Crossroads’ New Owner/Chef Is Self-Described ‘Flavor Guy’

Bennett Zapletal at Crossroads Bar and Grill. (Herald / Jo Levasseur)

Update: Crossroads is now open seven days a week for lunch and dinner beginning at 11:30 a.m. The American-style restaurant has a revolving menu and hosts live entertainment every week, including a Monday night open mic. 

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The following was published in the Herald of Randolph Oct. 29, 2015.

“I’m a flavor guy,” says Bennett Zapletal, new owner and chef of Crossroads Bar and Grill in South Royalton. “Many of my menu items are standards, but with different presentation.”

Zapletal opened officially on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, with a limited menu, as refurbishments continue in the kitchen. Closed since mid June, Crossroads has undergone a makeover from walls to floors, a newly defined dining area, and an entirely new kitchen. Crossroads is now open from 4 p.m. until closing, Monday through Friday; and from 11:30 a.m. until closing, Saturday and Sunday. The kitchen will be open until 10 p.m.

Under Zapletal’s management there will be more focus on food, with seasonal foods and specialties beyond the regular favorites, whole grain breads, fresh vegetables and herbs.

At the bar, Crossroads will now have a larger selection of wine, local beer from Brocklebank Brewery in Tunbridge, and other seasonal offerings, with Harpoon, Long Trail, Fiddlehead, and Guinness always on tap. Wednesday night will feature an open mic hosted by Steve Kondi of the Steven Wentworth Band, starting at 8 p.m., and Thursday is the Law School’s trivia night. Game night specials and live music on weekends is also planned, but a schedule hasn’t been worked out yet.

From the Lebanon area, Zapletal started working in the restaurant industry as a teenager, washing dishes and other entry-level work, before tending bar and working as a line cook. In 2006 he enrolled in NECI, at the campuses in Montpelier and Essex.

An influential experience for him was working at the Inn at Shelburne Farms, a fine dining establishment with a five acre vegetable garden and 100% local food. More recently he was a part owner of the Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon for about three years.



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