What? Meat Pies in White River Junction? Yes!
...and Sweet Pies, and Veggie Pies. Drinks, too...
One, two, three, four...all you need is a fork to fall in love.
The pie business suddenly thrives along the banks of "The White." Who knew? Cooking meals that are a bit of a throwback to medieval England without all the drawbacks of food in that era, Chef and Owner Justin Barrett has created a whole new craze for foodies around the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire — and well beyond our region in short order as word of his new eatery gets out.
It's Piecemeal Pies, located in the Gates/Briggs building all the way down in downtown White River Junction, facing the corner where the train tracks, and the trains with whistles blowing, cross through the center of town. It's a place that's bright and welcoming, and where everyone walking in has a clear look at the entire kitchen where pies are prepped and cooked.
Chef Barrett, as he claims, while "cheffing."
Gleaming ovens line the back wall of this new eatery as prep chefs lean over tables creating their magical little pastiche-like pasticcios of some of the most savory ingredients you'll find in any chef's kitchen or dining establishment. Try the Curried Lamb concoction, somehow melded into a pie crust's circular shape. It's a veritable ship-in-a-bottle kind of trick-of-the-eye when you see it on your plate. And when you dive into it with knife and fork, or fingers and teeth, you'll be amazed at how much (and how delicious), has been carefully spooned and drizzled inside a round pie crust wholly baked—top sides and bottom.
I find it to be not just a delightfully-ideal meal tucked into a pie, but also a fun eating experience. To think that kings and queens of England ate in similar fashion is just the tip of the iceberg when, for example, it comes to storytelling with kids who are munching these scrumptious delicacies as if it's their final meal. Think "Tower of London" storytelling and you'll catch my drift. Everyone loves these pies!
Have a look at the Piecemeal Pie menu. There's nothing piecemeal about it. It's well thought out, and comfortably arrayed, in print, online and in the shop as you peer at gleaming pie meals stacked one atop the other behind a glass case. There are dessert pies as well as the savory meals I've been enjoying. At some point, I'll order up a Sweet Potato Meringue, or a Lemon Posset with Raspberries. I've heard those are two gastronomically-galactic treats. Plus, you can get a strong cup of coffee, soup, sides, and other beverages of your choice. It's a great little find of a place!
There's Beef & Mushroom, Spinach & Feta, a Cottage Pie, and my favorite Rabbit & Bacon. I had a Scotch Pie yesterday, a little surprise of a dish with a hard-boiled egg buried deep inside a meat pie with savory herbs and spices nourishing my demanding palette and sating my ever-grumbling stomach. I'm told the Rabbit & Bacon is an early-diners special. Get there before noon, or they may be sold out. Apparently, finding good rabbit isn't so easy. Most rabbits are fatty at this time of the year, and Chef Barrett's selectivity won't allow for poor quality. After all, he worked at the Michelin-rated The Spotted Pig in NYC before designing and building his own Lower East Side eatery, The Fat Radish. I'm happy he decided to move to Vermont to follow his dream of growing his own food, and serving up meals that bring people together in White River Junction.
I also tried the Pumpkin & Parsnip soup to go with my very first meal at Piecemeal. It was crazy good, and the herbs and spices were just right for an early winter's day. It paired well with the Rabbit Pie. I've now been back three times, trying, in turn, the Cottage Pie, the Beef & Mushroom, and a daily special Scotch Pie. Every one of these pies was delicious and savory with subtleties that define a great chef's hand at the kitchen-house wheel, each a meal to remember, and the crust, well, I simply can't get enough of it!
I've not yet tried the hard cider, wine, or beer on tap, but the names are familiar in a positive way. Two examples on the Drinks Menu are Lost Nation beer from Tunbridge, VT and River Roost's "Mas Verde" brew from just down the street right here in River City, VT, U.S.A.
Shacksbury "Farmhouse" cider is on the menu, along with other ciders, beers, and wines.
I'm recommending Chef Barrette's soothingly savory creations within his round pie shells to all my friends. After all, what's a guy to do when food like this is just a few doors down from his latest place of business, and brand new to WRJ, the pop-up gallery and gift shop known as Long River Gallery & Gifts, &...
It's all in that final &... Come on in and we'll find you just the right gift you're looking for (for you or someone else), and send you on your way to find another great meal here in River Cityland — like, for starters, a deeply-satisfying, hot-from-the-oven meat or vegetable pie at Piecemeal Pies!
Don't ever miss another post! Click here to sign up for an email alert each time Dave Celone publishes a news piece on the dailyuv.com. And do Click here to see his previous post on White River Junction titled "Vermont's River City: A Rising Star" that mentions many of WRJ's varied stores, market spaces, and one man who has been a driver behind River City's renaissance.
Dave Celone is not this original, hand-made Shanty Town doll sculpture known as "Rhythm Man" created by Anna Hranovska Vincellette. Anna is the Artist in Residence at the new Long River Gallery & Gifts pop-up gallery at 49 South Main Street in White River Junction. A visit with Anna and her magically creative sculpture pieces and dolls is a meeting of a lifetime with an extraordinarily talented artist whose wonderful accent you'll never forget!
Nor is Dave this superbly-crafted and detailed mask that is a small part of a much larger sculpture of a woman riding in a canoe on one of the most festive night's of the year in Russia. Bella Noch, or White Night is the night when classes end for students and they take to the streets (and waterways) to celebrate. It's a marvelous piece you'll want to visit with more than once at Long River Gallery in River City!
Instead, Dave Celone is a freelance writer, poet, visual artist, art gallery curator, and consultant for the education industry. He co-manages Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH with his wife Lisa where over 150 artists and artisans show their work. They have a new "pop-up" gallery now open at 49 South Main Street in White River Junction, VT, right next to The Junction Frame Shop. Dave is also principal of Advancement Consulting Services offering higher education institutions and private secondary schools global best practices and unique ways to increase alumni giving and involvement through programs that develop relationships and value holistically. His "virtuous circle" model on developing fundraising programs, and his belief in "treating students like alumnae/i and alumnae/i like students" have gained favor among development industry professionals and higher education leadership on multiple continents. Dave is former director of development at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and former co-executive director of the Dartmouth College Fund. He may be reached at email@example.com.