Elixir – Contemporary American Cuisine
Last Tuesday night was my second time to Elixir, which is located in downtown Historic White River Junction, VT. Because my husband and I had tickets to a show at Lebanon Opera House later that night, I made a reservation online. Super easy, as they use OpenTable and after a few clicks, we were confirmed for 7:15pm. As we drove in, we realized reservations were a good idea. We did a lap, not finding a spot; the next time we pulled in, my husband suggested a left taking us behind a catering company where the signs confirmed we were fine as it was after business parking hours. The walk to the front of the Freight House was a little muddy, but I noticed something gritty and urban about strolling by the town’s train tracks, which I really liked. By the way, for those of you unfamiliar with the area or just learning about it, like me, “downtown White River Junction was the first and largest railroad center in Vermont and New England north of Boston,” according to the Hartford, VT website. We walked in to discover a packed house. The nice-sized bar to our left was bustling, and people filled tables all around where they enjoyed food, drinks and conversation. Skip Symanski, one of the restaurant’s owners, came to the front with an easy smile and welcomed us. He was the first to greet us the last time we visited, and receiving such a warm greeting from Skip had set us up for a pleasant evening then as well. We were taken to a table for two in the middle and presented with dinner and drink menus, along with a short list of specials that included a wine of the night. The restaurant is known for their eclectic wine list and they also feature Vermont beers on draft. So far, though, I’ve ventured only for their classic cocktails; this time I chose the Arlini-tini, made with vodka, Domaine De Canton and fresh lime juice. In fact, my editor and I share a similar affinity for this drink; you can see her review of it here. For food, an obvious choice for us was the mussels, which come in a delectable coconut-red curry sauce, along with baguette pieces that are perfect for sopping it up. The mussels come in two order choices of small and large; we ordered the large which was a hearty portion but not over the top for the two of us. I then had the Pan Roasted Salmon, which includes a side of Israeli couscous mixed with bits of spinach. The sunchoke puree and a “Nicoise olive-tahini emulsion” spread around the dish was amazing; I could’ve had seconds of that alone. The salmon was slightly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and the entire dish smelled and tasted delicious. Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, I should let you know that Elixir is closed for vacation right now. But not to fear – they’ll reopen Wednesday, July 8 at 4:30pm (bar) and 5:00pm (dinner.) See you there! Starters range from $6.50 - $13.50 Mains range from $16.50 - $22.50 Cocktails range from $6.50 - $8.50 Reservations are recommended.