - Very Much Alive

With last night's pleasantly cool weather, I decided to make a comforting stew of lamb shanks & white beans. This dish called for a big red wine, so my choice was:

  • d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz, McLaren Vale GI, Australia, 2005

"The Dead Arm" is a super-concentrated Shiraz. If you would like more info on why, and how it got named, click here. This is a full-bodied wine, deep purple in color, with a nose & palate chock-full of blackberry, licorice & spice. After 8 years in bottle, it's throwing some sediment, so I recommend decanting. Just be careful - if enjoyed too quickly, at 14.5% alcohol, it will rapidly start to boogie-woogie 'round your brain...

"The Dead Arm" is a special wine, and priced accordingly, but d'Arenberg makes a wide range of exceptional wines to suit any budget. Give any of them a try and you shouldn't be disappointed. But if opportunity knocks, go for "The Dead Arm"!

The Dead ArmA Lovely d'Arenberg Shiraz

CHEERS!

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Peak Lily Season 2015

Yes, it's here! The lilies in our gardens are at their peak, just about two months ahead of Vermont's more famous peak season (when exactly is peak foliage???).

If you're a glass half-full kind of person, we still have half of summer left to go...

Weathertop's Lilies

GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY IT!

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VT Music Fest - You In?

Don't forget! This coming Saturday is Vermont Music Fest - a day filled with great music, delicious food & fun activities for the entire family. Will we see you there?

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Cocktail Time!

Had a slow night at The Shameless Carnivore since all of our guests either attended or performed at Tweed River Music Festival. After completing a big project, I decided to treat myself to a cocktail, but wanted something a little different. What I ended up with was this refreshing twist on a Negroni:

  • 1 ounce Gin
  • 1 ounce Elderflower liqueur
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 2 ounces Mango juice

For the elderflower, St. Germain would have been great, but I had cheaper stuff on hand which worked just fine. Also used Newman's Own Mango-Orange juice since that was in the fridge. Chilled in a shaker and served with an ice cube in a martini glass. The end product was pleasantly bitter, floral, herbal & tropical fruity all at the same time. At least I liked it...

Mikey's Tropical Negroni

CHEERS! 

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Lantern Lodge North...Remember When?

Just in time for Throwback Thursday, we found this set of keys squirreled away on a shelf in our garage.

Lantern Lodge North was the original name given to what is now Weathertop Mountain Inn, back in the mid to late 70s. Info going back to those days is pretty fuzzy. We don't even have any photos from that time period, other than these keys.

Lantern Lodge North, aka Weathertop Mountain Inn

If anyone has stories or photos of the inn from those days to share, we would love to hear or see them!

HELP US UNLOCK THE PAST...

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Elk In The Kitchen!

Just received our first shipment of 24 BEAUTIFUL pounds of elk tenderloin from Vermont Heritage Elk, LLC, our newest supplier of locally-raised game, located in Fairfax, VT. They're so new, we can't even direct you to their website or FB page!

We've been anxiously awaiting their first slaughter, and this first shipment, since March.

Vermont Heritage Elk Tenderloin

Guess we'll just have to do a quality control check and fire some up on the grill tonight. Anybody care to join us?

EATIN'S BEST WHEN YOU'VE GOT FOUR FEET IN THE TROUGH!

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Night Landings Now Possible

OK, admit it. How many of you have passed by our driveway at night and had to turn around? Yeah, Route 17 is very dark at night...

That should no longer be a problem with our new driveway lights! Better yet, they are energy efficient (LED) and Dark Sky Friendly™. When I started this project, I hadn't a clue that this group existed. But they do and we did. If you're interested in learning what they're all about...click here...

driveway lighting inndriveway lighting roadway

So if you ever miss our driveway again...

YA SHOULDN'T BE DRIVIN'...just sayin'...

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When Eyes Are Bigger Than Stomach

Got a great price on a Spanish cheese that I never had before, called Etxagarai, so I ordered some. It's a smoked, raw milk sheep cheese from the mountainous Basque Country of northern Spain. It is phenomenal. Problem is, the wheel weighed in at 7 pounds, soooooo...

I guess we're gonna be eating a lot of this stuff for a while!

Anybody wanna help???

PEACE, LOVE AND BBQ!

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Countdown To ArtsFest

Only one week to go until the beginning of The Vermont Festival Of The Arts, THE annual month-long celebration of ALL forms of art. Whatever your passion, you'll find some activity or event to peak your interest, each and every day of the festival.

To discover what's on tap...click here...

Best of all, everything happens right here in The Mad River Valley. A stay at Weathertop Mountain Inn makes it easy. We're located right in the middle of all the activity. So get creative, enjoy summer & explore Vermont's Mad River Valley...all at the same time...

Wishing You All A Happy Fest!

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This Weekend's Menu At The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

Muddy Boots CSA is delivering an awesome variety of summer's freshest vegetables & herbs. Our salads, pestos & veggie sides are just about as colorful and flavorful as they can possibly be...

We're also anxiously awaiting an order of elk tenderloins from Blue Mountain Elk Farm in South Ryegate, VT. We had elk striploin from Blue Mountain on our menu during the winter. The quality & flavor were amazing. Can't wait for the arrival of this tenderloin shipment! If it is delivered on Saturday, as promised, it will DEFINITELY by added to our menu. Stay tuned...

Bon Appetit! 

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Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

Today I did something I have NEVER EVER done before...I stood in line for beer...

I happened to be driving past the VG at 7:55 this morning and there was already a line waiting for the days delivery of Heady Topper. Not a huge line, but a line. Waiting for beer at a time when many folks are having their first cup of coffee. So I laughed and kept going. When I passed by again at 9:00, the line was still there. It wasn't any longer than before, AND the delivery truck was in the parking lot, so I figured what the heck.

Within only a few minutes the doors opened and another surprise was waiting. In addition to purchasing a case of Heady Topper, I was also able to get my hands on a case of Lawson's Sip Of Sunshine AND a 12-pack of Lawson's latest offering in cans - Super Session #2.

Sometimes you just get lucky...I probably should have bought a lottery ticket before leaving the VG...

CHEERS!

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Go For The Gose!

We recently added Lost Nation Brewing "Gose" to our beer portfolio at Weathertop Mountain Inn. For some, Gose is a developed taste, but for those who love it, well...they love it! It is salty, tart & herbal...very refreshing. And at 4.5% ABV...very crushable.

We think it is the perfect beverage for a warm summer day after working out in the gardens or after a long hike (after a glass of water, of course...).

Give it a try...

CHEERS!

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Burger-N-Brew Weekends Are Here!

While regular dinner service at The Shameless Carnivore has ended for this ski season, from now until our spring close we'll be offering Burger-N-Brew Weekends. Your choice of burger - beef, venison or salmon - will be freshly prepared & grilled to your liking and served with your choice of cheese, salad and chips. We'll also included a glass of local draft beer or a soft drink. A delectable selection of desserts and our complete beer & wine list are also available. Cost is as follows:

  • Beef Burger Platter (8 ounces) - $15
  • Venison Burger Platter (7 ounces) - $17
  • Salmon Burger Platter (6 ounces) - $16

We're offering this Burger-N-Brew Special on Friday and Saturday evenings. All you need to do is let us know in advance which night(s) you would like to dine with us and we'll keep the grill fired up from 5-9 PM.

What a nice complement to a great spring skiing season...

SEE YA SOON!

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