Bar Antidote (Vergennes, VT)
There’s no better feeling than finding a place you weren’t looking for or expecting in the midst of your travels. Bar Antidote is another stupendous bar in this category located in a small Vermont town called Vergennes, about 20 minutes north of Middlebury or 45 minutes south of Burlington if you have no idea where Middlebury is. I happened upon it while looking for a cafe to loiter in until I could check in to my AirBnb. Which isn’t entirely unexpected since there is essentially only one main street. Turns out Bar Antidote is the locally sourced farm-to-table restaurant and cocktail bar for Vergennes. Which checks off all the boxes for me!
Bar Antidote is located in a basement, so it does have a bit of a speakeasy vibe from that along with polished wood and a smaller size. But thankfully no pitch black darkness, secret code words, or stuffy demeanor that ruins everything. Just great quality and great service in a casual environment. The food was delicious, the cocktails were quality, and the staff was great. I ended up ordering a Maple Sour Martini, which I was a little hesitant to try out. Whenever I see maple syrup in a cocktail I steel myself for the inevitable sugar bomb that tends to show up. Thankfully that was not the case here, my drink was balanced and magnificent. Bar Antidote also lives underneath Hired Hand Brewing, a brewpub that I believe has the same owner but offers a slightly more casual atmosphere. I didn’t get a chance to dine there but I tried a solid pilsner and a very interesting lime gose while we were downstairs. You should definitely visit both if you pass through.
P.S. If you’re there in the summer try to fit a visit to Snake Mountain. Amazing view of the surrounding area/lake and an exhilarating 4/5 mile hike uphill. Definitely recommend you go earlier to avoid a crowd.